Holy Cross elections no longer a yawner
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Holy Cross Energy’s elections for its board of director’s seats were once dry affairs that drew interest only from a few insiders at the member-owned utility. No more.
A trend for contested elections started three years ago and has exploded into heavy competition this year. Two of the seven seats on the Holy Cross board are up for election this spring. One race has attracted five candidates and the other lured four.
“The issues of energy and climate and pollution have come to the fore,” said Auden Schendler, vice president of sustainability at the Aspen Skiing Co. and a close observer of the Glenwood Springs-based utility company’s elections and actions. The Skico has recruited and endorsed candidates in recent Holy Cross elections, but Schendler said it is taking a lower profile this year. The elections are obviously drawing substantial interest on their own, he said.
Holy Cross Energy officials said this is the most heavily contested election anyone can remember at the utility. The most candidates in any prior race, at least in recent history, was three.
One seat up for grabs this spring is in Holy Cross’ western district, which includes the area from Glenwood Springs to Marble and south of the Colorado River from New Castle to Battlement Mesa. Incumbent Lynn Dwyer, an alternative energy advocate, is seeking re-election to a three-year term.
Dwyer is facing a challenge from Clem Kopf of Glenwood Springs, Tom McBrayer of Carbondale and Randy Udall of Carbondale.
Kopf is an electrical engineer. McBrayer is the general manager of a company that supplies propane gas. Udall is an energy analyst and a well-known activist in promoting energy sustainability. He was the founding director of the Community Officer for Resource Efficiency in Aspen and Pitkin County.
Five candidates are vying for a northern district seat being vacated by George Shaeffer, who has served for nine years. The candidates are Dan Corcoran of Eagle, Megan Gilman of Minturn, Erik Lundquist of Gypsum, Arn Menconi of Vail and Scott Prince of Avon.
Corcoran is a retired land surveyor; Gilman is the owner of a solar installation company; Lundquist is an engineer and consults on energy efficiency; Menconi is a former Eagle County commissioner; and Prince works for Wells Fargo.
Holy Cross is mailing ballots to its members throughout the Roaring Fork and Eagle valleys the week of May 9. They have to be returned by June 4, or members can vote at the June 4 annual meeting. Candidate biographies will also be mailed to members next week in the utility company’s Consumer Connection newsletter.
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