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Letters to editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

How to promote positive change for co-op, members

Please note that this Letter to the Editor is meant to reach a broad base of Valley Electric Association (VEA) members, including board directors and employees. The intent is to further open the discussion and find resolution on some of the real pressing issues that are expressed by members on the relative health of VEA as an electric power cooperative. Most of these VEA member concerns have been in orbit around board of director management oversight and governance for quite a while.

It appears that many of these member concerns are justified.

As I’ve outlined in two prior postings on www.nextdoor.com (March 16th and May 12th) the focus should be to “look forward and consider proposed next steps.” When strategically planned and properly conducted this focus will create an environment for positive change within VEA and its service territories. Board directors, members and employees are encouraged to find common ground and work together in developing solutions that can benefit all members and their VEA communities.

Much can be done!

In these two earlier postings, I pointed out some concerns and introduced a partial list of issues that could be considered as possible next steps for solutions. Some of this list includes:

■ Keep politics and outside influence out of VEA – direct policies, procedures, processes and mechanisms should always reflect the guiding principles that serve and benefit members

■ Conduct a full assessment of prior “mistakes” in board decisions and VEA actions – work together as members and resolve to “right the ship” with prioritized actions for results

■ Tariff structure, methodology, costs, pricing and rates should adequately reflect customer demand and supply – there are at least 30 different technical and social elements that must be studied, reviewed and fully considered in public hearings and technical hearings

■ Be very careful in electing / appointing board director candidates – certain well-intentioned members with clear ongoing extreme agendas could further poison the board’s well

■ Natural monopoly utilities must always be properly audited – members need to have full accountability in management, administration and operations decisions that approve procurements, pricing and costs of services, supplies and equipment

■ Balance in decision-making by board directors must mirror all of the related issues – at least 8-10 parameters should be apparent and reflected in all board decisions

■ The bylaws do not adequately reflect the clarity and certainty that is needed for the board and VEA to operate – draft revisions should be considered to fill the holes, gaps and voids

■ Create an open-access Docketing and Information Repository System (DIRS) to timely facilitate access to filed public documents and empower stronger member participation on VEA issues

■ Norms and standards for customer services should be closely evaluated and monitored – members should expect reliable and sustainable services that are always timely responsive

■ Strong knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated board members are needed – consider those that are well-informed on electric power natural monopoly activities, can clearly communicate their vision and expectations, and provide exceptional leadership in community development

■ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) must be measured and closely observed – otherwise improvements in efficiency and effectiveness cannot be tracked and recorded

■ Communications, public outreach and transparency are key for board directors – to fully demonstrate this, maybe directors should have their photo on a local billboard in their service territories with contact information and a caption that asks, “How am I doing?”

■ To be prepared for the near future, study and create a means to empower individual customers in the direct purchase and sale of competitive electric power commodity market supplies

■ Strengthen expertise and develop a presence in the wholesale electric power market, as both a buyer and a seller (i.e., marketers, brokers, traders) to facilitate power purchase agreements and the development of commodity capacity transmission and storage agreements

■ Strengthen expertise and introduce smart grid technologies that enable real-time customer decision-making on electric power resource demand, usage and conservation measures

This is just a short illustrative list of proposals and challenges for the board, employees and members to consider. Of course, financial analyses, budget review, resource expertise, technology capabilities, management vision and a number of other conditions may need to be closely considered and verified through open public and technical hearings/meetings.

Maybe this all sounds like “gobbledygook”?

Please recognize, however, that electric power is big business that affects all of us in our roles as members, shareholders and customers.

The depth and breadth of electric power generation, transmission and distribution all translates back to member demand and supply (and tariff rates).

After all, we pay for everything!

J. Michael Biddison

VEA District 1 Member

It is better to be safe than like Las Vegas

This is in response to frustrated driver (Pam Crawford). Maybe you should read the Nevada driver’s handbook before you tell people to read all the words.

Second, if driving 10 mph less for a couple hundred yards is an inconvenience, take another route.

Third, and last but not least, if people slowing down is one of your biggest complaints in life, then lady you’ve got it pretty good!

I’d rather slow down for five minutes to ensure pedestrians safety than to end up like Vegas in pedestrian deaths.

Ralph Rice

Passing of AB186 tragic for rural areas of state

I saw on the news that the Democrats in the Nevada Legislature passed AB186, which in essence overrides the votes of all the citizens of Nevada that do not vote the same as the national vote.

Obviously the Democrats have forgotten that we are a democratic republic so that majority rule doesn’t destroy minority communities or states. In the current environment every Republican and independent voter in Nevada will have their vote disregarded due to the Democratic majority.

This vote by the Democrats shows that they hate President Trump more than they love the United States.

Danny Griggs

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