SDCEA Board of Directors Election Results – Fiedler, Boyle, Bennetts win

June 12, 2023 (slight updates, certified election results 6.13.23) – Sangre de Cristo Electric Association (SDCEA) has announced the results of its 2023 Board of Directors election. Jeff Fiedler and Mark Boyle will serve three-year terms as board seat representatives for At- Large and Rural Lake/Chaffee County respectively. Blake Bennetts, the incumbent town of Buena Vista representative, was unopposed for re-election. The new and incumbent directors will take their seats at the June 28 board meeting.

Boyle defeated incumbent Joe Redetzke to represent cooperative rural Chaffee/Lake County members, 1,761 to 890 votes. Fiedler defeated incumbent Michael Robinson to represent At-Large members, 1,664 to 977, votes. As he was unopposed, Bennetts did not appear on the ballot.

All 11,926 SDCEA members as of April 7 were eligible to vote in the election, which was held by mail-in or online balloting. Ballots or votes cast online were due to Survey & Ballot Systems, a third-party company engaged to conduct the election, by 1 p.m. June 8 to be counted. Twenty-three percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the election – 2,687 valid ballots were returned to SBS by the voting deadline. 1,285 voters elected to vote online, 1,402 elected to mail their ballot. Results vary slightly from initial reporting 6.12.23 due to final certification 6.13.23.

Results of the election were certified June 12 by the SDCEA board appointed election and credential committee. Self-reported campaign expenditure disclosure forms are available on the website under the Board Info tab on the website homepage.

Redetzke has served as SDCEA Board Chair for the past five years, having been on the board for more than seven years. He served as vice president for the Colorado Rural Electric Association board, an association that represents electric cooperatives in Colorado. He earned his director gold certification from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which encompasses nearly 30 day-long courses covering risk management, renewable energy, financial and legal responsibilities, and other subjects.

Robinson served on the board since late 2022, appointed to fill out the remaining term of retiring board member Suzy Kelly. He recently received his credentialed cooperative director designation from NRECA and has a background in the telecommunications industry.

SDCEA is an electric cooperative, a form of business owned and controlled by the people who use it –members, who are consumer account holders. As it is not possible for members to directly make all cooperative decisions, SDCEA is governed by a board of directors, elected by the membership. Acting as a group, directors employ the cooperative’s Chief Executive Officer, establish operating policy and direct the cooperative’s overall business operating goals.

Seven board members govern SDCEA’s business operations and represent geographic areas in SDCEA’s service territory. Board member terms of three years are staggered to ensure continuity of governance. This year, three board seats were up for election, representing the town of Buena Vista, Rural Chaffee/Lake County, and an At-Large seat. All cooperative members are eligible to vote in elections, regardless of the district in which they live.

SDCEA is a not-for-profit electric cooperative serving 14,000 member accounts in Chaffee, Fremont, Custer, Lake, and Saguache counties.