--- by Kit Jones & Lois Lester
Hello MEA Members and Supporters
As most of you know by now, on Monday April 13, the MEA Board of Directors made the decision to order the firing of two members of the MEA Management team, Tuckerman Babcock and Bruce Scott. We also have begun the process of ending the employment of General Manager Wayne Carmony. These are not actions taken lightly, but with great deliberation and only after having exhausted all options for cooperation.
Many of you have asked me why we took these extraordinary steps so close to the election since it could hurt our chances at the polls. The only response I can give is this.
We weren't chosen to serve on this Board so that we could keep working for re-election. Nor were we chosen to rubber-stamp a management run amok. We were chosen to serve as the voice of the Membership and to make the hard choices based on all the available information.
December 31, 2014 gets closer every day. That is a deadline created by our General Manager when he chose to end the long-term power purchase agreement that for decades has given us the cheapest power of any Railbelt electrical co-op. By that date we must have either built an electrical generation facility on our own or with partners, or have negotiated a new purchase agreement from another electrical producer. Those are the only options, and as they say, time waits for no one.
We were faced with a staff that kept information from the Board, wouldn't answer questions fully, continually found ways around fulfilling Board directives, and ignored our instructions when they didn't want to comply. We've spent the past eight months trying to correct this situation, but it has become clear that the problem isn't going away. MEA faces too many challenges to allow this to continue.
We don't get to stop doing what is in the best interest of the co-op just because it's election season and it could cost us votes. If doing our jobs and making the tough choices hurts our chances at re-election, then so be it.
Some things are just more important than winning elections.