Valley Electric Association Inc.’s board of directors named a replacement for its vacant District 2 seat in mid-November.
Bonnie Groenert, a former postmaster, was appointed to Valley’s District 2 seat, according to a Nov. 15 news release from Valley. Groenert will be sworn in during Valley’s Nov. 21 board meeting.
Groenert exclaimed she was “excited” over the appointment and is “energized to serve” in Valley’s release.
“My public visibility is well established, being the postmaster in Amargosa for the past 13 years,” she said in the release.
Groenert replaces former board president Dave Hall, who resigned from his position in early October, citing family health issues.
Hall had served on the board since 2016 and was re-elected to a three-year term in 2019, where Groenert will serve out the unexpired portion.
Hall was the target of a members’ group known as VEA Members for Change, which launched a petition drive in February to remove all six of Valley’s directors at that time. The group rose following a rise in broadband and residential electricity rates for the co-op’s members.
The other five directors targeted by the group have resigned or retired for various reasons over the past several months. Dave Dawson, former District 6 director for Valley, was the most recent to announce his retirement in early November.
Valley Electric’s board is still in the process of appointing a replacement for Dawson. Applications for his open seat are still being accepted. Dawson’s term was set to expire in spring 2020, when he was up for re-election.
Groenert’s interest in the position grew out of Valley’s expansion of things like broadband in the Nye County area.
“The exciting things done by (VEA) in the past few years have invigorated my interest,” Groenert said in the release.
“Bringing high-speed internet service to Amargosa Valley has been a ‘huge improvement to my life’ and to others,” she said in Valley’s release.
Groenert worked to keep her post office open during the 2009 postal reorganization, where the Amargosa Valley location was slated to be closed, according to Valley’s release.
“I was able to prevent the closing of the Amargosa Valley post office by urging community responses to their representative,” she said in the co-op’s release. “As a board member, I’ll try to get others involved. I’ll be reaching out to members in Amargosa any way I can think of.”
Her seat will be up for re-election in the spring of 2022.
“Board President Kathleen Keyes cited Groenert’s experience as postmaster and involvement in the Amargosa community as primary reasons for her appointment,” the co-op’s release stated.
“We believe that Bonnie will be a good liaison between VEA and the membership in her district, and she will be a great representative for Amargosa Valley,” Keyes said in the release.
Groenert retired from her position as postmaster in December 2018.
She has board experience, serving as vice president of the United Postmasters and Managers of America for Nevada (UPMA) chapter for 12 years. She served as secretary/treasurer for the Amargosa Amateur Radio Club for 10 years and is also a former member of the VEA Ambassador Program, according to the co-op’s release.
Groenert has lived in Amargosa Valley for roughly 13 years and has two sons who live in Las Vegas.
Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at email@example.com On Twitter @MeehanLv
At a glance
- Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) is a member-owned nonprofit electric utility headquartered in Pahrump.
- While VEA started as a small rural electric utility in 1965, the company now provides electric service to more than 45,000 people (18,000 member-consumers) within a vast 6,800-square-mile service area located primarily along the California-Nevada line, with the majority in Nevada.
- Valley Communications Association (VCA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of VEA, began providing high-speed communications to our member-owners in the spring of 2016.
- VEA’s service area starts in Sandy Valley, southwest of Las Vegas, and extends north for more than 250 miles to Fish Lake Valley. For more information about VEA, visit www.vea.coop
Source: Valley Electric Association