Reform Wasco Electric
Dedicated to making Wasco Electric Co-op, Inc. operate openly, ethically and in the best interest of their ratepayers (also called "members" or "stockholders").
Questions or comments? E-mail Britt Storkson.
Is this what The United States of America has become?
We sued Wasco Electric in an attempt to get information about the company we supposedly "own" as stockholders. What happened suggests that our nation has degenerated to something much closer to a third-world totalitarian state than the America we once knew...One with freedom and justice for all. While we did not get any information about Wasco Electric as a result of the legal actions we did learn a little more about Wasco Electric...None of it good.
1. The Judge in this case did not even pretend to be fair or impartial and we have filed a complaint with the Oregon Commission for Judicial Fitness and disability. This commission recently sanctioned a judge for not deciding a case in a timely manner so we will see how they treat this case.
Judge John Wolf, Wasco County Circuit Court gave Wasco Electric almost everything they wanted and even signed a protective order to protect Wasco Electric Co-op effectively creating a "secret trial". Read the protective order here. You can substitute the words "embarassing information" for the words "sensitive information". This was also another way to jack up the legal costs as everything had to be filed under seal. Just what is it that Wasco Electric is trying to hide? Just what is it that Wasco Electric needs to be protected from? Once Judge Wolf granted a secret trial it was obvious that we were not going to prevail on anything.
We don't have secret trials in this country. At least we didn't until Wasco Electric demanded one. What this meant for us is that we could not talk about this case for the duration of the trial. If we did talk about this case we risked jail time for contempt of court. One of many things that is so insidious about secret trials is that secret trials allow governments or individuals who control government to take your liberty and property and even your life and throw you in prison if you dare to openly question their actions.
Wikipedia says that "Secret trials have been a characteristic of almost every dictatorship of the modern era". Secret or "special" trials were used by Joseph Stalin and Nazi Germany to, among other things, exterminate Jews, the disabled, homosexuals and anybody else they didn't like. See: secret trials and special trials for more information.
2. The Wasco Electric high-priced Portland lawyer charged and was paid by the Wasco Electric ratepayers $130,000.00 for about $2,000.00 worth of legal work. I suppose he could have racked up $130,000.00 by using private jets and limosine service to travel to and from Portland, Oregon where he lives and maintains and office. We simply asked the judge to rule on three points of law. 1.) If Wasco Electric violated the Wasco Electric Bylaws term limits provision, 2.) If Wasco Electric violated the signature authentication pertaining to mail-in ballots for Co-operative board of director elections as provided for in Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 62.265 and 3.) If Wasco Electric should release information about their operations pursuant to ORS 62.440. As I stated in this website some time ago Oregon Electric Co-operatives exists first and foremost to make the lawyer very wealthy and this case simply confirmed what I said some time ago.
When we asked for information in accordance to ORS 62.440 I made an appointment to meet Wasco Electric General Manager Jeff Davis at his office. When I arrived he produced this information request form. Read it here. Basically it says that if I use the information they give me in a way that they don't like however they define it they can sue me and get legal fees. There are several problems with this: This agreement does not bind them to give me anything and the terms are undefined and unlimited. That means that I could sign the agreement and Wasco Electric could sue me claiming that I violated the terms of the agreement and be awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Interestingly when I arrived a Jeff Davis' office he stated that this form was the one they gave to everyone who asked for information including law enforcement agencies. However when questioned under oath in deposition Jeff Davis changed his story and admitted that they produced that information request form just for me.
The applicable statute ORS 62.440 states that "the board (Wasco Electric board of directors) may impose "reasonable" restrictions on the release of information." There are no restrictions in this information agreement, only sanctions. Judge Wolf ruled this information agreement reasonable even though the terms were undefined and unlimited. As far a legal precedent is concerned any document that has terms that are undefined or unlimited are almost never ruled as reasonable. One of the jobs of a Judge is to define and specify what the law is as often law is vague and undefined, and many times is done that way purposely.
