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Utility members to vote on board size Wednesday

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By David Giuliani

Members of the Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative will vote Wednesday whether to keep the same number of members on the utility’s Board of Trustees.

The election is 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the Mora VFW post.

In the summer, the membership decided to reduce the board from 11 trustees to five. That change hasn’t taken effect yet, but trustees called for another election to keep the board the same size.

Proponents of the reduction have accused the board of purposely setting an election in the middle of the week during the busy Christmas season to keep voter turnout low. They said the timing makes it inconvenient for working people.

Under the bylaws, a cooperative-wide election must be held in Mora, so the many members in Pecos have to drive for up to one and a half hours to get to vote.

Carlos Lovato, the board’s chairman, said he’s not in favor of reducing the board but that he favors getting rid of members’ health insurance. It cost the cooperative more than $140,000 over a two-year period for trustees’ health insurance.

Lovato said he wishes the cooperative’s bylaws didn’t allow a change so quickly to the bylaws after the members have already made their wishes known.