As you may know, I served on the OPALCO Board for several years, but resigned last summer for health reasons. Numerous OPALCO members have asked me about the upcoming board elections, and I would like to express my recommendations. I strongly urge members to elect Jim Lett and Brian Silverstein in District 3 (Lopez) and Jerry Whitfield in District 4 (Shaw). Here’s why:
1. Jim Lett fills an important need on the board of a rural electric coop because of his wealth of experience in the insurance world. This important expertise includes an understanding of business, and, even more significantly, a deep concern for safety and an understanding of what kinds of practices and requirements lead to a safer environment for OPALCO workers, coop members, and the public on the islands. He possesses personal qualities that help the board and the coop work smoothly, too: a mixture of practicality and attention to detail, along with vision, and an ability to build consensus with calmness and a deft hand. He has been an excellent board president.
2. Brian Silverstein attended numerous board meetings, workshops, and the like during my tenure on the board, and I found him highly impressive. His experience with Bonneville Power Administration made him an amazing resource to have in the islands. His analytical skills are strong, and he was never shy about telling the board when he thought we should be considering other factors and ways to approach an issue. He would represent an independent voice on the board, and I believe he is dedicated to transparency and the Coop principles.
3. Jerry Whitfield is an innovator with a superb track record in the renewable-energy business. In my interactions with him on the board I found him an original and independent thinker. Whitfield will not approve a course of action that he has not thoroughly analyzed on his own, and he has the intellectual and practical skills to follow through. He approaches problems with a healthy skepticism that has often made the board make better decisions.
All of these candidates will bring positive attributes to our member-owned electric coop. They are forward-looking and dedicated both to our islands community and to the goals of the coop. I intend to vote for them, and I hope you will,
San Juan Island