Pedernales Electric Cooperative welcomed almost 700 attendees at its annual meeting Saturday, June 21, in Cedar Park. The meeting is PEC’s largest annual event and brought together PEC members to participate in the Co-op’s election, to learn more about their Cooperative and to speak with the Board of Directors and Co-op staff.
PEC members who hadn’t already participated in the Co-op’s election by voting early online or by mail had one final opportunity at the annual meeting to vote on their preference of a voting system for future elections, and also to elect directors from Board districts 2 and 3. Election results were announced near the conclusion of the business meeting, and members elected Emily Pataki of Cedar Park as District 2 director and re-elected Kathryn Scanlon of Austin as District 3 director. Each will serve three-year terms on the Co-op’s Board of Directors.
The Co-op membership also voted their preference to retain the Co-op’s current at-large voting system for future elections. The vote was 9,219 to 7,957, at-large voting over single-member district voting.
Prior to the beginning of the business meeting, members had a chance to visit with Co-op staff, as well learn useful information about topics such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, PEC history, electrical safety, and other initiatives, subjects and programs.
During his remarks to members in attendance at the business meeting portion of the event, PEC Board President and District 7 Director Dr. Patrick Cox discussed PEC’s history, adversities and accomplishments — and the Co-op’s return to focusing on what’s most important to PEC members.
“We have returned to our core business and core values — planning for the future; providing safe, reliable and affordable energy to our members; returning capital credits to our members; and working in the most cost-effective manner possible.” Cox said. “We have made significant progress the past five years. Thanks to the dedicated, hard work of many members and PEC employees, we have made tremendous accomplishments in restoring trust, financial accountability, and transparency while providing excellent, member-friendly services to our members. The success of PEC is built on the trust of our members and our employees. We have the most open and transparent co-op in the country.”
PEC Chief Executive Officer John D. Hewa gave a report highlighting initiatives the Co-op has been working on and has excelled at, as well as improvements he’d like to see made and initiatives moving forward that will benefit the Co-op and its membership. He touched on a wide variety of topics, including power reliability and resiliency, rates, member services, mobile and convenience services improvements, power supply, renewable energy, the Co-op’s cost-of-service study, member and community engagement and new tools and technology.
Hewa reminded members of their important stature with the Cooperative. “I want you to know this is your co-op. We want to always make sure we’re focusing on that. There’s a balancing act we have to do here on rates, growth, new systems, performance, people, trucks and teamwork. Every day, we’re working to make sure we’re bringing forward the right balance and doing things you’d expect us to do as stewards of this co-op.”
He also noted the Co-op is looking to further improve on its strength in the area of power reliability by utilizing new technology and tools. “The best practices that have helped us be strong, we’re looking to preserve, but we’re also looking at new technology and tools,” Hewa said. “This is a really complex business, and it’s changing very rapidly.”
Hewa also responded to a number of member comments on rates, fees, retail electricity provider competition and contracts, renewable energy, controllable costs and security of the Co-op’s systems.
A Board special organizational meeting was held immediately following the annual meeting, and officers for the next year were elected as follows:
President: District 7 Director Dr. Patrick Cox
Vice President: District 3 Director Kathryn Scanlon
Secretary-treasurer: District 1 Director Cristi Clement
2014 PEC Board election results
Near the conclusion of PEC’s June 21 annual meeting, Survey & Ballot Systems, which managed balloting for the Co-op, announced that 17,813 total votes were cast, including 11,424 by mail, 5,731 online and 329 in person at the annual meeting. The total votes cast represent 8.11% of the Co-op’s 219,571 members.
2014 PEC election results are as follows:
· District 2 director
o 8,943 votes: Emily Pataki
o 8,393 votes: William D. (Bill) Boggs
· District 3 director
o 7,966 votes: Kathryn Scanlon
o 4,488 votes: Don Zimmerman
o 3,037 votes: Arnold LeVine
o 1,794 votes: Judy Lawler Pokorny
· Election system referendum
o 9,219 votes: All at-large voting
o 7,957 votes: Single-member district voting