Letters to the Editor

GM disputes claims by would-be OPALCO board candidate | Letters

I was surprised and disappointed to see that you published Bob Jarman’s letter to OPALCO of March 16, 2014. I am writing to set the record straight.

First, Mr. Jarman asserts that “[w]ith the new amendments to the bylaws recently passed by the current Board (policies 1 & 23), the actions of the Board are not transparent to the Co-Op members.”

The truth is that OPALCO’s board of directors has not acted on those policy change proposals to date.

The board is considering changes to those policies and the proposed language is posted in the February and March board packets on OPALCO’s website. Contrary to Mr. Jarman’s implication, these proposed revisions are intended to protect our membership by ensuring transparency and integrity in board operations.

Second, Mr. Jarman incorrectly suggests that OPALCO’s financial accounting is not honest. Nothing could be further from the truth.

OPALCO retains the outside, independent auditing services of the highly reputable accounting firm, Moss Adams, to review its financial controls and records on an annual basis. Furthermore, the IRS and the U.S. Commerce Department’s Rural Utility Service annually review OPALCO’s financial controls and records and consistently conclude that the Cooperative’s accounting records accurately reflect its financial position and operations, with absolutely no qualifiers.

Mr. Jarman’s claims about dishonest accounting are utterly without foundation.

Third, contrary to Mr. Jarman’s assertion, the OPALCO board does not have a policy of not allowing board members to speak individually to the cooperative’s members.

In summary, the OPALCO board’s actions are transparent to the cooperative’s members and completely consistent with cooperative principles, state law, and the organization’s articles of incorporation and bylaws. And, the cooperative’s financial accounting meets the very highest standards.

If Mr. Jarman believes that his duties and responsibilities as a member of the San Juan County Council somehow conflict with the duty he would have as a member of the OPALCO board of directors to support OPALCO and act only in the best interests of the cooperative and its members, then it is appropriate that he has withdrawn his name.

However, that does not justify promulgating falsehoods about the cooperative, its policies or accounting practices.

Rest assured that OPALCO’s leadership is and will remain totally committed to the best interests of our membership.

Randy J. Cornelius, general manager, OPALCO

— Editor's note: The letter in question authored by Bob Jarman, entitled "OPALCO Letter" was sent by email by Jarman to the Journal of the San Juan Islands, and published in the SanJuanJournal.com opinion section, as a letter to the editor.

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