Washington EMC member-director Joe Taylor is vice chair for the cooperative. “I am proud to serve my neighbors,” Joe says. “The members always come first. It’s the cooperative way.”
Joe Taylor, a member-director living in Baldwin County, has served the members on the Washington EMC board of directors since October 2002. He served as Secretary-Treasurer from Oct. 2010 until Oct. 2013 when he was elected to serve as vice chair for the cooperative. Joe represents members in District 3 which includes portions of Baldwin, Hancock and Washington counties in the westernmost portion of the cooperative’s service area.
“Being a lifelong resident of the area, I believe I can dependably represent the people in our community. I am proud to serve the members in this capacity on the Washington EMC board of directors. The members always come first,” Joe says.
Joe is a graduate of T.J. Elder High School in Sandersville and continued his education at West Georgia College, Georgia College and State University and the University of Georgia. After completing his studies, he served seven years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
For 18 years, Joe taught Special Education classes at Central State Hospital at Hardwick. He has taught continuing education classes at Georgia College and State University.
As a consultant in the education department with the Bill Ireland Youth Development Center, Joe worked with young people with learning disabilities. “This program helped young people earn money and learn skills that helped them become functional in the outside world,” he says.
Now retired, Joe enjoyed a long career in the educational field. “I have always enjoyed working with young people,” says Joe. “One of the most challenging and rewarding jobs was teaching the hearing impaired.”
In his leisure time, Joe coached Little League basketball for the Baldwin County Recreation Department. He is an active supporter of the local Boys and Girls Club in Milledgeville.
“I love fishing and playing golf,” says Joe. He is a member of the American Legion and the Milledgeville Golf Association.
Joe grew up in an era when not everyone had the advantages of electricity. “In the middle 1940s, the cooperative began to electrify the countryside north of Deepstep. I resided on a small farm with my parents and my sister. The only light we had at night was from a kerosene lamp. Food was kept in an icebox where ice was stored to keep everything cool.
“I was about 10 years old when a man visited our house and began to string wire all through the ceiling. When he finished, we had a wire and a light bulb hanging in each room. There were no outlets installed, and appliances, radios and irons had to be plugged into a double socket from the ceiling. My mother was afraid to plug in the iron because she was used to heating irons on a wood stove, or near the fireplace.
“Many times, the EMC had to run the power lines through the back woods and swamps because the landowners had heard myths that the electricity would spoil the land and burn up their crops. Things have changed a lot since that time.”
“Washington EMC uses the latest methods for power delivery to more efficiently provide the electricity needed for today’s modern appliances and other high-tech devices. Performing routine maintenance of trees and other vegetation on our over overhead right-of-way helps the cooperative deliver affordable, reliable electricity,” says Joe.