I am writing this letter to recommend Ken Otto for the DMEA board of directors South Region. Ken has extensive experience in the electric utility industry. Working for Western Area Power Administration in Montrose Ken has held many positions with increasing responsibility and accountability. Early on in his career he worked in the engineering and maintenance departments and became well versed in the design, installation and maintenance of high voltage transmission equipment.
Before retiring, Ken was a manager in WAPA's Power Marketing Department where he was responsible for scheduling hydroelectric generation, and the buying and selling of electric energy and necessary transmission rights in the open market to meet the requirements of their non-profit customers. This operation was conducted 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. In this position Ken also worked jointly with other utilities to establish policies and procedures to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the electrical transmission system in the western region of the United States. He achieved the respect of his peers in the industry. I feel that this knowledge and experience uniquely qualifies Ken for DMEA's board.
Some of the other board candidates do not appear to understand how the cooperative model works and the value that DMEA receives from being a member of Tri-State G&T. They want DMEA to break their contract with Tri-State and contract with for-profit power broker "Guzman Energy" for DMEA's energy needs. To date only one member has exited Tri-State, Kit Carson Electric Association in New Mexico. The first year after leaving Tri-State Kit Carson increased their rates by 21 percent. In addition to not wanting to see huge rate increases in the future, I do not want to see our local cooperative changed to an investor owned utility, which is essentially what will happen if Guzman pays for DMEA's costs to break its contract with Tri-State.
With his experience Ken understands that all costs need to be considered before determining if it is in DMEA's best interest to leave Tri-State including the costs for transmission wheeling, transmission equipment maintenance, and the costs associated with government regulatory requirements as a transmission equipment owner.
Ballots for the DMEA election were mailed out on May 28. Members can cast their vote by mail by completing and returning their ballots; voting in person at the annual meeting; or by bringing their completed ballot to a DMEA office and placing it in a secure ballot box.
Please join me in casting your ballot for Ken Otto in the DMEA board election.