HEA election should draw attention

  • By Peninsula Clarion Editorial
  • Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:59pm
  • Opinion

“If I were in charge …”

Well, here’s you chance — maybe not to be in charge, per se, but certainly to be a part of the board that governs our regional cooperative electric utility.

The application period to file for one of the seats on the Homer Electric Association Board of Directors closes at 5 p.m. Friday. A seat on the nine-member board in each of the cooperative’s three districts is up for election each year. Candidates must fill out a questionnaire and collect signatures from at least 15 HEA members who live in the candidate’s district — HEA recommends at least 20 signatures, in case some are not able to be verified.

Applications may be found on the HEA website at http://www.homerelectric.com/elections/; contact Director of Member Relations Bruce Shelley at 907-283-5831 or 907-235-8551 with questions.

Ballots will be mailed to HEA members in April, and the results will be tabulated for the annual meeting on May 4.

In some years, HEA’s annual election doesn’t draw a lot of attention. We suspect that this year might be different, coming on the heels of the cooperative’s failed effort to withdraw from regulation by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. While the Board of Directors was in favor of deregulation, some 70 percent of members returning ballots were opposed, leading some to wonder about the vastly different views between the board and the cooperative’s membership.

For all those cooperative members who found themselves opposed to actions proposed by board — and for those who found themselves in agreement, too — here’s a chance to continue the discussion. And, should you find the majority of cooperative members in your district to be like-minded, here’s the chance to shape board policy for the next three years. Even if you aren’t elected, the process will give you a platform to share your views with a wider audience.

While HEA cannot pursue another deregulation vote for at least 2 years, there are other big issues facing the cooperative as it looks for ways to continue to meet the needs of its nearly 23,000 members.

So, if you feel strongly about the direction of the cooperative, print out a candidate application packet and get it in to HEA offices in Homer or Kenai by Friday.

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