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VEA candidates to meet virtually

Updated March 10, 2021 - 12:23 am

Candidates vying for Valley Electric Association Inc.’s District 1 seat are scheduled to meet via a virtual platform on Thursday for “candidates night.”

The field of three candidates includes incumbent Michelle Caird, Pahrump resident Bill Carns and former board member for District 1, Pete Gazsy.

Gazsy, who resigned from his seat in May 2019 as he was facing a potential recall election at that time, returns to the ticket. Gazsy held the seat for over a decade before his resignation.

Gazsy was one of six board members to leave the board for various reasons, including resignations and retirements, in 2019.

Valley came under fire in early 2019 after an investigation by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office was launched over allegations of financial improprieties. No members of the board at that time, which included Gazsy, were ever charged or arrested over the investigation.

Former Valley CEO Angela Evans was arrested on suspicion of embezzlement in early 2019 after a search warrant was served at Valley, but Nye County District Attorney Chris Arabia declined charges.

After Gazsy resigned, Caird was named by Valley’s board in June 2019 to the then vacant role.

Both Caird and Gazsy will also face a challenge from Carns, a Nevada resident since 1980 and Pahrump resident since 2005, according to information on Valley’s website. Carns has an undergraduate degree in business management and a background in business and investigation, which “he sees as a benefit to answering some of the lingering questions regarding VEA’s direction and some of the past confusion,” his candidate profile states.

“As one of the thousands of member-owners of the VEA co-op, he shares the vested interest in securing a strong organizational base for VEA by eliminating risks, securing the necessary assets, sourcing, and finalizing long-term, reliable, and affordable power streams, and streamlining the processes and internal structuring of VEA.”

Gazsy first came to Valley’s board in 2008. In Pahrump, he’s worked as a substitute teacher and a para-professional for the Nye County School District for over 12 years. He has also been a general contractor locally.

Gazsy holds an associates of applied science in offset lithography and business management from New York Community College (Voorhees Technical Institute), according to his candidate profile on Valley’s website.

Caird has a long history in the power industry. She was a board member of Inland Power and Light Co. in eastern Washington for 18 years and was the first female president in Inland Power’s 73-year history.

Caird has other board experience for co-ops and has experience in accounting, contract management, government and criminal justice. She has served on the board of the Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce and chairs the Pahrump Valley Public Transportation Committee and is treasurer for the Nye County Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

To sign up and attend the District 1 virtual candidates’ night event, head to https://vea.coop/elections/2021-district-elections/2021-candidates-night/

The event starts at 6 p.m.

The winner of the District 1 seat will be announced during the District 1 annual district meeting on April 29. Valley’s District 3 seat is also up for re-election, where Rob Shirley is running unopposed.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com

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