Governance & principles

When the cooperative is incorporated, the current steering committee will step down and a board of directors will be elected.

Mission Valley Internet Co-op will be democratically governed by its member-users.

The co-op will be owned by those who use the internet service.

The board of directors will hire staff or contract with service providers to install and operate the network on a day-to-day basis.

Our co-op will operate according to the same seven core principles that cooperatives around the world generally follow.

  1. Voluntary & Open Membership

Membership is open to all Mission Valley residents who can use the service and accept the responsibilities that come with the membership.

2. Democratic Member Control

The co-op is a democratic organization controlled by the members who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The co-op’s members will elect a board of directors to make decisions about the cooperative on their behalf. Members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote).

3. Member Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to the capital of the cooperative. They democratically control the capital. Some of the capital will benefit all members based on their investment into the cooperative through dividends or reduced prices. Some of that capital will be common property of the cooperative for further developing the co-op, building reserves, or supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4. Autonomy & Independence

The cooperative is an autonomous self-help organization, solely controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into any agreements with other organizations, democratic control and the co-op’s unique identity are ensured.

5. Education, Training & Information

The co-op’s members, representatives, and employees receive education and training to help them effectively contribute to the further development of the organization. The co-op actively informs and educates the public to help build a general understanding of cooperatives.

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives

The co-op collaborates and partners with other cooperatives either through direct contact or through local, regional, national and international structures. Cooperation among cooperatives helps improving services, benefitting our local economy, and more effectively meeting our communities’ needs.

7. Concern for Community 

The co-op deliberately and proactively works towards a sustainable development of their communities.

If you are interested in learning more about cooperative principles, we recommend you watch a series of short videos that the Montana Cooperative Development Center has developed: https://vimeo.com/montanacoopdevelopment