An electric cooperative, Lake Country Power is owned by the members it serves. Many of us are concerned about the recent, about-$45-per-service “facility charge” we’re now being charged (“New fees for Lake Country customers,” July 3).
Lake Country Power must generate enough revenue to cover expenses. However, the board chairman received almost $40,000 in 2012, according to a “Director Expenses” document given to me by my board director, Sherman Liimatainen. He said the document was prepared by the cooperative. The $39,574.29 is more than many full-time employees earn in a year.
The 2012 budget for directors was $185,000, according to Liimatainen. But spending for directors’ per diems, mileage, meeting rooms and other expenses grew to almost $220,000, according to the document. The difference is the equivalent of about 777 annual “facility charges.”
We members want a power company dedicated to serving the best interests of owners first. If Lake Country Power directors were working to turn the cooperative into a power company of choice, dedicated to serving the best interests of owners each and every step of the way, such lofty fees might be justifiable.
Lake Country Power needs to operate in a more competitive manner. When the board of directors exceeds its own budget by approximately 18 percent, as it did in 2012, what chance is there to turn the cooperative into a power company of choice?
I urge members to call their directors to tell them to let the employees manage the cooperative and take care of meetings. The employees can turn Lake Country Power into a power company of choice. And if any member doesn’t get the kind of response wanted or expected, they can remember that elections are coming this spring.