Wasco Electric also filed a motion to recover legal fees from me. Even though Wasco Electric knew they were not going to get $130,000.00 out of me that didn't stop them from filing a motion for legal fees. Just a few months before this my wife died unexpectedly at age 49 and I had quite a number of expenses related to her end-of-life issues which will take me years to pay off. Wasco Electric was fully aware of these events and this filing was solely to make more money for the lawyer.
3. During the discovery phase of ths trial it was revealed that Wasco Electric had compiled and, we assume, are still maintaining, a Dossier on me several inches thick. As it is a very large file I will send it to you if you e-mail me at the link above. Our government has maintained dossiers on private citizens not suspected of commiting crimes with perhaps the most well-know being the FBI files on Dr. Martin Luther King. These were personally ordered by the FBI director at the time J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI did not find any evidence of Dr. King's communist connection as was suspected but did find marital infidelity which they planned to use against him. Read it here.
Why do governments and Wasco Electric Co-operative maintain dossiers on private citizens not suspected of commiting crimes? One reason is that they wanted to gather information about me in hopes of blackmailing me into silence. Are they doing the same to you? Another reason governments maintain dossiers on private citizens is because I am, like Dr. King was, effective and credible. If I wasn't they wouldn't waste their time. They are also afraid of me because I am a reformer like Dr. King.
4. Even though the Oregon Electric Co-operative abuses are many and well-documented at the present time no politician, Republican or Democrat, has offered to introduce legislation to make Oregon Electric Co-operatives more accountable to their members/stockholders. The reason they refuse to make reforms is because they are getting money (ratepayer money) from the people they are supposed to regulate or oversee. Wasco Electric Co-operative board president Robert Durham stood up at one Wasco Electric Co-operative annual meeting and told the ratepayers/stockholders that they [Wasco Electric] doesn't give money to politicial candidates because that's illegal. What he didn't tell us is that they do "launder" the money through trade organizations such as the Northwest Public Power Association and they give it to the politicians. And that's legal. The politicians know where their money comes from. We used to call this "bribery". When the politicians are for sale so are our liberties and freedoms.
5. Also, why do governments and monopoly utilities purchase advertising? It's not because they want to make sure that certain things are reported in the media. It's because they want to make sure that certain things ARE NOT REPORTED in the media.
Reform Wasco Electric background information:
Citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan, third world countries, can expect honest and impartial elections. But scores of American citizens are denied fair and impartial elections...And it's legal!
About me, Britt Storkson; About Wasco Electric; Trying to be nice to Wasco Electric cost me $1200.00; Why does Wasco Electric install power lines on private property without easements or other permission? Co-operative privilege: Often it's what's NOT in the law that's significant, not what is in the law; Co-ops have the power and privilege of government with none of the accountability; There are no restrictions on what Co-op's can spend ratepayer money on; Accept whatever Wasco Electric Co-op dishes out and if you question anything you get sued; Wasco Electric demands that you follow the rules that they write like pay your bill on time, etc. But they don't follow the rules that they write! Just what the Wasco Electric lawyer wanted: Another Lawsuit. On April 28, 2010 Wasco Electric was served (sued). Wasco Electric wants more money they just jack up the rates...And we can't do anything about that either! If you challenge the sitting board members they use ratepayer money to defame and impugn you...Even though you can never win! We petitioned for a candidates' forum and Wasco Electric refused to answer to their stockholders; Power bills have become a signifcant hit on the family budget. My conversations with Wasco Electric General Manager Jeff Davis.
About me, Britt Storkson
I'm Britt Storkson a local businessman
in The Dalles, Oregon and Wasco Electric Co-op member. I'm
the owner of P2FlowLLC and we make computer pressure controls for water pumping
and fertilizer injection. Since I actually make computers I'm often called upon
to help solve electrical/electronic problems and I have taught electronics to
middle school students.
