By Indiana Reed
Results of the Board of Directors elections for La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) were announced at the electric cooperative’s Annual Meeting, held today, Thursday, May 2, 2019, at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, Durango.
In accordance with LPEA’s bylaws, annually one seat in each of LPEA’s four districts comes up for election. Holly Leann Metzler and Joe Lewandowski are two new LPEA Board members, with incumbents Dan Huntington and Jack Turner re-elected to their seats.
In District 1, Archuleta County, with two new candidates running for the seat vacated by retiring Mike Alley, 1,855 members cast votes and Metzler received 1,106 votes, with Michael Whiting receiving 794.
In District 2, south and west La Plata County, out of the 2,478 votes cast, incumbent Huntington received 1,751 votes, compared to the 727 cast for challenger Jeffery Mannix.
In District 4, which covers north and east La Plata County, 2,246 members cast votes and incumbent Turner received 1,277 votes, with challenger Sarah Ferrell receiving 969.
In the City of Durango, District 3, only one candidate, Joe Lewandowski, submitted an election petition and he has been appointed to the board.
Out of the 25,411 ballots mailed in Districts 1, 2 and 4, a total of 6,624 LPEA members cast votes for an approximate 26 percent return, which is on par with the 2018 election, which was also 26 percent. In recent years, LPEA saw a 28 percent return in 2017; 22.5 percent return in 2016; 22.6 percent return in 2015; 25 percent return in 2014; and 22.5 percent return in 2013.
An estimated 350 LPEA members attended the LPEA Annual Meeting, including the 263 voting members registered. Balloting and tallying was managed by an independent Election Supervisory Committee, overseen by the La Plata County Clerk’s office, which has been 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 interest and voice in LPEA’s future,” said CEO Mike Dreyspring. “We thank those who cast their votes and took time to participate in the cooperative process.”
All members in good standing, who pay their electric bill to LPEA, are qualified to vote for the directors who represent them, as well as the bylaws, which are the governing directives of the cooperative.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the LPEA Board of Directors is Wednesday, May 15, beginning at 9 a.m. at LPEA’s Durango headquarters, 45 Stewart St. (Bodo Park). Per the bylaws, officers will be elected at that time. Member comment will be heard immediately following.
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 33,000 members, with in excess of 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For additional information, visit www.lpea.coop.