I will not be voting for the incumbents, but rather for candidates Sue Gold and Gayle Wilcox for the Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative Board of Directors. Currently, most directors on the board have held their positions for more than a decade. A few much more than that.
When elected, the incumbents’ experience in the utility business was thought to be helpful. However, such experience has not resulted in a stronger CCEC, a cooperative that has, in the past three years, lost its compass. The recent direction of our CCEC directors has been to participate with and go up against the major players in the telecommunications industry.
The Board directors authorized CCEC and Beacon Broadband to borrow an aggregate $120 million, secured or guaranteed by CCEC. The decisions made by all but one current director were made using the good reputation of our electric cooperative that could now be saddled for decades with authorized loans. This is your debt.
In the past three years, the cooperative has changed. These changes require a different set of skills for board directors. We need independent, experienced thinkers. Sue Gold has a background as a high school and college math teacher. Gayle Wilcox has been a business owner for more than 30 years and served as fire chief for the Port Orford Volunteer Fire Department. These two candidates know numbers. They understand risk/benefit analysis and can determine whether more money is being borrowed and/or spent than is ever expected to come in. They believe that member/owners of a cooperative have rights, such as voting on whether their electric cooperative should be encumbered, possibly for decades with loans for a non-core product.
Sue and Gayle do not agree with the actions of the CCEC Board, including the two incumbents, when they removed an elected director from the Beacon Broadband board because that director exercised independent thinking and her fiduciary responsibility. CCEC has changed and this requires change on the board.
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