Editorial: Vote!

It seems an odd time of year to encourage readers to vote, but this is not politics as usual. This is business.

For most readers are now members of the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC). As in effect shareholders, you are entitled to elect your own board of directors.

People like to complain. And one of the things they like to complain about is their utilities, particularly their electric service. Certainly, this newspaper has received a large number of complaints about the REC since its acquisition of Allegheny Power customers in the county.

Now is the opportunity to turn those complaints into constructive action. In past elections, typically less than 10 percent of eligible REC voters actually did vote. Let’s beat that participation rate and show the REC that we’re not just complainers but genuinely care.

It’s too late to vote by mail. So you can either go to the annual meeting in Spotsylvania County on Saturday, Aug. 14, or hand-deliver your proxy to an REC office by 5 p.m. today, Thursday, Aug. 12. (For more information, see this story.)

We recommend you cast your vote for energy expert Robert G. (Rob) Marmet, who lives just across the river in Fauquier County near Marshall. He is an attorney who works as a senior energy analyst at Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC). He has worked as both outside and in-house legal counsel for rural telecommunications cooperatives and helped lead the fight against the new power transmission line on the eastern edge of Rappahannock County.

Based upon both his past words and deeds, we believe Marmet will bring much needed transparency together with energy efficiency and sustainable energy solutions to the REC board of directors.

But bottom line, whom you vote for matters less than the act of voting itself. That always beats complaining.

Walter Nicklin