Journal of the San Juan Islands


A different countywide election; OPALCO's turn

April 15, 2013 · 7:11 PM

Eleven days after a countywide election picks three new San Juan County Council members, another countywide election will choose three members of Orcas Power and Light Cooperative board of directors.

Ballots are in the mail to all cooperative members (one per household or business which receives an electric bill). The entire membership will vote to fill three board positions, two from OPALCO District Three (Lopez, Decatur, Center and Charles islands) and one from District Four (Shaw, Bell, Crane and Canoe islands).

Ballots will be counted before and during the 76th Annual Meeting, Saturday, May 4, from 9:45 to 11:15 on the interiisland ferry.Call 360-376-3549 for assistance.

As the governing body of the cooperative, the seven-member board will decide this year whether OPALCO will install countywide broadband technology to provide grid management for itself, enhanced cellphone and emergency communications to wireless companies and local emergency agencies, and high-speed internet and telephone services to its customers.

Candidates for the board are nominated by committee or by petition. District 3 committee nominations are Michael Karp, Jim Lett and Bob Myhr; Jerrold R. Gonce and L. Dwight Lewis Jr. were nominated by petition of 15 members of District 3. The only District 4 nominee is John Bogert.

Lett, Myhr and Bogert are incumbents. Candidate biographies are included with the ballots, or at www.opalco.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/2013-Ballot-Booklet.pdf.

Absentee ballot forms with signed envelopes must be received by OPALCO, online or by mail, no later than noon, May 3. Ballots can also be cast in person at the Annual Meeting. Members who turn in absentee ballots will be entered into a drawing for six $50 utility bill credits.

Members and families attending the meeting will receive free gifts, lunch and a $5 credit on the next bill, and a chance to win one of more than 50 door prizes.

The purpose of the Annual Meeting is to conduct the annual business of the Co-op; the election is the main event. OPALCO staff will be available to answer questions, and a brief Q&A with the General Manager will follow the election.

The meeting will not provide time for in-depth discussion of the broadband project, but a schedule of public forums will be distributed and posted on the website after the meeting.



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