August 14, 2009
Securities and Exchange Council
100 F Street, NE
Washington, DC 20549-1090
Dear Mrs. Murphy:
The current shareholder proxy access rule has given shareholders the ability to nominate directors for election very successfully over the years. Changing these rules could have negative effects on companies, causing wasted time, disruption and could possibly put a narrow-minded individual, or one with little knowledge about the business, in charge of making decisions. This could also open the door for special interests groups to pull together and buy enough shares to nominate a board director, because of the low one percent threshold.
Our business is a family business that was started in 1959. I also have another business in which I sell fire protection products. I do buy from publicly traded companies, and do have a concern that the cost of the products I need to operate my business will increase because of this rule change. It may not be tomorrow, but eventually this will affect my business and how I am able to operate. These changes could lead to lay-offs within my companies.
With the current economic crisis, many businesses have closed their doors in our area. My businesses are something that I would like to pass on to one of my children. We do not need more government interference, nor do we need to watch as more businesses close as a result of changing these rules. I do not want any rules or policies changed regarding shareholder proxy access. Boards were designed to make decisions for companies that will increase their profits, and those sitting on boards should have the know how for that business type. Please allow these companies to succeed without any more government interference.
Leadbetter Electric Company