I take issue with Rappahannock Electric Cooperative spokesman Matt Faulconer’s comments last week regarding Repower REC’s effort to improve transparency and democracy at the cooperative. The central question here is whether REC should be blocking member-owners from putting common sense reform proposals before the full body of its member-owners for its consideration.
The “full respect” Mr. Faulconer claims is already being accorded to its members is empty if it does not include being open to a full airing of the concerns of well-informed members in a position to be more knowledgeable than most of us on the current status of REC. Whatever minor cost burden an airing of these concerns might impose on members is well worth it in the name achieving transparency now lacking in REC’s governance.
Mr. Faulconer argues that Repower REC’s reforms are about “process and personal preferences, not substance.” There is fine line between process and substance when the existing process preludes members from placing substantive issues on a ballot before all member-owners.
Moreover, calling Repower REC’s co-founders members a “special interest group” is absurd. One of the three co-founders served on REC’s board for more than three years. Standing up for co-op members’ rights hardly qualifies as being a special interest group. I’m happy to be a supporter of a group that’s demanding fair elections, member rights and financial transparency at our cooperative and hope that others will join me. Bravo Repower REC!