Race for energy board
By Benjamin Graham, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
June 12, 2012
Challengers are vying for seats on the Lower Valley Energy board of directors for the first time since 2009.
Denny Emory, Robert Saunders and Bill Winney are challenging incumbents Ted Ladd and Nancy Winters for two open seats on the board. Ballots have been mailed to members of the energy co-op.
Election results will be announced at 6 p.m. June 28 at a board meeting in Afton. The board presides over the member-own-ed cooperative and is responsible for making policy decisions, such as rate increases.
Ladd is seeking his third consecutive term on the board representing district four, which includes Wilson and the surrounding areas to the north and south. Ladd said he aims to keep long-term costs down and technological progress moving forward, and also supports expanding natural gas service for Lower Valley members.
The only challenger in district four is Emory, who practiced architecture in the valley for 20 years. He served on several Lower Valley Energy member advisory committees and has wanted to run for the district four seat since the last time the seat was open, he said.
Winters, from district three, is finishing her first term. District three covers areas south of Jackson, including Hoback and Alpine.
Her goal is to balance low rates with the community’s future power needs, she said. She would also like to see more natural gas services extended to Star Valley.
Saunders recently retired from 37 years in commercial banking and is also running for the seat. He supports the expansion of natural gas use in the area and believes Lower Valley should look into natural gas fueling stations.
Winney is also competing for the district three seat. He worked in the Navy’s nuclear propulsion program for 30 years. He said he believes Lower Valley is “extra-ordinarily reliable” and would like to make sure its solid track record continues.
A more detailed account of the candidates’ platforms is expected in Wednesday’s Jackson Hole News&Guide.
Candidates entered the race by garnering the signatures of at least 10 Lower Valley Energy members on a petition. The filing deadline for the race ended April 27.
Members’ ballots must be returned no later than 4 p.m. June 28 to Lower Valley. Members can vote in person at the meeting.
All Lower Valley Energy members can participate in the election and do not have to be a resident of a district to vote for that district’s seat. Directors hold their seats for three years.
No challengers submitted applications for the board’s elections in 2010 or 2011. Board members Peter Cook, Rod Jensen and Linda Schmidt secured their seats without facing competition in the last election.