Incumbents voted to keep YVEA board seats

Scott McGill and Charles Perry defeat Susan Holland and Megan Moore-Kemp, respectively

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Scott McGill

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Charles Perry

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Susan Holland

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Megan Moore-Kemp

— Yampa Valley Electric Association members voted to stick with their incumbent board of directors.

Ballots were counted Saturday at the cooperative's annual meeting in Hayden. Scott McGill defeated Susan Holland, 1,493 to 1,089, for the District 8 seat that represents Steamboat Springs. Charles Perry defeated Megan Moore-Kemp, 1,404 to 1,162, for the District 9 seat that represents South Routt County.

District 1 representative Peggy Espy ran unopposed.

Holland and Moore-Kemp campaigned together to focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Perry said he saw his victory as a sign that YVEA members want reliable, inexpensive electricity that includes but doesn't rely on renewable energy. Homeowners, not the co-op, should bear the cost of energy-efficient measures, Perry said.

"I do not believe the association should get into the rebate business," he said.

McGill said the vote showed that members were pleased with the co-op's policies.

"They want to continue in the same direction, which is progressive but reliable forms of power," McGill said.

Holland and Moore-Kemp said they were disappointed about the defeat. Holland ran and lost twice previously. They said they would continue promoting environmentally friendly energy.

"Energy efficiency is proven to be a winning investment for utilities on many levels - economic and environmental," Moore-Kemp stated in an e-mail. "I will continue to be an active member of my electric co-op by attending board meetings and contacting the board members who work on our behalf."

About 80 people attended Saturday morning's meeting, where YVEA officials addressed annual business and took questions from co-op members. Dignitaries present included state Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, former state Sen. Jack Taylor, of Steamboat Springs, and Craig City Councilor Ray Beck. Also present was Steamboat resident Margaret Monger, who has attended each of YVEA's 69 annual meetings. Officials addressed concerns, conservation and good news. Chairman James Simos acknowledged problems with animal-caused outages last year.

"If a raccoon gets into a substation, he never does it again," Simos joked. YVEA has traps at three of its 19 substations to catch and release critters, General Manager Larry Covillo said.

Covillo noted that YVEA has the lowest rates of any state cooperative and said he hopes to keep it that way. The cooperative did a survey last year and found that customers were largely satisfied with YVEA's service.

Covillo encouraged people to conserve energy and use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Each household gets one free a year. Co-op members also can participate in the Yampa Valley Electric Green Power Program to buy energy from wind and other renewable sources.

Covillo asked that people contact their legislators to protest carbon emissions caps. YVEA leaders think the proposed program is unfair because some states would get more credits than they need while others would have to buy them. Colorado would require 35 percent more than its allotment, Covillo said.

People interested in commenting can go to www.yvea.com and click on "Our Energy, Our Future."

Covillo reiterated that YVEA is not opposed to saving energy.

"We do continue to encourage conservation as a first measure. : Reduction in carbon starts at home," he said.

Comments

George Danellis 4 years, 10 months ago

Thanks to all four candidates for wishing to serve in these vitally important positions. Each is doing what they feel is in the best interest of the co-op's members. And the long-term issues facing YVEA present some significant challenges. I hope that the board will take a comprehensive approach to it's strategic planning for the future. There will be many factors to take into consideration: increased population, transmission capacity and potential capital expenditures, carbon becoming valued for the first time, the extraordinary benefits of energy efficiency (for business and families and YVEA), technological solutions that are now or soon to be available (Smart Grid, smart wall outlets, transportation fuel algae systems for coal fired power plants etc), and the great spirit of American innovation that we can use to see solutions where challenges may only seem to exist.

YVEA is in the business of delivering much needed electrical energy to the residents and businesses of its members, but is also almost wholly reliant on fuel sources and energy providers, which while still abundant (and contracted for) and cheap today, will be neither in the future. I call on the management and Board of YVEA to actively seek solutions by pushing its own boundaries, challenging the organization and the experienced minds within, and even go beyond the expertise of its' staff and Board to seek new and effective ways to meet the needs of its members far into the future.

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