Ms. Virginia Allen's letter last week criticizing my votes on the DMEA board failed to mention that until late in 2012 she worked for DMEA as director of human resources. In retirement, she continues to work on behalf of her former co-workers by trying to get rid of DMEA directors whose votes challenge DMEA's status quo.
It is Ms. Allen's right to be loyal to some of her former fellow employees. But elected DMEA directors don't work for the DMEA staff. The board must look out for all 32,000 families and businesses who pay their DMEA bills each month. That is why you elect us in elections held each spring.
Until the 2008 recession, DMEA was in part a construction company, with many staff busy designing, financing and extending electric service to new businesses and subdivisions. Now growth is largely gone. As a director, I want to know if DMEA has cut back enough to meet the new construction industry reality.
A director should not make major decisions based on hunches. So last summer, Delta-area director Glen Black and myself began urging our fellow directors to engage an outside firm to examine DMEA's operations. In reaction, large numbers of managers began sitting in on our meetings.
I am guessing that I am not the only director who didn't want to be crosswise with 15 to 20 managers. Voting for an outside study was a tough call. But after months of delay, partly caused by the controversy over Glen Black's alleged conflict of interest, the board voted to hire an outside firm. That study is now underway. I believe Glen Black's real sin was to strongly support an outside study.
I hope the study shows that all is well at DMEA; it is an important organization. But if the board had backed down, there would be no way for you to know how DMEA is operating.