Orcas Power & Light Cooperative (OPALCO) is a local electric cooperative that is owned and operated by its members. On Saturday, May 5th, the member-owners will exercise their right to elect their Board of Directors. In this year’s election, there are two positions in District 2 (Orcas, Armitage, Big Double, Blakely, Fawn, Little Double and Obstruction Islands) on the ballot. The candidates are Winnie Adams, Lance Evans and Chris Thomerson. Each member can vote for two candidates. Candidate bios are available at www.opalco.com. Ballot packages will arrive by mail the week of April 16th. Members can cast their absentee ballot online or by mail.
This year’s Annual Meeting celebrates OPALCO’s 75th Anniversary and honors the Co-op Family members (longest- standing members, past and present staff and board members) who have created and sustained the OPALCO legacy. Visit OPALCO’s historical website at www.opalco.com/history to explore a historical timeline; galleries of stories, photos and videos; meet the longest-standing members and get information on anniversary celebration events. Visit and “like” OPALCO’s new Facebook page, where you can share your own OPALCO story, photos or memorabilia. When registering for the Annual Meeting, please let the OPALCO staff member know if you are one of OPALCO’s longest-standing members, a past staff or board member—or if you are 75 years of age or older. A special gift will be presented to these OPALCO V.I.P.s.
The 2012 annual report is a special historical publication in honor of OPALCO’s 75th Anniversary. Limited edition printed copies will be distributed only at the Annual Meeting, and at the 75th Anniversary Open Houses in June and July. The annual report is also available online.
Why does OPALCO have an Annual Meeting? The Annual Meeting is required by OPALCO’s bylaws and by the federal government. It is a key component of our status as a 501 (c) 12 cooperative, which saves our member-owners from the rate burden of paying taxes, gives OPALCO a preferential position with federal lenders and allows OPALCO to set rates on a cost-of-service basis. In exchange, members have the responsibility to show up and vote; a quorum of at least 100 members is required at the Annual Meeting for the election to be valid. OPALCO’s governing board consists of seven directors who are elected for three-year terms, with the elections staggered by district. Each director is elected by a vote of OPALCO members and ALL members may vote in every election, regardless of their home district. Each membership gets one ballot regardless of how many meters or accounts they may have. It’s the co-op way: one member: one vote.
Why vote? As member-owners of your electric cooperative, your power is to elect the Board of Directors who set OPALCO’s policies and rates. Members who turn in their absentee ballots (online or by mail) will be entered into a drawing for six $75 bill credits. Absentee ballots must be received no later than Friday, May 4th at noon (if mailing your absentee ballot, do so by Tuesday, May 1st). Ballots can also be cast at the Annual Meeting on the ferry, Saturday, May 5th where the election results will be announced. Exercise your power and VOTE!
Due to the spring ferry schedule, the meeting is early this year. Members from San Juan Island will need to arrive at the Spring Street Landing at 7:00 a.m. to register for the meeting and board a charter vessel (Call 376-3549 to reserve a spot); Orcas members should arrive at the ferry landing to register at 8:00 a.m.; Lopez members register at the ferry landing at 8:40 a.m.; and Shaw members board the ferry at 9:10 a.m. For the full travel schedule, please go to www.opalco.com. Reservations are required for members traveling from San Juan Island only.
Members and their families who attend the Annual Meeting will be treated to a healthy and delicious brunch. Every member who attends will receive a $7.50 credit on their next bill (one credit per membership)—and there are limited edition 75th Anniversary gifts for everyone in attendance. Every member has a chance to win a fabulous door prize including a $750 bill credit and items such as energy efficiency tools, power and garden tools, gift certificates, kitchen tools and appliances, camping and sporting equipment, art and merchandise from local businesses. If you are a local business and would like to contribute a door prize, please contact Bev at 376-3549.