La Plata Electric Association members have until Friday to turn in their ballots for the selection of board members to govern the rural electric cooperative. Recognizing the value of experience and new ideas, The Durango Herald recommends La Plata County residents choose Herb Brodsky and Michael Rendon to represent them on the LPEA board.
Every year, one third of the 12-member board one seat in each of four districts goes before the voters. The Herald takes no position in Archuleta Countys District 1 race. And in District 2, the western and southern portions of La Plata County, there is no contest. Incumbent Tom Compton is running unopposed.
In District 3, the city of Durango, there is no incumbent. Richard Alan Yoder and Michael Rendon are vying for the seat being vacated by Harry Goff, who chose not to run for re-election.
Yoder is a thoughtful candidate who offers a traditional take on the co-ops role. He would focus on maintaining the quality, availability and affordability of power.
But LPEA pretty much has those points covered. And it is Rendon whose vision coincides with where the public is increasingly headed.
Rendon has professional experience working in energy conservation and correctly points out that moving toward renewable energy has overwhelming public support. He would work to develop more local energy sources, in part to help LPEA deal with potential natural disasters and other widespread outages both of which could become more common with climate change.
Moreover, Rendon has a demonstrated ability to work with others, in particular those with whom he does not always agree. That is an uncommon talent, and one that could be of great value on a 12-member board.
District 4 is northern and eastern La Plata County essentially everything north of Highway 160, not including the city of Durango. Herb Brodsky is the incumbent facing off against challenger Jack Turner.
Raised in Durango, Turner is a Fort Lewis College graduate with 30 years experience in geology, hydrology and working with natural resources. He would also work to diversify LPEAs mix of energy sources, including alternatives such as natural gas.
Turners only problem is that he is running against a man with an impeccable personal reputation, decades of experience with LPEA and an even longer track record in business. Brodsky brings the institutional memory of past successes and failures, as well as the disposition to be both decisive and gracious.
Brodsky served on the board for years until losing his seat to Heather Erb. He was then appointed to fill out the term of Pam Patton, who was named to the states Public Utilities Commission. That circuitous path notwithstanding, Brodsky simply brings a level of experience and knowledge too valuable to ignore.
La Plata County members should choose Michael Rendon and Herb Brodsky to represent them on the LPEA board.