I am writing in response to Virginia Allen's letter about the DMEA board changing the bylaw on conflict of interest. The board researched and then made the appropriate change to the bylaw.
Board member Glen Black was correctly reseated. Glen Black was elected in a fair election and should serve out his term.
DMEA's bylaws go back 50 or so years, and in my 12 years on the board they were changed numerous times as needs arose. No organization can run itself on a 50-year-old owner's manual.
I was disappointed that Mrs. Allen, who just retired from a DMEA management position, divided the directors into two groups: the "bad" (cowardly) ones who don't agree with her, and the "good" (courageous) ones who do. I was president of the DMEA board for seven years, until 2011, and I know all of the board directors and served with six of them. I am certain they all voted their consciences after learning the facts of the situation.
Mrs. Allen's letter fails to mention one other controversy — the management audit. Some directors, led I know by Glen Black when he was board president, have pushed for an outside consulting team to study DMEA's board of directors and departments and analyze the efficiencies within the company. Other board members have been reluctant to have an audit. Again, all were following their convictions. I respect all their decisions.
But I personally am pleased that the board majority voted to go ahead with the management audit. A company the size of DMEA ($153 million in total assets) should be open to such scrutiny as a way to be sure that the company is following "best business practices." In fact, the member-owners of DMEA should insist that this type of study be conducted regularly.
Like Mrs. Allen, I also care about the welfare and future of DMEA. It is an outstanding electric co-op because of the hard work done by the many boards of directors, and all of those in management and staff positions that have worked so hard over the years since DMEA's founding in 1938 to provide the best in service, reliability and the most forward-thinking planning. I congratulate the current board for resolving these controversies so that other business can be addressed.
The most important work ahead is to settle the competition between the City of Delta and DMEA. Everyone will lose if the two entities build duplicate substations and power lines. Another issue which is important to all DMEA member-owners is to ensure DMEA rates are not increased in 2013. Utilizing an outside firm to review best business practices will be helpful to the board and staff in analyzing DMEA's efficient use of resources.