By Indiana Reed
Results of Board of Directors elections for La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) were announced at the electric cooperative’s Annual Meeting, held today, Saturday, May 7, 2016, at the Event Center at Sky Ute Casino & Resort, Ignacio.
New candidates Mike Alley, Dan Huntington and Doug Lyon will join the LPEA Board with incumbent Jack D. Turner elected for a second three-year term. In accordance with LPEA’s bylaws, annually one seat in each of LPEA’s four districts comes up for election. The election in District 3 (City of Durango) was cancelled as incumbent Michael Rendon did not seek re-election and Lyon was the only candidate.
Out of the 24,492 ballots mailed, 5,499 LPEA members cast votes for an approximately 22.5 percent return. This is on par with the 22.6 percent in return in 2015, but down from the 25 percent ballot return in 2014.
In District 1, Archuleta County, where 8,062 ballots were mailed, 851 of the members returning ballots cast votes for Alley over incumbent Mark Garcia’s 641 votes and new candidate Calum McNeil’s 81.
With 8,426 ballots mailed in District 2, south and west La Plata County, results of the new candidate competition showed Huntington with 1,310 votes cast to 730 cast for Lori Schell. District 2 incumbent Tom Compton did not seek re-election in 2016.
Of the 8,004 ballots mailed in District 4, which covers north and east La Plata County, incumbent Turner received 841 votes, with challenger John Beebe receiving 774 votes and challenger Ron Bishop receiving 262.
Some 300 attended the LPEA Annual Meeting, with 238 voting members registering. Balloting and tallying was overseen by the La Plata County Clerk’s office, retained by the LPEA Board of Directors as an independent third party.
“As a rural electric cooperative, LPEA exists to serve its members. Everyone has an economic interest and voice in LPEA’s future,” said CEO Dreyspring. “We thank those who cast their votes and took time to participate in the cooperative process.”
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the LPEA Board of Directors is the Monday, May 16 Committee of the Whole beginning at 9 a.m. at LPEA’s headquarters, 45 Stewart St. (Bodo Park), Durango. Per the bylaws, officers will be elected at that time. The regular Board Meeting is Wednesday, May 18, 2016, at LPEA’s headquarters. Member comment is heard at 9 a.m.op.