2017-06-09 / Letters

Time for a change on the power district board

To the editor:

While walking my dog on a somewhat dry morning, I noticed our April and May showers have allowed for a rather unusual blossom, the candidate for election sign.

One of these signs in particular attracted my attention. Bradley “Scott” Ducharme is running for a seat on the Kennebunk Light and Power District Board of Trustees against sitting board member Wayne Berry. So? I know, a lot of people run for a lot of things, it’s not that out of the ordinary. But what captured my attention, and what I continued to ponder as puppy and I went on our way, was Scott’s slogan, “It’s time for a change.” You know what, the man is right.

This pertains to not only this coming election, but also to the last several decades. KLPD is a consumer-owned nonprofit utility.

This is interesting, as the KLPD board is beholden to us as both customers and co-owners of this utility. And I have to ask, as both customers and co-owners, has this board done right by us?

Honestly, I don’t think it has. It doesn’t take much to recognize that there is a pattern of inaction that persists to this day. This whole FERC relicensing business seems to have come up quite unexpectedly few years ago. This board and all of its past incarnations have known since the 1980s that this day would come. Did any of them prepare? Has one dime been set aside for this day? For the relicensing? For the necessary repairs? Not that I’ve heard, and the money sure as heck doesn’t seem to be there. Instead they’ve each kicked the can down the road again and again, year after year, and we’ve just run out of road.

After demanding our voices be heard as co-owners and customers, we voted overwhelming this past fall to keep the dams, the hydroelectric generation, and more importantly, to have a say in the future of these dams. Yet these trustees seem to hold the opinion that if they ignore both us and this issue for long enough we and it will eventually go away.

As we all know, waiting out the clock and not making a decision is, in itself, a decision. We elect these board members on the condition that they will act as our representatives and they are not representing us properly if they continue to disregard our point of view. They have failed us, failed us for far too long, and without as much as an explanation or apology. And due to their overwhelming lack of foresight, disturbing trend of procrastination and blatant disrespect, many of us are questioning our faith in the current KLPD board.

So yes, Scott hit the nail on the head, it is indeed time for a change. It’s time to put board members in place that understand the importance of preparing for tomorrow, with all its possibilities, while keeping grounded in the events of today.

It’s time for someone who listens, comprehends, and then acts. And it’s certainly time for someone that treats this position as far more than just the bottom rung of the political ladder. As customers who depend on KLPD for the little things such as working lights, refrigerators and heat, and as people who have a vested interest in a utility that each of us owns, we deserve better. And we can have better. We just have to stop voting the status quo.

Please vote for Bradley “Scott” Ducharme on June 13.

Beth Krott

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