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LPEA ‘transparent, accountable culture’

LPEA Policy 105(II) Disclaimer: Although I am current director at LPEA, this letter is my personal opinion. I am not speaking on behalf of the cooperative or its board of directors. Neither La Plata Electric Association nor its board of directors takes a position of support or opposition for any individual candidate for a board election.

In her guest column on Sunday, Susan Atkinson wrote, “Witchel was appointed to the board and never elected.”

This is incorrect. I was elected last year in an uncontested election. Previously, I was appointed by the LPEA board in a competitive process to finish the term of a director who resigned.

Additionally, she incorrectly conflates, “Purser’s statement that LPEA ‘entered into contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars’ ” with “the LPEA board passed a resolution to allow staff to negotiate and finalize a power supply contract.” Those are two fundamentally different stages of a contract negotiation process by design.

It should be self-evident to everyone why it would undermine our negotiating position to publish the staff’s decision matrix or publicly share the play-by-play of a competitive RFP (request for proposals).

John Purser, and by proxy Atkinson, are promoting the idea the LPEA board lacks accountability. That is simply not true.

The meetings are public and recorded for everyone to watch: www.lpea.coop/lpea-board-directors-resources

All our resolutions and meeting minutes are also posted there.

We have open lines of communication for fact checking: www.lpea.coop/lpea-fact-checker

We hold an public annual meeting which is also video recorded: www.lpea.coop/annual-meeting

All of our policies and bylaws, and even our articles of incorporation are published: www.lpea.coop/lpea-policies-and-bylaws

Every single board member’s email is published here: https://lpea.coop/board-directors

And lastly, our annual audited financials are all published in the annual report each year, which you can read here: www.lpea.coop/annual-reports

All that feels like an organization working very honestly – and thoughtfully – to create a transparent and accountable culture.

John Witchel