Candidates for DMEA director were asked if they would "expand the utility's facilities and base in Delta County" during a League of Women Voters candidate forum at Orchard City on May 8. None of the candidates had specific proposals for re-staffing the Read service center Delta County, nor were any deficiencies in service specified.
Staffing at the Read service center was scaled back in recent years to skeleton crew status to cut costs. Replacement of service representatives with "kiosks" at the Read facility hasn't been popular with some of DMEA's Delta County customers. DMEA now fields and dispatches most of its customer service from the headquarters in Montrose.
The five candidates were also questioned about conflicts of interest any of them would have serving as DMEA directors. None of the candidates said they had a conflict.
A second candidate forum is scheduled for Wednesday, May 16, from 7 to 8 p.m. at DMEA's Montrose headquarters.
Directors in three of DMEA's service districts are up for election to three-year terms. DMEA members will receive ballots in the mail.
In District 1, William "Bill" Patterson and Virgil Turner are running for the seat being vacated by term-limited Ken Norris.
Patterson is a successful businessman and former Montrose County commissioner. Turner is a former Montrose police officer and is currently administrative services director for the City of Montrose.
In District 2, incumbent Brent Hines faces challengers Kay Heinschel and Tammy D. Theis. Hines is a local ag producer who farms in the Pea Green area. Heinschel is a power engineer with 40 years experience who worked for the former Colorado-Ute. Theis, a graduate of Cedaredge high school, is a recently retired staking engineer with over 35 years of service at DMEA.
In District 5, incumbent Marshal Collins is running for re-election unopposed.
Other questions asked during the candidate forum in Orchard City by the two dozen who attended dealt generally with saving energy, recycling "waste energy," DMEA's perceived role in the county, the board's role within DMEA, and other matters.
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