Letter: Yampa Valley Electric Association board needs transparency
Most of Eagle County is served by Holy Cross Energy but the northernmost part of the County is Yampa Valley Electric Association (YVEA) territory. On June 25, the annual YVEA meeting will take place in Steamboat Springs. Anyone who receives a bill from YVEA is eligible to attend the meeting and vote.
You’ll vote on YVEA Directors who make decisions that affect the affordability, sustainability and future of our electrical grid. Their decisions affect economic development, the environment, resilience to wildfire risk and compliance with state-mandated renewable energy goals.
You’ll also vote on sweeping changes to YVEA’s bylaws. As a member, you should have received a copy of proposed changed to the bylaws. I have not received a copy. But from the YVEA website I’ve gleaned a few things:
- Directors can now remove directors with a 2/3 majority. Previously this was done by a vote of the membership.
- Former YVEA employees and folks with union associations (even loose ones) now must wait five years from the time of association to serve on the board, up from three.
- To run for the board, a person must have had two years of continuous service in the YVEA territory. This is new.
- Most interesting is the provision that allows “close relatives” to serve on the board together under stipulations related to their gross income— impossible to measure without examining tax returns. And they miss the mark on business/family relationships.
YVEA is a member-owned cooperative, not a family-owned business or a for-profit corporation. These changes take power from YVEA members.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am running for the YVEA Board. I believe in transparency, accountability and good governance and I’d like to bring that to the board. It is too late to mail in your ballot but if you haven’t voted, you can vote on June 25.