There was a changing of the guard Wednesday on the La Plata Electric Association board of directors.
Board members elected in recent years on an alternative energy/conservation platform now hold all four top positions on what is called the executive committee.
The “green” camp’s rise was hinted at in 2012 when Heather Erb and Britt Bassett were elected. Then last year, Michael Rendon, Jack Turner and Mark Garcia defeated “old guard” candidates.
The sway of the newcomers was evident Wednesday.
As board members prepared to choose officers after the recent election, Tom Compton made a motion to retain the current leadership – Davin Montoya as chairman, Erb as vice chairwoman, Rendon as secretary and Joe Wheeling as treasurer.
Rendon withdrew as a contender, and Compton’s motion failed. It then was decided to fill the positions separately by nomination.
Rendon’s reason for removing himself as a candidate for secretary became apparent. He said he had been approached by other board members about running for president.
Rendon acknowledged his short tenure on the LPEA board, but he cited his experience as a city councilor and mayor of Durango and his leadership in other organizations.
Rendon characterized himself as a bridge builder and facilitator and said he is a “fit” for the current situation LPEA faces.
He expanded on the topic during a break, saying he is in step with a national trend toward renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.
In the ensuing voting, Rendon unseated Montoya. Erb was kept on as vice chairwoman, Jeff Berman, an early “green,” was elected secretary and Garcia took the treasurer’s job.
The only balloting for which the vote tally was announced was the 6-5 edge that gave Erb – absent Wednesday because she had a baby Saturday – the vice chairmanship. The numbers were announced because Berman made a motion – approved 6-5 – to that effect.
Otherwise, only the name of the winner was announced.
The newest board member, Bob Lynch, was seated Wednesday. Relatively unknown when he defeated incumbent Ken Fox this year, Lynch voted with the majority.
It remains to be seen how board members will vote on upcoming issues. But philosophically, renewable-energy proponents seem to hold a 7-5 advantage.