PEC Member Karen Huber
To My Fellow PEC Members,
Your vote is seriously important in this year’s election of officers, so please pay careful attention — especially to the District 5 election.
This email may sound rather long and heated but I am very unhappy about James Oakley’s current leadership at PEC and I want to tell you why.
James Oakley currently serves as the PEC Board President and Judge of Burnet County. He was first elected to the PEC Board in 2013. Then in 2014 he ran for and was elected Burnet County Judge. Ignoring many requests (including mine) that he resign after the judge election due to “conflict of interest,” he refused to do so. Now he is running for re-election to the PEC Board.
As a former Travis County Commissioner, I believe public sector elected officials (like county judges and commissioners) should be responsive to their entire electorate. Holding another elected office that may represent the same area as a public office but also include areas beyond that area I believe constitutes a serious opportunity for “conflict of interest” in representation. There are occasions when the political office indeed could conflict with PEC member needs.
For example, PEC is in the midst of a review and long-term planning for regionalization off its brick & mortar properties. Agreeably, they own too many and should divest and consolidate. So how does a serving county judge not have a conflict of interest when it comes to the possibility of closing an office in his PEC Board Director district that is outside his county judge geography while supporting the option to build a new $15 million PEC building in his county? This type of conflict of interest can occur often and I believe is not what we want to exist in our PEC leadership.
Since being on the PEC Board, Judge Oakley has worked hard to “politicize” PEC elections – working to obtain a majority who represent his “partisan interests” on the board and subsequently passing amendments to PECs bylaws that allow PEC member voting information to be shared with Board candidates. Indeed, his endorsements on his candidate page of the PEC is entirely populated by partisan elected officials. While some of these folks are my friends, too, I do not believe that PEC should be run by partisan politics. Wouldn’t you rather see endorsements from non-partisan or multi-partisan local groups of PEC members who have vetted a candidate’s interest in member utility concerns? You will see how much the Oakley campaign resembles a political campaign when you receive his emails and mailers. They are slick!
This partisan focus is raising PEC elections to a very expensive level, suggesting candidates’ obligations to major campaign contributors and perhaps industry orientation, rather than to one of PEC members” interests. PEC covers 8,100 square miles of Texas, representing a variety of partisan politics and PEC members deserve/should have their utility interests represented by those known to them as member-friendly — not run by politicos.
Friends of PEC has endorsed Carlos Palasciano for District 5
. The Friends of PEC is a group of concerned PEC members — many were instrumental in precipitating the initial changes at PEC with the ousting of Bennie Fuelberg. Check out their website — especially “Destroying a Co-op” which discusses current activities with which we should all be concerned. https://friendsofpec.org
PEC District 5 Candidate, Carlos Palasciano
There is definitely “smoke” here with some flames already flickering. James Oakley’s management style is not dissimilar to Bennie Fuelberg’s. I sincerely believe it is time to make a change in Districts 5’s representation before the PEC finds itself back where it was during the Fuelberg regime – at the expense of PEC members. Change will NOT be easy in this election as Oakley has a well organized and oiled political machine. EVERY VOTE will count to be able to make this change.
I will definitely be voting for Carlos Palasciano
, Oakley’s opponent, and encourage you to do so, too. Here is a link to his website: http://www.carlospalasciano.com
Your ballot should have recently arrived in the mail! You can vote either online at the PEC website …. directvote.net/PEC…. or fill out the paper ballot and return it in the mail.
There also is a critical ballot issue that will ensure YOUR RIGHT TO SPEAK at PEC meetings. I urge you to vote YES.
Thank you for voting in this EXTREMELY IMPORTANT PEC election.
Please feel free to pass this email on to other PEC members.
PEC Member and
Former Travis County Commissioner, Pct. 3