If someone is caught with their hand in the cookie jar, but they put the cookie back, does that make it all OK? Just because the cookie is back in the jar, does that mean that those who own the cookies should trust that person never to take a cookie again?

This seems to be the claim of some of the higher-ups at our member owned Crow Wing Power Cooperative who were caught with cookies in their hands. The recent "Stewardship of the Emily Mining Project" letter writer and the cooperative's CEO can keep assuring us that the cookies are back in the jar since they "relinquished those royalties." But the fact remains - those cookies (or the paying of royalties to executives in a cooperative investment deal) were never theirs to take in the first place.

As member-owners of this cooperative, every person who pays that monthly bill should be outraged that someone tried to take our cookies. Money that belongs to a cooperative is to be returned to the members in the form of dividends, lower rates, etc. It is not supposed to be used to enrich executives.

Thank goodness there are a few people on the board - such as Bryan McCulloch and Paul Koering - guarding the cookie jar for us. We owe them thanks for their diligence in standing up to the cookie monsters. I hope all cooperative members remember this when the next board election comes around.

Shawn Marie Brummer