Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors adopted a policy Monday providing guidance in the event of unsolicited offers to purchase all or part of the Cooperative.
“We are not inviting nor are we encouraging proposals,” District 7 Director Dr. Patrick Cox said, emphasizing that PEC is not for sale. Cox is chairman of the Governance, Bylaws and Legal Committee, which proposed the policy after an enterprise expressed interest in purchasing the Cooperative.
The policy sets standards for the evaluation process and requires that those submitting unsolicited offers fund the due diligence process. Under the policy, the Board would determine whether an offer is qualified and initiate appropriate review of the offer, and a two-thirds vote of PEC members then would be required to accept an offer.
“While we currently have no intent to solicit offers, we want to make sure that we are looking out for the Cooperative members when we are evaluating a qualified offer,” Acting General Manager Luis A. Garcia said.
Joined by two new directors following June’s election, the Board on Monday reestablished three special policy committees and appointed directors to serve on each of five existing committees. The Board also added an Executive Search Committee to coordinate the search for a permanent general manager, a position currently filled by Garcia. The new committee will be chaired by Board President and District 6 Director Larry Landaker. Also appointed to the committee were District 2 Director James Williams and Board Vice President and District 4 Director Chris Perry.
Following are the other committee assignments:
• Governance, Bylaws and Legal Committee – Cox (chair), Landaker and District 5 Director Ross Fischer.
• Energy Conservation and Renewable Generation Programs Committee – Perry (chair), Cox and Landaker.
• Audit Committee – District 3 Director Kathy Scanlon (chair), Williams and District 1 Director Cristi Clement.
• Financial Strategies, Contract and Budget Committee – Clement (chair), Scanlon and Perry.
• Compensation Committee – Fischer (chair), Clement and Scanlon.
The Board commended PEC’s largest commercial member, Texas Lehigh Cement Company LP, on its 2010 Texas Environmental Excellence Award. The award, presented by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, is awarded to groups that implement innovative, sustainable approaches to preserving the environment.
In addition to explaining the environmental stewardship efforts that led to the award, Texas Lehigh President Robert Kidnew also talked about the benefits of being a PEC member.
“Being part of this membership and getting low-cost, reliable electricity is key to our success, and when the market is turning and being as difficult as it is, any competitive advantage we can get is much appreciated,” Kidnew told the PEC Board.
In other action:
• The Board agreed to retain Barron & Associates, Inc. to help develop a strategic plan for PEC. The Board voted 6-1 to approve the contract.
• The Board approved temporary pay supplements for Garcia and Acting General Counsel Aisha Hagen. The supplements will be paid on a quarter-by-quarter basis, and will expire once a permanent general manager has been hired.
• Garcia announced that 25 PEC linemen represented the Cooperative at the Texas Lineman’s Rodeo Saturday in Seguin. It is the first time PEC has competed in the statewide event, but three competitors – Eric Bitzko, Mark Moreno and Brandon Dance – brought home five first-place trophies. Garcia congratulated the competitors and recognized the efforts of all the “dedicated linemen who serve our members day in and day out with great skill and expertise.”
• He also announced PEC’s participation in a Utility Lineworker Expo hosted by Austin Community College July 14. PEC employees gave demonstrations, spoke on industry trends and met with potential students interested in ACC’s new utility lineworker associate degree and technical certificate programs.