That will take some getting used to. To begin with, I am not a terribly formal person – I even have a hard time with my children’s babysitters calling me “Mrs. Pataki” – and while I appreciate that a certain level of respect is due a position such as Board Director, I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around my new title. After all, I spent several months introducing myself to members across the PEC territory in a substantially less formal capacity. I enjoyed connecting with them on a personal level and hearing their candid concerns and praises for the co-op, and my hope is that I can continue to get that grass roots level interaction and engagement. The most important thing to me as a Board Director is that I can stay connected to you, the membership, and what you want for PEC. Please, call on me anytime – send me your concerns and questions, and I’ll see what I can do to get you answers and work to enact positive change for the co-op. My position may have changed, but my desire to work for you has not.
So yes, I’ve officially “gone to the dark side,” as one of my supporters said the other day. In many ways, that is true. I’m now on the side of the equation that participates in Executive Session, confidential matters, and some of the privileged information and meetings that I grew suspicious of in my years as a rank-and-file member. I guess you could say that is the bad news. The good news is that my crossover is not the end of the story. My commitment to my Board duties regarding confidentiality of competitive matters for the good of the co-op will be equally matched with my commitment to communicate with you important things happening at PEC. This balance may be difficult to strike, but I think it is precisely this balance that must be the focus moving forward so that you, the members, can experience true transparency and accountability from the Board and Management.
The other good news is after several weeks of orientation, meetings, questions, research, and now my first official board meeting, I can tell you that things are not as “dark” on my side as you might fear. Sure, there are policies and directives in place that I question, and I’m working diligently to discover what the right thing to do about those things are (the co-op’s plan for renewable investment is one of those things –>READ HERE! PEC Renewable Investment Proposal). Regardless of my concerns, however, I do believe that we have some great people working hard for PEC that have been leading the co-op in the direction of lower rates, financially-sound business practices, and streamlined operations. I support their efforts and encourage them to continue boldly along that path.
Now is the time for you, the membership, to get involved. Ask me questions. Ask the other board members questions. Ask the management questions. Come to board meetings. Check the co-op website for news and updates. Check back here for my own version of PEC news. Do what you can to stay informed and current on issues that affect us all. I’m looking forward to hearing from many of you during these next three years.