Garrity claims South Routt seat on YVEA board; 2 openings remain

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Russ Garrity

Applications sought

Yampa Valley Electric Association is seeking letters of interest and resumes from members of the cooperative who are interested in filling the unexpired terms of two vacant director seats.

One is for one year in District 5 (Hayden area), and prospective candidates must live within the district boundaries. The second is for three years in District 1 comprising primarily northern Moffat County but also including pieces of North Routt and Carbon County, Wyo.

Application materials are due to YVEA President and General Manager Larry Covillo at P.O. Box 771218, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.

For more information, call Covillo at 970-879-1160 or Jim Chappell at 970-871-2231, or visit www.yvea.com.

— Oak Creek resident and longtime power industry expert Russ Garrity is the newest member of the Yampa Valley Electric Association board of directors, but the local rural electrical cooperative still is looking for two people to fill open seats, one in District 5, which includes Hayden and surrounding areas, and another in District 1, which includes areas of North Routt.

The board hopes to appoint two new members at its July 20 board meeting at YVEA’s Steamboat Springs office.

When the vote count was announced at the YVEA annual meeting Saturday in Hayden, Garrity had defeated incumbent Chuck Perry 1,167 to 1,123. YVEA Manager of Consumer Accounts Jim Chappell said the total vote count was typical of past YVEA elections.

Garrity, who has worked in the power industry for 30 years, is the director for business development for GP Strategies.

On Wednesday, Garrity said he would take a balanced approach to his role on the YVEA board.

“I’ve worked with wind, and I’ve worked with solar power, and I understand their drawbacks,” Garrity said. “And you’ve got to keep the lights on. I talked to the (Yampa Valley) Sustainability Council and told them, ‘If you think every vote I make will please you, you’re wrong.’ I’m sure it will be the same with the other side.”

He said he expects reliance on renewable forms of energy will increase.

“Over time, I do believe renewables will play a bigger and bigger role as technology allows it to,” he said.

Perry insisted in public appearances that renewables, as intermittent power sources, could not stand alone in a free-market economy nor could they replace coal-fired and nuclear power plants. He told the Craig Daily Press in May that he thinks a group in Steamboat Springs actively is trying to recruit candidates who want to expand YVEA’s portfolio of renewable energy sources.

Garrity said his initial impression from his first board meeting Saturday was that the YVEA board comprises a balanced group of people who are open-minded to proposals that make sense.

Board has 2 openings

Chappell confirmed Tuesday that longtime board member Sam Haslem announced at the annual meeting that he would be stepping down midterm for health reasons.

Haslem already had served two years of a three-year term that ends in 2013. The board had the option of leaving the seat open until the next election, Chappell said, but decided it would seek to appoint an interim replacement who then would be eligible to run for election to a full term.

In District 1, Chappell said, incumbent Peggy Espy, a resident of Savery, Wyo., did not seek re-election and no other candidates came forward. The board will seek to appoint a new member to take her place through 2015.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or tross@SteamboatToday.com

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