Steamboat Springs This month's board of directors election for Yampa Valley Electric Association will be like no other before it.
"This is the first time there has ever been a contested race for all three districts," Jim Chappell said.
Chappell is the manager of consumer accounts for the rural electric cooperative. YVEA provides electricity for all of Routt and Moffat counties as well as small portions of southern Wyoming and extreme northeastern Utah.
YVEA has nine board members, all representing a geographic area. All seats on the board carry staggered three-year terms. Three seats are up for election each June and this year there are a total of seven candidates. This year's races involve Districts 2 and 3, covering the Maybell and Craig areas, respectively, and District 6, in the Clark area.
YVEA Board Chairman Irlan Neas said he thinks the relatively crowded field this year is coincidental. The District 2 seat is open, without an incumbent for the first time in 21 years, Neas pointed out. And in District 6, a former board member who had to resign when he moved out of his district, is seeking a return to the board.
"To my knowledge there are no big problems to cause dissension," Neas said.
District 2 has a three-way race among Stuart "Stu" Nadler, Franklin "Pud" Stetson and Harold "Hal" Stover. They will compete for the seat vacated by Larry Whiteman. Whiteman came on the board in the fall of 1981. He is moving to Grand Junction.
Stover has more than 25 years experience as a real estate broker and manager. He is the owner of Rocky Mountain Realty Services in Craig. Stetson owns his own accounting practice and ranches near Maybell. Nadler is also an accountant. He sold his firm and retired in 1997.
The District 3 candidates are Dr. Leo Schneider and James Simos. Schneider, the incumbent, is seeking his 14th term and has served on the board for 38 years. He is a lifetime member of the Colorado Dental Association and has been a director for the Colorado Rural Electric Association. Simos was in the retail furniture business in Salt Lake City for many years. He returned to his roots in Craig in 1989 and is the owner of Cashway Distributors.
The District 6 candidates are incumbent Pat Barber, seeking his third term, and former YVEA board member Bill Haight.
Barber was an employee of YVEA for 39 years, working through the ranks as a laborer who eventually became a line superintendent. He retired in 1995. Haight relinquished his seat on the board in 1998 when he moved out of his former district. He is a former Routt County Commissioner and is a transportation commissioner for the state of Colorado.