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Nye County rural electric co-op’s board to see shifts

Updated October 17, 2019 - 4:01 pm

Valley Electric Association Inc.’s board of directors will have some new faces in the coming months.

Dave Hall, Valley Electric Inc.’s board president and District 2 director, resigned from his position on Monday due to family health issues. The resignation was effective immediately.

“I have found being a member and president of the board both fulfilling and challenging,” Hall said in a news release from Valley. “I wish the board success in the many difficult decisions needing to be made.”

Valley also announced on Monday the incoming director for the vacant seat in District 3.

Valley’s board of directors has tapped the former general manager at the Beatty Water and Sanitation District, Rob Shirley. Shirley left his position at the water district earlier in 2019.

“We are really excited to have Rob join the board,” said Board Vice President Kathy Keyes, and District 4 director for Valley Electric (Fish Lake Valley), in a news release. “We had three excellent candidates to choose from, and Rob stood out for his utility experience, his community involvement in Beatty and for his interest in helping move VEA forward as a co-op.”

Shirley replaces Rick Johnson, District 3 director who resigned due to health reasons in early September.

Board shifts

Hall is one of five board members to resign in 2019 for various reasons.

“Though I certainly understand Dave’s reasons for stepping down, we will miss his steady hand and deep knowledge of the needs of the members in District 2, who he served with distinction,” said Kathy Keyes, vice president of Valley’s board and District 4 director.

Valley has begun the process of locating an appointee to succeed Hall.

As of Monday, the deadline for applications to the position had not been determined, and a date of when a new board member was expected to be appointed by the remaining board members to fill Hall’s seat had not been determined, either, according to information from Keyes in Valley Electric’s release.

In addition to the resignations, Dave Dawson, Valley’s District 6 (north Pahrump) director, announced he is not seeking re-election for a fifth term in early October. His seat will be up for re-election in the spring of 2020.

Dawson and Hall have both been targets of a members’ group known as VEA Members for Change, which launched a petition to remove Valley’s six directors, at that time, in February 2018. All the directors targeted by Members for Change have resigned since the group launched for various reasons, except Dawson.

Members for Change is actively working to remove Dawson through a petition drive.

In addition to spring elections for Dawson’s seat, Valley Electric will also hold an election for its District 5 seat in the spring.

The District 5 seat is currently held by Terrie D’Antonio, who was also previously named as interim CEO. According to prior releases, D’Antonio will take the helm on Nov. 1, replacing current Interim CEO Dick Peck, who has held the role since March 2019.

Valley expects to have the CEO role filled by Thanksgiving, Peck said in previous interviews.

District 3 seat

Notices for the open District 3 seat, which covers Beatty, Sarcobatus Flat and Scotty’s Junction, were mailed out the first week of September. Applications were accepted through Sept. 27, according to Valley.

Valley’s release stated, “Shirley said he became interested in the open board seat after several members in the Beatty area asked him to consider applying for the position.”

Shirley was one of three candidates interviewed for the open position on Oct. 2. Valley’s board voted unanimously to appoint Shirley to the position the same day, according to Valley’s release.

The District 3 seat is up for re-election in 2021, according to Valley.

Shirley will be sworn in at Valley Electric’s next board meeting on Oct. 17.

“I am encouraged by the direction the cooperative is now headed, and I look forward to working with the current board members to continue that momentum,” said Shirley in Valley’s release.

Shirley currently serves on the Valley Electric finance committee. He is expected to remain in that position after joining the board, according to Valley’s release.

Shirley’s experience

Shirley departed from Beatty’s Water and Sanitation District earlier this year, a position he’d been in since 2014, according to Valley.

During his time at the water district, “Shirley helped improve a financially struggling organization through a series of initiatives aimed at making the utility more efficient and effective,” according to Valley Electric’s release.

Prior to that position, Shirley was at the California Rural Water Association, where he trained “operators in passing their certification exam and assist small water systems with technical needs,” according to Valley’s release.

Shirley was the water production manager at the Department of Water Management in Decatur, Illinois from 1999 to 2009. He has also worked at water utilities in Benicia and Santa Clarita, Calif. in the past.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com on Twitter @MeehanLv

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