Time For Continued Change At IREA

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Joined: 03/06/2011

Time For Continued Change at IREA

IREA has done a good job of serving our community and providing reliable low cost energy.  But right now as our economy is changing, there is an opportunity (actually a need) forIREA to change as well.  Among other things so far this year at IREA, General Manager, Stan Lewandowski retired,  the Director for District 7 (George Hier) retired and the Director District boundaries have been redrawn.


Mr. Hier represented District 7 that was formerly centered around Sedaliaand is now as a result of redrawing the boundaries, located in Parker. Mr. Hier would not have been allowed to serve that area as a Director which is one of the reasons for his retirement.  The area Mr Hier formerly represented has been partially incorporated into District 1. The Director for this District is Michael Kempe.  Mr. Hier’s retirement from the Board because the District map wass redrawn is understandable, but writing a letter criticizing the District 1 Director was wrong, misleading, and inappropriate.    This issue is related to the well known contempt (see, April 22, 2009 Colorado Energy News, or  April 16, 2009 Westword) that Mr. Lewandowski has shown for Mr. Kempe, and his positions on the state’s energy future.   Unfortunately, many on the Board including Mr. Hier have blindly followed this lead. 


IREA is the largest of the twenty two cooperatives or “member owned” utilities in Colorado and the eleventh largest in the country.  The advantages of being a member owned utility are significant: you have a say in what happens through the elected board of directors, and as IREA is not for profit entity, nobody is profiting from your electric bill. 


Being “member owned” also creates an obligation that the members serve as responsible “owners.”  We need to review information concerning issues before our co-operative, and provide input through our Directors to let them know if we agree with their actions and with the direction the organization is headed.   Donating $100,000 to Patrick Michaels, a discredited climate change specialist who disputes the consensus regarding greenhouse gases, is an example of questionable use of resources. 


Ballots for Director elections will be mailed March 10, 2011.  Be sure to check out what is going on at IREA and vote for Directors who will provide real oversight for IREA. 


David Gaige
Senior Environmental Engineer             303.570.8902 cell