Changes To Opalco Election Process Approved

No more voting on the ferry; Districts remain unchanged
Full membership to vote if changes to districts or board make-up proposed

opalco-logoAfter hearing from the membership at OPALCO open house events, the Board approved a number of the changes to the election process that were proposed by a volunteer Member Review Committee. Beginning in 2017, all voting will be by electronic (online) or mail-in ballot. The era of voting on the boat is over in order to have a more substantive and informational annual meeting on the ferry. Voting districts will remain as they stand and members will continue to vote in every election, not by district.

“At the Open House events,” said Vince Dauciunas, Board President, “we heard loud and clear from our members: ‘one member: one vote’ across all districts. On the issue of equity in voting districts, the membership appears to be divided. We will continue to study this issue and give members ample opportunity to participate in the discussion.”

The Board reached consensus on a number of changes to the election process, as outlined below in brief:

  • Institute more member information meetings during the year.
  • Stagger the terms from each voting district (rather than electing all directors from each district during the same year), so that almost all members vote each year on at least one director position.
  • Create a standing Elections and Governance Committee to oversee board nominations and provide ongoing reviews of board compensation, bylaws and election process.
  • Adjust the elections timeline to provide more time for nominating directors by petition and update the required number of petition signers from 15 to 20.
  • Adopt a series of clarifying “housekeeping” changes to the provisions of the Bylaws that relate to elections. These proposed bylaw amendments will be voted on at the November board meeting.

During the regular board meeting, the Board set the date of the Annual Meeting for Saturday, May 6th and the close of elections for Thursday, May 4th at 10:00 am PST.

A more detailed account of the election changes is posted at Detailed materials from board meetings, results of the recent Open House events and the Committee’s full report and recommendations are available in OPALCO’s Resource Library online:


Orcas Power & Light Cooperative (OPALCO) is our member-owned cooperative electric utility, serving more than 11,000 members on 20 islands in San Juan County. OPALCO provides electricity that is 95% greenhouse-gas free and is generated predominantly by hydroelectric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937.

Posted on October 25, 2016 at 5:34 am by

Categories: Community
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