Rendon to fill seat of retiring Goff; Garcia, Turner unseat incumbents Stewart, Brodsky
The La Plata Electric Association, Inc. (LPEA) board of directors will have three new faces when it convenes for its next meeting on May 15, 2013, as Mark Garcia and Jack D. Turner unseated District 1 incumbent Lindon (Lin) Stewart and District 4 incumbent Herb Brodsky, respectively, in the LPEA director elections. Michael Rendon won in District 3 over Richard Alan Yoder, to fill the seat of retiring Harry Goff.
Election results were announced at the LPEA Annual Meeting, held Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Sky Ute Casino and Resort, Ignacio. This year in District 2, incumbent director Tom Compton was the only nominee, thus he retains his seat. In accordance with LPEA’s bylaws, annually one seat in each of LPEA’s four districts comes up for election.
Out of the 22,827 LPEA members who were mailed ballots, only 5,140 cast votes, for a 22.5 percent return. In contrast, approximately 26 percent of LPEA’s residential and commercial members returned ballots in 2012.
Ballots were prepared in accordance with requirements of the La Plata County Clerk, and the county’s electronic voting equipment was used by FredrickZink & Associates, the independent accounting firm retained to tally the votes.
In a very close decision in District 1, Archuleta County, 1,554 of the approximately 7,700 LPEA members returned ballots with incumbent Stewart receiving 760 votes and challenger Garcia receiving 792.
In District 3, the City of Durango, new candidates Rendon and Yoder received 1,305 and 544 votes, respectively. District 3 includes approximately 7,400 voters.
Candidate Turner was elected as the director for District 4, which covers north and east La Plata County and includes approximately 7,700 eligible voters. Turner received 895 votes to incumbent Brodsky’s 838.
[Brief biographies of winning candidates follow.]
“As a rural electric cooperative, LPEA exists to serve its members. Everyone has an economic interest and voice in LPEA’s future,” said Munro. “We thank those who cast their votes and took time to participate in the cooperative process.”
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with nearly 41,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For additional information, contact LPEA at 970.247.5786 or visit www.lpea.coop.
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Mark Garcia has lived in Pagosa since 1994. He is a mechanical engineer and currently serves as the executive director for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. A consultant to local governments in southern Colorado, he was Pagosa Springs Town Manager, 2003-2008. He also served on the LPEA Round Up Foundation Board 2000-2004 and was president for three years.
Michael Rendon is a Colorado native, and has lived in Durango for 21 years. For five and a half years he ran the Fort Lewis College Environmental Center, implementing energy efficiency programs and policies and worked for Ecos Consulting (now Ecova) providing energy efficiency testing on electronics, and helping to guide energy policy on the National level. He also for four years he served on the Durango City Council, one of which as Mayor. He is currently the Environmental Stewards Program Director with the Southwest Conservation Corps, overseeing the local component of the national AmeriCorps program that works on reclamation of abandoned coal mines across the country.
Jack D. Turner was raised in Durango and worked in his family’s businesses. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Geology, as well as a second Master’s emphasizing leadership and community self-reliance. He has worked as a representative to rural interests, including the Skokomish Tribe in Washington state where his efforts resulted in unprecedented dam releases, mimicking natural river flows while maintaining optimal electric generation. Turner currently teaches at Southwest Colorado Community College and coaches cross-country.