I've also worked with the Hutterite Colonies (small towns) in North-Central Montana. The Hutterites are like the Amish but have telephones, electricty and indoor plumbing and drive cars and trucks instead of horses and buggies. They do not have television, radio or the internet. There are currently 462 Hutterite Colonies mostly located in the North-Central U.S. and South-Central Canada. That's me in the center with John to your left and Joe to your right. They speak German among themselves but write English. They are a very industrious and hard-working people. They are farmers and grow wheat, corn and silage in addition to having a huge garden. They also have a dairy barn and raise chickens and turkeys for sale. I've become a good friend and sort of an "answer man" for Joe because while Joe is very intelligent he has not been able to access technical resources such as the internet. The Hutterites have a sophisticated farm operation with computers running many things but are "technology poor" because they are so isolated - way out in the middle of nowhere... In a sense technology has passed them by. Joe is the electric shop boss and he calls me often with electrical questions which I am more than happy to answer. Being a computer maker I've got this electricity thing down pretty good and it's great to be a mentor to someone who values learning and wants to learn. They are also served by an Electric Co-operative: Hill County Co-op out of Havre, MT.
Anyway, after experiencing problems with Wasco Electric Co-op of The Dalles, OR, I was encouraged by several people, including my state Senator, to run for a seat on the board. I have run for a seat on the Wasco Electric Co-operative (or Co-op) Board of Directors (our power company) for the last nine years, losing each time. I discovered that with Wasco Electric elections the incumbents always win. Nobody can remember a the last time a challenger won election to the board of directors. I lost because it is not possible to win a seat on a Co-operative board of directors if those who control the Co-operative don't want that individual on the board. And they clearly do not want me on the board. And, in the state of Oregon, rigged elections for Co-operatives are legal (or not illegal) at this time. . This website will explore the events surrounding Wasco Electric's conduct in this and other areas and will be updated from time to time.
About Wasco Electric - What is a Co-operative?
Wasco Electric Co-op is NOT a public agency. Wasco Electric Co-op in The Dalles, OR, is a private, non-profit corporation organized as a co-operative under Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 62. Co-operatives are corporations that are (supposedly) "owned" by the ratepayers who are legally stockholders and also called "members", those who buy power from the Co-op. The Co-op operates as a corporation with an elected board of directors. Wasco Electric has nine (9) directors that are elected to three (3) year terms from three (3) districts. Each year one director from each district comes up for re-election. Wasco Electric has about 3,000 power customers in mostly rural areas in North-central Oregon.
Being a state-sanctioned monopoly if you want power in the Wasco Electric service area (the service area or customer base is granted by the state of Oregon) you are forced to buy power from Wasco Electric Co-op. You have no choice of power providers. Often the same power lines serve customers with two or more power providers. Where I live a single power line serves Wasco Electric Co-op and Northern Wasco P.U.D. (Public Utility District) customers. The only difference is the name on the meter and where the customers pay their bill.
Trying to be nice to Wasco Electric cost me $1,200.00
In 1987 Wasco Electric installed power lines nearly completely across my property. No easement, no asking permission, nothing. I went to work one day and came back to find power lines strung across my property. I called up the then-manager who at first gave me the "we-are-the-power-company-and-we-do-anything-we-want-to" song and dance until I told him I was going to call my lawyer. Instantly his attitude changed and he offered to send me a letter stating that they would move the power lines if I wanted them moved. The letter I received offering to move the power lines is here. I accepted this written promise to move the lines on the premise that everyone goofs up from time to time and I would want someone to "cut me some slack" if I goofed up too. And, of course, I had this written promise from the Co-op so I was covererd, right?
In 1999 I wanted to build a new garage asked Wasco Electric to move the power lines as per their written agreement. They refused. Read it here. Of course I hired a lawyer to research this issue. To my suprise and dismay I found that there's this stupid law called "Adverse Possession". Basically the law says that if someone builds something on your property and you don't sue them within 10 years (It's 10 years in Oregon - in some states it's 7 years) the trespasser owns your property. And with adverse possession written promises don't count. So not only did I lose my property I was out $1200.00 to have a lawyer research this issue. I could have made quite a bit of money had I sued Wasco Electric when they first installed the power lines on my property but I didn't sue them because I'm not that type of guy.
