Fellow West Oregon Electric Cooperative (WOEC) member/owners: Long power outages are dangers to our health, livelihoods and quality of life. Board of directors’ policy and priorities are crucial aspects of how this is managed.

I am running for the District 5 board of directors seat, but all members vote for all directors. My goals and values: Continuing the ongoing upgrade of service, a commitment to really hearing all members, fiscal responsibility and accountability, and sustainability of the co-op.

My promise: To meet members directly at least three times a year in different locations in the district (all members welcome), bringing managers along. If we can’t answer your concerns immediately, we’ll take your contact information to get you solid answers.

I won’t promise to magically drop the rates, but I’m open to new cost-effective technologies. Rates are primarily based on indispensable personnel and equipment — both maintenance and replacement.

We still pay for recent massive storm/flood damage. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) payouts only cover 75 percent, and only for locations declared disaster areas. The only source of income for the co-op is what we members pay.

I’ve been attending board meetings for the past year, as well as learning about America’s electrical grid system, studying our own co-op’s history, and reviewing cooperative law.

Please review my candidate statement that comes with the ballot mailed July 27 to see how I contribute to my community on an ongoing basis since 2004, and consider voting for me. I’ll hit the ground running, doing my best to help us all thrive.

ERIKA PALECK

Vernonia

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