Gang Alert: Coop Calls Emergency Meeting?

By: Bill Whaley
3 December, 2016

n-snake-lightAfter I heard about the “emergency meeting” called by the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Coop) for Monday, Dec. 5, at 10 am, I read the by-laws re: “Section 9. Removal of Trustees and Officers” and “Section 2. Qualifications and tenure.” (You can find them on the Coop web site.) But the by-laws are vague and ambiguous regarding “Trustee” conduct, i.e. subject to endless and inconclusive interpretation. The simple “beat-down” or “minor tussle”  between Trustee Duran and Trustee Martinez doesn’t seem to count for misconduct, according to the by-laws.

Since the board makes policy, except for criminal felonies, at the Coop “everything is permitted.” Call board policy the self-determining “exceptions to the rules.” A fistfight doesn’t disqualify a board member from trusteeship anymore than a DWI charge, an allegation of sexual harassment, running off with a lineman’s wife or girlfriend, or beating up cops and threatening them disqualifies a member of management from presiding over the Trustees.


But negligence by Trustees means the elected ones have overseen a policy of growing Coop indebtedness, estimated today at $175,000,000.

Some $8.5 million has been wasted on diversification (Call Center, Command Center, Propane, Internet) since the year 2000, all due to utopian dreams of economic development.

Now the Coop has squandered since 2010, an estimated $70 million in the Broadband gamble, money derived from federal grants, loans, and electricity revenues, while they have hooked up less than 3000 members to the fiber optic channel. That’s what? A generous $23,333.33 per active account.

Last summer the Coop obligated itself to pay another $37 million to buy out Tri-State and acquired the responsibility for the maintenance and repair of transmission lines. But the buyout got the Coop zero in terms of assets. Meanwhile, Guzman charges KCEC members an extra premium on the cost of fuel purchase and pass through line, which means residents and business customers pay a premium to remain on the grid, regardless of per kilowatt cost.

Reportedly the Coop owes its own members about $37 million in capital credits. Profits or margins due from the “good years,” but spent on “diversification.”

Given that the Coop has confessed to owing some $100 million plus, interveners calculate debt and contractual obligations at about $175 million for the $134 million Coop.

(We pro se interveners spent most of the last year examining KCEC’s operations while the Trustees fought us by spending an estimated $500,000 on attorney fees.)

Last week cops termed a fist-fight (beat-down?) between trustees a “minor tussle,” which term was repeated by the Albuquerque Journal and The Taos News. The unfinished police report by Sergeant Mark Archuleta was passed up the chain to Officer Maggio, who mis-characterized the alleged “tussle.


Now the excellent local weekly is following in the path of the Taos PD. The so-called Taos News online edition, reporter John Miller repeats Maggio’s “tussle” story and feigns ignorance.

Sure, The Taos News had a long front-page story about “that lucky old sun” in a public relations piece aimed at helping Coop CEO Luis Reyes and the Trustees get favorable treatment at the PRC Hearing on the rate increase this Wed. Dec. 7 in Santa Fe. Meanwhile The Taos News specializes in stories about Raton and Standing Rock, while ignoring the news breaking right under its nose.

Your local newcomers and (I hate to say it) my “Anglo” friends in general go weak in the knees and foggy in the mind when “green energy” or “solar energy” or “renewables” are mentioned by the Coop. Too, my friends, vulnerable during funerals, bow their heads when the priest intones how the departed is “going to a better place.” Mebbe so. I’d rather bet on heaven than the Coop’s plans.

Mebbe the Coop will achieve independent self-sufficient solar power in the year 2020. But if the past and current state of the Coop is a guide, neither this manager nor these trustees will figure out the “sun.” They are too busy fighting with each other and losing so much money they have gotten lost on Cruz Alta st.

When I was a kid I used to listen to the Frankie Laine album, the one where the crooner sings how “That Lucky Old Sun just rolls around heaven all day.” Clever Luis sings the same song to The Taos News and Trustee Bob Bresnahan, and his cronies at Taos Renewable Energy. Wow: Luis, the energizer bunny, has re-discovered the world’s oldest generator of heat, light, and photosynthesis as his public relations source.

Luis-RreyesAt least Luis has a source for his claims just as the Church has a metaphysical claim and historic literature with which to reassure parishioners. But the Taos PD and the Pobrecito Taos News have no sources says Flavio, who operates the “Hispanic Telegraph and “El Mitote” service.

When you have ten trustees with relatives who work with other relatives and friends and neighbors at the Town, County, Hospital, Schools, etc. you hear about the news from second and third parties before the cops, reporters, or the trustees themselves know who delivered the first, second, and third blows in the Coop “beat down.”

Sadly, the “Coop beat-down “is just a diversion from the Trustees’ main purpose, which is to pick your pocket to pay their travel agents for the upcoming annual trip to the city of capricious lap dancers.


The Taos News confessed their ignorance, saying, “Attempts to reach the two men (Virgil and Chris), including Kit Carson CEO Luis Reyes, were not immediately successful.”

But the Albuquerque Journal had no trouble reaching all three men and publishing the story on the front page long before the cops or Taos News knew who hit whom.

According to The Taos News, Officer Maggio said, “Their argument heated up enough to become a physical altercation, but we don’t know exactly what the argument was actually about.”

The discussion of “financial matters” at the Coop, regardless of specifics, always concerns the muddled and consolidated balance sheets, which the Trustees ignore, due to either incompetence or because of conspiracy. Luis and the Trustees should resign and/or be removed for neglecting their duty first to the members.

Now they have neglected each other and created a hostile work Mr. Bobby Ortega 2014 1environment. The President of the Board, Bobby Ortega, obviously  lost control of the meeting. Well, after all, Virgil voted against the rate increase. Some of the Trustees probably enjoyed the “tussle.”

The laugh meter broke when I saw Virgil at the hospital all busted up
and then wobbling out to his pick-up. He doesn’t look like Santa Claus in this picture.


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