Why does Wasco Electric install power lines on
private property without easements or other permission?
There is no law requiring power companies to get easements when they install power lines on private property. There should be but there isn't at this time. Wasco Electric does not have easements for every power line installation they have. Wasco Electric can and should get easements but they will not. Why? Because Wasco Electric currently exists primarily to benefit the high-priced Portland lawyer, This lawyer attends every board meeting to protect his own interests and to protect the board from the members, not to work in the best interest of the members as the more trouble he makes the more money he makes. And he makes a lot of trouble and money. The lawyer wants to be sued. That's why the more chaotic and mismanaged the Co-op is the better he likes it. Wasco Electric spent thousands of dollars and many hours to make the bylaws "gender neutral" but will not spend $20 and a few minutes to secure an easement and prevent a lawsuit. Just what does that tell you?
Co-operative privilege: Often it's what's NOT in
the law that's significant, not what is in the law.
After this happened I did some research on Co-op's and found some interesting things. I found that while Co-ops function as a corporation with the ratepayers/members/stockholders electing board of directors the law says only that they must hold board of director elections. Nowhere in the law does it say that these elections must be honest or impartial. The Co-op also conducts all of the elections and counts all of the votes, a problem in itself as no third party or county clerk is involved, and declares the winners. The net result of all of this is that the Co-op can toss all of the votes in the shredder, install whomever they want on the board and if this issue were to come before a judge the judge most likely would rule in favor of the Co-op. Why? Because while rigged Co-op elections are very unethical they are not illegal! So it is not possible to for me to get elected regardless of how many votes I got if those who control the Co-op didn't want me on the board. And they clearly do not want me on the board to the point of spending ratepayer money to impugn and defame me. And while that is very unethical it is not illegal either.
Co-ops have the power and privilege of government
with none of the accountability
Monopoly utilities are just another way for governments to extract money from the taxpayers without political consequences. Electric co-operatives in the state of Oregon are not regulated by the Oregon P.U.C. (Public Utility Commission). Unlike stockholders in private corporations Co-op stockholders of monopoly utilities cannot sell their stock and leave the company. There is no financial accounting to the stockholders as the stock isn't traded so securities laws don't apply. Unlike public utilities board meetings are not public and Co-op members/stockholders do not have a right to attend board meetings. Board meeting dates, times and locations are not published and if they don't want you at a board meeting they can call the county sheriff and have you removed. Again if this issue were to go to court the judge would most likely rule in favor of the Co-op because there is nothing in the law that gives a member/stockholder the right to attend board meetings. The bylaws allow the Co-op board to expel any member or individual board member so Wasco Electric can legally shut off your power anytime even if you pay your bill on time. Read the bylaws provision here. Electric Co-ops also have the benefit of nearly unlimited ratepayer funds to pay for lawyers and litigation while challengers, most of them people of limited means like myself, must pay for any legal challenge up front and out of their own pockets.
There are no restrictions on what Co-op's can spend
ratepayer money on
There is also no restrictions on how the co-op can spend ratepayer/member/stockholder money. They can simply give ratepayer money to certain individuals or give certain individuals power at little or no cost. They can buy risky stocks, go on trips to Las Vegas, whatever. It is all legal. Since Co-op members/stockholders/ratepayers are not provided any financial information we probably wouldn't know about any of this and in the unlikely event that we did find out about it we couldn't do anything about it anyway. Co-operatives can use ratepayer money to "buy off" politicians in order to maintain this extraordinary privilege. Kind of like public agencies using taxpayer money to hire lobbyists to lobby legislators - a clear conflict of interest. In fact using private corporations to "feed back" money to the politicians is works better for the politicians because they get to avoid all of those "messy" public-disclosure laws. Speaking of bought-off politicians our own state legislator John Huffman, R-The Dalles, is FOR rigged elections. If you don't believe me call him up and ask him. His number is 541-298-5959.
