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Around The Grange
From the State Secretary: Secretary School of Instruction

By Todd A. Gelineau, CT State Grange Secretary

  MARCH 1, 2023 --

First this month, I have to address a misconception many members have about my recent audit of Golden Sheaf membership in Connecticut. I am not creating my own rules or forcing Granges to pay money they are not required to pay. The rules I am enforcing were passed by the National Grange in the year 2000... 23 years ago!

Granges have lost contact with many members over the years simply because they didn’t need to stay in touch for the collection of dues. In one Grange alone I found 25% of the members they claimed as Golden Sheaf had actually passed away years ago and were still carried on their list. An additional 25% were ineligible for dues free status as they became Golden Sheaf members after 2001.

As State Secretary, I do not have the liberty of picking and choosing the  Digest/By-Laws  clauses  I want to uphold. When I report to National Grange I certify the data I provide is an accurate reflection of our State’s membership. Without this audit, I could not be certain (correctly as it has shown) we were reporting accurate numbers and paying the proper amount of dues.

There have been a lot of questions about the new quarterly reports and the inspections coming up this spring.

Please read the State President’s report for additional clarification on the inspections. The question I receive the most is regarding Bonding. The Inspection Questionnaire asks if your Grange has paid for its bonding. If you have not paid for your bonding, you should have received a bill from my office for what is due. The State Grange pays the bonding on all Granges in advance as we have a hard deadline with National Grange in December and cannot wait for stragglers to finally get their payments in (yes, it’s now March and there are still outstanding Granges). Missing the deadline with National would result in all Granges losing coverage for the year and possibly an inability to be covered under the same program in subsequent years. This is not something the State Grange wants to risk!

The first quarter of 2023 closes on March 31, 2023. On that date the new dues fees (approved by the voting delegates to the last State Session) will go into effect. All Granges who have filed their Q4 2022 reports should have received their new forms along with the annual word for 2023.

It is extremely important for all Secretaries to go through the report line for line and complete ALL sections of the report and RECALCULATE all amounts.

In addition, the National Grange would like more detailed membership information from us. Unfortunately many sections of the report have been left blank so I would like all Granges to start off on the right foot with this new form. I thank you all in advance for taking the time to recalculate your information and figures for this report.

I’m  sure  there  are  many questions regarding the Quarterly Reports and other subjects. For this reason, I have set up a Secretary School of Instruction on Sunday, March 26 beginning at 7:00 P.M. on Zoom. The meeting ID and passcode are included in the ad at left. If you would like to receive an electronic version in your email, please send me a note and I’ll be happy to provide it.

This School is open to all members from Connecticut and beyond. The School held last spring was very well received and attended and I expect the same this time around.

With the recent rate increases by Eversource, I’m sure many Granges are scrambling to cover their operating expenses this winter. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage all Granges to visit EnergizeCT.com and explore your options for changing your energy supplier. There are two rates on your Eversource bill. One is the “Supplier” rate and the other is the “Delivery” rate. You cannot change your delivery company but you can change your supplier. Prior to the January increase, the supplier rate was around 13¢ per kw hour. The new rate is over 24¢ per kw hour. Winchester Grange changed its supplier in February, reducing its rate back to 13¢ representing an $82 savings on the level of usage for the last billing cycle.

Log on to the EnergizeCT.com website and make sure you have your most recent bill in front of you as they will ask for specific information listed on it. Select “Supplier Rate Finder” on the first page and they will guide you through the process.

You will be given a list of suppliers and their rate offers. Rates will vary depending on the length of the contract. Be sure to select a contract that can be canceled without a fee in case you wish to change before your agreement expires. Regardless, your rate will be locked in for the contract duration. Don’t forget to do this for your home electric rate as well.



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