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PEC to move boundaries, except for local District 5

PEC District 5

Pedernales Electric Cooperative District 5, which includes Marble Falls, Bertram, and Horseshoe Bay and is represented by Director James Oakley of Spicewood, is the only one of seven districts that will not alter its boundaries if proposed new lines are approved by the board in October. Courtesy image

District boundaries could shift for six of the seven directors on the Pedernales Electric Cooperative board but will not affect District 5, which is represented by Director James Oakley. District 5 covers Marble Falls, Bertram, Horseshoe Bay, and parts of Burnet, Llano, Lampasas, and Williamson counties. 

PEC staff presented the proposed changes in a draft resolution at the board’s regular meeting Sept. 16 in Johnson City. 

The resolution moves boundary lines in districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7, which have seen significant growth in the number of meters over the past two years. It will be brought back before the board at its Friday, Oct. 21, meeting for a final vote. 

Each district represents about 45,000 PEC-eligible voters.

“The changes stem from IRS rulings for democratic member control,” explained PEC legal counsel Don Ballard. 

It is similar to redistricting of state and congressional voting districts, which are based on population shifts. Unlike the state and federal districts, PEC board elections are non-partisan.

Other draft resolutions that will be voted on during the October meeting are election policies and an updated rate policy. 

Changes include doing away with the online candidate video presentations that have been available on the PEC website during an election cycle since 2011. 

“We found, over the last few years, a drop in the number of folks viewing (the videos),” Ballard said. “We only had about 500 visits of those videos on average last year. Technology has made it so much easier for the candidates to create videos (themselves) and post on other formats.”

Also, membership lists, which are used by candidates to verify signatures on their application petitions, now will only be available two months before the election. 

Resolutions approved at the September meeting after being presented as drafts at the August meeting included policy procedure for selling or acquiring property and medical benefits for employees. Medical benefits will not change. The rate policy updates are part of a regular cycle of review, PEC Rates Manager Natalia Mack explained. 

“It was last updated in August 2019,” she said. “The next review will be in 2023.”

The vote will not raise or lower rates but is strictly a vote on the process for determining rates. 

When the board reconvened from executive session Sept. 16, directors approved one resolution, which gives approval to the 2023 power supply plan and the 2023 power supply plan delegation of authority. The board discussed 16 items in executive session, including draft resolutions for approval of the 2023 rate plan, approval of a fuel-related services provider, and approval of capital improvement plan budget amendments for real property acquisitions.

All votes were 6-0 as Oakley was not present at the meeting.