Accept whatever Wasco Electric Co-op dishes out
and if you question anything you get sued
After learning that I had been swindled by Wasco Electric I appealed to my State Senator Ted Ferrioli. My letter to him is here. Wasco Electric responded by threatening to sue me. Read the letter I received from their lawyer by certified mail here. I did not retract my statements as they were and still are true and accurate and Wasco Electric has not made good on their threat to sue me. Senator Ferrioli directed me to seek non-binding mediation (that I would pay for) to come to a solution. While I was open to mediation Wasco Electric rejected even that. Read their rejection letter here. Apparently having enough of Wasco Electric's insolence Senator Ferrioli ordered Wasco Electric to remove the power lines. They had to re-route the power lines underground about 600 feet at a cost to the ratepayers of $15,000.00, according to the general manager Jeff Davis. This didn't have to cost anything but Wasco Electric doesn't care. They're spending your money, not their money. How many times has this total disregard for private property and ratepayer obligations been replicated?
Why does Wasco Electric victimize their stockholders? Why do abusers victimize only women and children? The answer to both questions is BECAUSE THEY CAN! Have you ever known a wife-beater to "take on" a wrestling champion? Of course not. Why? Because abusers don't victimize those who are able to defend themselves. Why did Wasco Electric victimize me? Because, like all abusers, they figured that the odds of me being able to defend myself were not very good.
We have recently received lawsuit threat #2. I am a candidate for the Wasco Electric board of directors and, like any political candidate, I am simply pointing out what I believe to be problems with Wasco Electric's management and operation and offering an alternative. I have consulted several attorneys about Wasco Electric's threats and without exception I was told that Wasco Electric's threats are just that - threats. The reason is that it's political speech and clearly protected by both Oregon State and U.S. Constitutions. In fact I would have a far better case against Wasco Electric for publicly calling me a "liar" because I'm a private citizen and Wasco Electric is, for the purposes of free speech, legally considered to be a public figure. It's like President Obama calling someone a "liar" with the intent to defame or impugn him or her. Governments cannot use their power to defame, impugn or otherwise injure a private citizen.
Wasco Electric demands that you follow the rules
that they write like pay your bill on time, etc. But they don't follow the rules
that they write!
We cannot legally contest any Co-op rigged election because rigged elections are legal (or not illegal) at this time. If the lawmakers had wanted Co-op ratepayers to have honest and impartial elections they would have written that into the law but they did not. We can however legally contest Wasco Electric in two other areas:
1. Ignoring the bylaws provision regarding the term limits. See
the bylaws provision here.
Wasco Electric is a corporation and their bylaws are enforceable in a court
of law just like any other corporation. Wasco Electric changed the bylaws in
1995 to increase the time the incumbent board of directors could serve from
4 consecutive 3-year terms (12 years) to 6 consecutive terms (18 years) and
then promptly ignored the new provision. There is a provision in the bylaws
by which the ratepayers/ members/stockholders may waive (set
aside) the provision by a vote of the members. But the members were not allowed
to vote to waive this bylaws provision. What makes this so bizzare is that THIS
VOTE CAN BE RIGGED TOO and that's legal. So they can legally ignore the term
limits provision if they only follow a few simple rules.
Two board members have exceeded their bylaws-imposed term limits. Jean McKinney served 27 years when she should have been term-limited out at 12 years. She has since retired and is not on the board. Board president Neal Harth is currently serving past both the 12 and 18 year term limits.
2. Refusing to produce information about the Co-op as per Oregon Revised Statutes 62.440.
Just what the Wasco Electric
lawyer wanted: Another lawsuit. On April 28, 2010 Wasco Electric was served
See the proof of service here See the summons and complaint here. This is a Declaratory Judgement and there will be no monetary awards by the court. What that means is that I won't make any money from this lawsuit. We are simply asking the court to declare that Board Member Neal Harth was not term-limited out as specified (and a waiver was not secured) by the bylaws and to produce information about the Co-op as per Oregon Revised Statutes 62.440. We are also asking that contracts that depended upon Neal Harth's approval or signature be voided as he was not authorized to sign them. This point may or may not be significant depending on Wasco Electric's organizational structure...Something we don't know at this time. Declaring Neal Harth an unauthorized signatory could shut down Wasco Electric. It's kind of like someone signing a check who wasn't authorized to sign that check. If contracts are voided those bound to Wasco Electric by contract can demand that these contracts be re-negotiated as they cannot be legally enforced.
