I see where the Board of Directors received yet another palaverous, single-spaced tome of a letter from PEC member Bob Rodi this week. Rodi first made his presence known to PEC four or five years ago. He appeared at the July 2015 board meeting today. It has been a long dry stretch since Mr. Rodi last wrote which might explain why his words reveal a dated tone. I know the board received his 8-page, single-spaced letter because Rodi shared it, along with his 7-page resume with member- provocateur, Ernest Altgelt. Altgelt, PEC’s monthly carnival barker, in turn, made it a public letter by sending it to the news media in San Antonio and Austin. Classy fellow, Mr. Altgelt.
Rodi, apparently an unwitting casualty of his own hubris, did not disappoint on this occasion. His is a multi-page, single-spaced indictment of all that is wrong with PEC– how it operates in secrecy, how it has failed to compete in the new energy order, how it spends lavishly, how cost impact studies are never done, how it lets its members down… if only they would listen to someone like ME, he pleads, everything would be phantasmagorical.
Mr. Rodi asked for but was denied extra time to make his comments today. He was given three minutes and proceeded to utter very little. I have a rule I follow in life–if one can’t make a convincing pitch on a 3-floor elevator ride, then one may not possess a clear idea.
When I was on the board I implored members to have a point. Cut to it! Tell us what you want. We are not Medieval monks with a spare afternoon to sit in seclusion and wade through dissertations. In his eternal letter Mr. Rodi laments the fact that “there was no collective Board response” in the past regarding his “perceptions, recommendations, or offers” and that his multiple attempts always drew silence. I wonder why. Could it have had something to do with Mr. Rodi’s not-so-subtle attempts to gain either employment or a consulting post at PEC as he was making his “recommendations”? Is it possible that Mr. Rodi still harbors his old fantasies of gainful employment or consulting work at PEC now that the board and its power center has changed hands?
For his part, Mr. Altgelt is using Rodi’s letter to demand that PEC management respond verbatim to the Rodi indictment. This is a rabbit hole unworthy of pursuit. I hope CEO John Hewa and the board put both documents in a pie and bake it. While PEC has not heard from Rodi in a few years, he seems to view the retirement of Patrick Cox and my defeat at the polls as a turning point for his fondest hopes of leading PEC to a new promised land. He seems to believe that this would be a great time for the Board to start all over under his tutelage.
Here is my three-floor-elevator-ride retort to Mr. Rodi. The same goes to some of the other regular gasbags who have dominated the center of an echo chamber in PEC meetings over the last 6 years: The election of 2015 does NOT, as Mr. Rodi suggests, indicate a “growing discontent” among member-owners. It was NOT a referendum favoring customer choice–a fool’s errand if ever there was. It was not a signal to retreat from the renewable energy resolution passed by the board last March.
To the contrary, research suggests that most members are satisfied with PEC–a finding that is borne out over and over. Let the word go forth. New voices, drowned in the past by the cacophony of these half-informed bloviator-loons, will be heard. Mine will be one of them. PEC has members who see the world differently than the echo chamber noisemakers of the past. These new voices plan to be very vocal. They favor more renewable energy, more control over their energy bills, capital credits and reliable service. Contrary to myth, PEC rates are NOT the highest in the state–far from it. If PEC members did pay a couple bucks more a month than someone else in the universe, it does not mean the cooperative is an abject failure! PEC is a leader among electric cooperatives in Texas and the nation by almost any way you measure it. PEC members have a good deal and they know it.