BY JOE RUTHERFORD
MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – TVA officials, long-term employees, and representatives of retirees celebrated the public utility's 75th anniversary in a festive luncheon Monday within sight of Wilson Dam, which supplied electricity to Tupelo in 1934, cementing the community's claim as “The First TVA City.”
The audience included Wanda Davis, a 45-year employee of Pontotoc County Electric Power Association, a TVA-affiliated supplier.
Skila Harris, honored at the event as her nine-year term on the board directors drew to a close, said she is “absolutely” certain of TVA's future as a public utility. Harris is the last of three-full-time directors to rotate off the board.
Former TVA Chairman Glenn L. McCullough, Jr., a Tupelo resident, rotated off in 2005.
In brief remarks he praised Harris' service and told the crowd, “I take great comfort in believing that our nation's and TVA's best days are ahead.”
McCullough and Harris were closely aligned on most policy issues while both were on the three-member board system, which governed TVA from 1933 to 2005. Congress mandated that a nine-member board, serving shorter terms with part-time salaries, replace the three-member system.
Also at the celebration were representatives from the Norris Foundation in McCook, Neb., the longtime home town of TVA champion George Norris, the progressive Nebraska Republican senator who joined Mississippi Democratic Rep. John Rankin, a Tupeloan, in unwavering support of the TVA idea.
Contact editorial page editor Joe Rutherford at email@example.com or call him at (662) 678-1597.