Why do I spend all of this time and money and
take these risks and abuse to do this? Because freedom is not free! Freedom
must be guarded and defended continually from those who would take our freedom
from us. Your money = your freedom.
So Far I have spent over $10,000.00 and many hours on this issue and being a man of very modest means that's a significant portion of what I have. I am also very thankful to have a couple of fine lawyers on my side who also believe in liberty and justice. The Revolutionary War was fought over this same basic issue. The King of England was taxing the colonists for his pet projects in England and the colonists could not even vote on the matter. That's where we got the "no taxation without representation" part of the constitution. Likewise we, the people, own the electric grid but Wasco Electric is taking our money to use as they wish without our ability to even vote on the matter. Wasco Electric has unlimited funds to pay lawyers to fight this action in court. If they run out of money they simply jack up the rates again and we can't do anything about that either. Basically they use our money to shaft us.
The most costly (both money-wise and in number of lives lost) war in our history - The Civil War - was fought to gain freedom for the slaves. Then there's the thousands of veterans who died to insure our freedom from Germany and Japan. Their sacrifices make mine look pretty small by comparison.
If Wasco Electric wants more money they just jack
up the rates...And we can't do anything about that either!
Since Electric Co-operatives are not regulated by the Oregon P.U.C. their rates are not regulated by the P.U.C. either. They can raise rates at will at any time on anybody they wish. There is no public or member comment allowed. They do not have to justify any rate increases to the ratepayers or anybody else. On top of that the rates do not have to be the same for every ratepayer. They can charge some ratepayers more and others less. Nor do all rates have to be disclosed - meaning that some ratepayers can get power rates that don't even show up on the rate schedule. This "different rates for different folks" policy typically results in the poor and middle-income ratepayers paying more for their power while high-income ratepayers pay less. This is sort of a "reverse Robin Hood" where money is taken from the poor and middle-income ratepayers and given to the rich ratepayers.
If you challenge the sitting board members they
use ratepayer money to defame and impugn you...Even though you can never win!
Imagine a political candidate spending thousands of taxpayers dollars to defeat an opposing candidate that would never win for one reason or another. But that's what Wasco Electric did. Last October I appeared as a guest on the Lars Larson radio talk show. Wasco Electric was also invited to appear at the same time but refused to do so. Wasco Electric responded by sending, at ratepayer expense, a "hit piece" defaming and impugning me. Read it here. Of course I was not allowed the opportunity to respond to this "hit piece" and that was by design. Additionally while the incumbent board members have access to the member list (like a voter precinct's list of registered voters) the challengers do not. So challengers for board of directors elections cannot even send out a direct mailer to state their case to the member/voters like candidates for the general election would. And of course any challenger will have to spend their own money. The incumbents get to spend ratepayers' money. I will respond to each issue they bring up in this "hit piece":
1. Director Term Limits: General Manager Jeff Davis admits here that board member Neal Harth has overstayed his term of office but cites the waiver provision as a defense. Sure, the bylaws allows the members to waive the term limits provision BUT THEY DIDN'T GET THE WAIVER! The legal definition of waiver is "the voluntary relinquishment of a known right".(Black's Law Dictionary). I doubt that Jeff even looked up the definition of the term "waiver" before writing this.
2. Rigged Elections: Co-op elections cannot be fair and impartial because the Co-op conducts the elections and counts the votes. Co-op voters are directed to send their votes to the Co-op Secretary who can accept or reject any or all votes. They know who votes so they can "purge" any "problem" votes that come through. One year I did have an impartial observer there but that is only part of the process. If certain votes are "purged" before they get counted the vote count can be perfectly accurate but the election is still rigged.
