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HEA candidates share some thoughts; District 3: John M. Standefer

Posted: Friday, May 02, 2003

The election for the HEA co-op board of directors is drawing to a close for another year and final votes may still be cast in Homer at the annual meeting on May 7.

The possibility of electing two new board members exists, or if you like the way things are going the seated members will be re-elected for another three years. Hopefully, the basic mission for our co-op will not change regardless of who is elected, for providing electricity to its members at the lowest possible rate remains its core mission.

Some changes are, however, already on the drawing board for HEA. The LLC venture which will provide telephone line installation and possibly cable will add a new dimension to its mission, whether it takes away or adds to the viability of our co-op remains to be seen.

I do not profess to be an expert on these issues; in fact, it's usually wise for me to stay no closer to electricity than the light switch or the safe end of a defibrillator. However, I do have an agenda that I am willing to work toward for our co-op if

elected.

Most importantly is the rededication to our core mission. Secondly, I would like to encourage more interest in renewable energy sources right here on the Kenai, and lastly more encouragement and greater involvement and ideas from our members who have a real stake in the future of HEA.

There are important political and legal wranglings going on at the national level to open up all co-ops to competitive marketing for electricity. In other words, if PG&E of California wanted to enter our markets here they could theoretically do so under the provisions introduced by two Texas representatives. Ironically, they exclude Texas from that type of competition in their legislation. Sounds like a large pile of Texas doublespeak is about to fall on our heads if we aren't ready. Keep it local may soon have more meaning than just the grocery store.

What's the bottom line?

We all need to support our local co-op or in the future we may see it consumed by high finance maneuvers and politics as usual.

Since coming to Alaska in 1976 I have had the good fortune to work or live in several communities, Seldovia, Ninilchick, Kenai, Soldotna and Cohoe Loop and there isn't anywhere on earth I would rather live than here. I am an Alaskan and I wouldn't have it any other way. Think about it and thanks for your time.



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