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LPEA annual meeting to be held May 2 in Durango, election results to be announced

By Indiana Reed
Special to The SUN
Celebrating 80 years of serving La Plata and Archuleta counties, La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) has planned a special early evening annual meeting to be held Thursday, May 2, at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College. Results of board of director elections will be announced.
Registration begins at 5 p.m., with the business meeting commencing at 6:30 p.m. The event features complementary appetizers along with entertainment provided by bluegrass band The Stillhouse Junkies. The annual meeting is free and open to all LPEA members.
“This is the one time during the year that our membership can join together, see friends and neighbors and learn more about your rural electric cooperative, which is truly the heart of your power — both literally through electricity distribution, and the ‘heart’ of the people who serve you,” said CEO Mike Dreyspring.
Presentations during the LPEA annual meeting will include reports from CEO Dreyspring, Board President Bob Lynch, Attorney Shay Denning, CREA representative Jack Turner and Tri-State Generation and Transmission representative Kirsten Skeehan, plus new Tri-State CEO Duane Highley. The membership will have an opportunity to query the board on topics of concern during the Q-and-A period.
“To ensure members’ voices are heard, we request that questions from the membership to the board be written out in advance,” said Ron Meier, manager of engineering and member relations. “Look for the banner in the Concert Hall’s foyer to submit your questions prior to the opening of the business meeting.”
In accordance with LPEA’s bylaws, annually one seat in each of LPEA’s four districts comes up for election.
With the director elections, in District 1, Archuleta County, two new candidates are vying for the seat vacated by retiring director Mike Alley. Holly Metzler and Michel Whiting are on the ballot. In District 2, south and west La Plata County, incumbent Dan Huntington is challenged by Jeff Mannix. In District 4, north and east La Plata County, incumbent Jack Turner is challenged by Sarah Ferrell.
In the City of Durango, only one candidate, Joe Lewandowski, submitted an election petition. Pending formal approval by the LPEA board, Lewandowski will be appointed to the board.
As a rural electric cooperative, all members in good standing who pay their electric bill to LPEA are qualified to vote for the directors who represent them.
Ballots were mailed to cooperative members on April 2 and must be received by 4 p.m. on May 1 at the La Plata County Clerk’s office (Bodo Park), or at additional physical drop-off locations including LPEA’s offices in Durango or Pagosa Springs, the La Plata County Administration office (downtown Durango), Farmer’s Fresh Market (Ignacio) or Bayfield Town Hall.
Members can also vote at the annual meeting prior to 6:30 p.m. Given potential postal service delays, as the deadline approaches, members are advised to drop their ballots off physically at one of the aforementioned locations.
LPEA members who register at the annual meeting will receive a $5 credit on their electric bill plus are eligible for a wide array of door prizes and giveaways. Volunteer parking attendants will direct members to the most convenient parking at Fort Lewis College and golf carts will be available to assist those who have difficulty walking.

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