3. Financial Accounting: Again Jeff tells only part of the truth - not all of the truth. They may be audited all right BUT NOT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE MEMBERS. Everything presented here is from the members' perspective. Have you ever received a certified accounting detailing where the Co-op spent the money they received? Of course not! Jeff claims that I said they "bought off" politicians. I said that they could buy off politicians, not that they did buy off politicians. It is legal to use ratepayer money to contribute to a politicial candidate at this time so my statement is true and accurate. We don't know what the Co-op spends their money on because stockholders/members/ratepayers not given a financial accounting. Why is Jeff so upset about me pointing out the things the Co-op can do? Most of the issues presented here that many would consider unethical and inappropriate actions for a monopoly power company are perfectly legal and cannot be challenged in a court of law. In fact most of the unethical and inappropriate activities presented here are illegal for governments to do to the citizens but legal (or not illegal) for corporations to do to their stockholders.
4.Attendance at board meetings: Just because they allow you to attend board meetings doesn't mean you have a RIGHT to attend board meetings. With Public agencies the board meeting times, dates and locations must be announced two or more weeks ahead of time and the citizens may not be prevented from attending these meetings. Citizens excluded from public board meetings can have fines or other penalties imposed on those who prevented them from attending. In contrast since Wasco Electric is a private corporation these laws do not apply. Did you notice that Jeff did not disclose the dates, times and location of the board meetings? If Wasco Electric was so "open and transparent" this information would be published at least every month.
We petitioned for a candidates' forum and Wasco
Electric refused to answer to their stockholders.
The ratepayers petitioned Wasco Electric to hold a candidates' forum to discuss the issues surrounding the Co-op. Wasco Electric refused. Not only did they refuse to participate they drew up a formal resolution basically telling their stockholders to go jump in a lake. Read their rejection resolution here. Funny how Wasco Electric cites the bylaws provision as a reason NOT to have a candidates' forum while they ignore the bylaws provisions when it comes to board of directors term limits. True, the bylaws do not provide for a candidates' forum but they do not prohibit a candidates' forum either. Wasco Electric can get away with this because they have extraordinary legal protection from their stockholders.
Power bills have become a signifcant hit on the
The typical single family home now pays close to $100 per month for basic power service. The worst part of this is that we cannot do anything to oppose or reduce the increase or change the way Wasco Electric spends our money. We cannot even elect those we want on the board to the board! Wasco Electric jacks up power rates so high that the average family has trouble paying their power bill and then offers "rate relief" to "qualified individuals". They call it WECare (Wasco Electric cares) How nice of them! How do you qualify? You kiss their feet.
My conversations with Wasco Electric General Manager
Last August (2009) I was setting up my fair booth for the first day of the Wasco County Fair in Tygh Valley, OR when, Jeff Davis, of all people, shows up. I don't know why he decided to show up at that place and time but I'm quite certain he did not do this on his own volition. We had a terse, but civil discussion and a couple of things about that encounter stand out in my mind.
As to why I was waging a campaign against Wasco Electric I asked Jeff how he would feel if I threw a rock through the plate glass window on his home that cost him $1200.00 to fix. After that vandalism Jeff would go around saying "what a great guy Britt is!". Of course not! Jeff could not imagine someone (like myself) reacting negatively - as I did - to an incident perpetrated by Wasco Electric that cost me $1200.00. Totally clueless about that and a lot of other things, to be sure.
I also asked Jeff why Wasco Electric did not secure power line easements. While not legally required securing easements and recording them at the county is the right thing (and simply good managment) to do. Jeff replied that he was too busy and didn't have time to do that. To that I would say: First of all he doesn't personally need to do that. He can assign someone to do that. Secondly it doesn't have to be done right away and can be done over a number of months or years but it should be done. Here we have a college dropout who has never held a job in the private sector complaining that he is too overworked to do the right thing (as well as demonstrate good management) as the general manager of Wasco Electric. You draw your own conclusions.
Why does Wasco Electric consistently take the "low road" when it comes to ethical conduct? Wasco Electric stockholders deserve better. Wasco Electric Co-op needs to be a better corporate citizen.