After considering 17 applications and holding rounds of interviews for two vacancies, the members of the Delta-Montrose Electric Association Board of Directors selected two men to join them.

Kevin Williams of Montrose was appointed to represent service District 5, filling a seat left empty by the death this summer of Chris Hauck. Jacob Gray of Paonia was appointed to District 3, which Brad Harding had represented until he moved out of the DMEA service territory.

“It was a long process, but a necessary one,” Board President Kyle Martinez said Tuesday, during the board’s Zoom meeting. “Once again, we have a full board. I think you’ll find this is a very good organization. We have a very good board here.”

Martinez welcomed the two new directors and said everyone was looking forward to working with them. Later during the meeting, both were added to the board’s Member Relations Committee and Martinez moved to the Finance and Regulation Committee to make room for them.

DMEA further introduced its new chief financial officer, Gail Gouker. She said she is looking forward to her role with the cooperative and remarked that she appears to have joined it at an “exciting time.” Gouker’s remarks followed a presentation by CEO Alyssa Clemsen Roberts, who discussed a cyber security attack on the co-op’s internal network in November. (See related story.)

Board members earlier decided to set DMEA’s annual meeting for June 16, 2022. The meeting date is also election day for the next board of directors candidates and incumbents who seek reelection.

Board members further decided to stay with Survey and Ballot Systems as the credential committee that will run the election and with Dalby, Wendland & Co. as the holding company that will securely store voted ballots until SBS collects them for off-site counting.

This time around, directors also had to consider options for the type of election that will take place: web-only; onsite voting on meeting day with mail-in ballots (as was the case this year), or a hybrid option combining the three.

Board member Bill Patterson said he was leery of holding an all-electronic vote.

“Judging from the current controversy over elections, I would opt to stick with having a paper ballot so it can be retained and counted,” he said.

“I’m not sure how we can mix that and end up having it be electronic, but I do feel we should end up having a paper ballot, so if anything comes up — a controversy — we can always come back and count the paper ballots.”

The board appeared to favor that idea, at least for the coming election, although members also expressed a willingness to look into an electronic voting option for the 2023 election.

“I would rather stay out of the controversy (than) to have electronic ballots at this time,” said Patterson.

Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

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