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The 2017 OPALCO Board election cycle is now open and nominations for board candidates in District 1 (San Juan, Brown, Henry, Pearl and Spieden islands) are being accepted. At the January meeting of the Board of Directors, the new member Elections & Governance Committee was appointed to put forward the best, most qualified and effective candidates for the Board of Directors – as well as review Co-op governance issues as needed. The 2017 Elections & Governance Committee members are: Doug Marshall and Bev Leyman (District 2: Orcas, Armitage, Blakely, Obstruction, Big Double, Little Double and Fawn islands); Chom Greacen and Rob Thesman (Districts 3+4: Lopez, Shaw, Bell, Decatur, Canoe, Center, Charles and Crane islands). There were no applicants from District 1 (San Juan, Pearl, Henry, Brown and Speiden islands).  Members interested in this committee may apply at any time.

There are two board positions up for election in District 1. Nominations for these positions will be accepted until the deadline of February 18, 2017. To submit a nomination, please go to: and enter your information. The Elections & Governance Committee will review the nominations and recommend a slate of candidates for Board approval. Candidates may also be nominated by submitting a petition with no fewer than 20 signatures of members who reside in their district.

Based on the work of the Member Review Committee in 2016, there are some updates to OPALCO’s election process and annual meeting:

  1. The Elections & Governance Committee is new and will eventually include nine members. Members who are interested in this Committee may apply at any time. The application is online in the Resource Library.
  2. In partnership with OPALCO’s election vendor, Survey & Ballot Systems, nominations for board positions will be collected through a new app called Direct Nominations (, giving members easy access to all of the information and forms necessary for submitting a nomination. The Elections & Governance Committee will review and recommend a slate of candidates from the submissions collected on this app. The deadline to submit a nomination is February 18, 2017. A list of successful candidates nominated by committee will be posted online and in OPALCO’s offices on February 25, 2017.
  3. Members who prefer it, or whose names are not put forward by the Committee, may be nominated by petition with no fewer than 20 signatures of members who reside in their district.  Petitions must be sent to before the deadline of March 12, 2017.
  4. All voting will be by mail or online. No more voting on the boat at the annual meeting in order to have more time for meaningful member activities. Ballots will be sent in April to each member by email or by mail, depending on their stated preference. The deadline for ballots to be submitted by mail or online is 10:30 a.m. (PDT) on May 4, 2017.
  5. OPALCO will host independently moderated Candidate Forums on San Juan, Lopez, Orcas and Shaw islands during the week of March 27th. Stay tuned for more information.
  6. OPALCO’s 80th Annual Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, 2017 on the Washington State Ferry. Election results will be announced at the Annual Meeting and there will be more time for member activities and discussion. Stay tuned for more information.

Go to  to learn more about nominations and the election process.

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