Member Opposes Broadband Debt on KCEC Assets
(KCEC members should write to the PRC expressing their opinion. Currently KCEC, despite an order from the PRC to divest itself of its Broadband division, seeks to further encumber the assets of the Corporation with debt and potential losses upwards of $20 million.)
Public Regulation Commission
1120 Paseo De Peralta
P.O. Box 1269
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Re: Kit Carson Broadband Order: Case NO. 10-00379-UT
Public Regulations Commission:
As a member of the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) and protester against recent rate increases, I oppose the request of June 19, 2012 by KCEC to further encumber the people’s coop and its electric-side assets with loans from USDA-RUS. Both RUS and the PRC should acknowledge that KCEC is deeply in debt, more than $70 million, according to reports. KCEC is jeopardizing its historic mission to provide electricity by engaging in a continuing failure of entrepreneurial adventurism in the private sector.
When KCEC began selling Propane and offering Internet services, the trustees and CEO said they would close the divisions if they didn’t earn a gross profit after five years. KCEC has a demonstrable record of losing millions of dollars during the last decade—Propane, Internet, Command Center—according to records filed with the PRC. KCEC’s failure to compete suggests history will repeat itself. Meanwhile the community is already being served for Broadband with services from Century Link, Taos Net, Comcast, smart phones et al.
If the PRC approves KCEC’s request for Broadband to remain part of the electric utility’s balance sheet, the Commission will be joining with the federal government in jeopardizing the members’ assets. Commissioners should press KCEC to reorganize its financial interests and reject the appeal for relief from the original Broadband order.
Currently, the KCEC is in technical default on its loans, according to its filing above. If that is so, how can the PRC and RUS justify the Broadband project? The Coop is sinking into insolvency.
The politics at the Coop, according to news reports, are contributing factors to its demise. Contracts are awarded to friends and family members for travel, unnecessary storage, and advertising in an effort to “buy” community support. Coop tree trimming crews even provide wood supplies to supporters of some trustees, trustees who rubber stamp the CEO’s projects—according to documented news reports.
The Coopsters maintain control by gerrymandering voting districts. Though the numbers below haven’t been updated, due to a lack of transparency, the percentages remain largely the same. Town of Taos area members have been disenfranchised by trustees representing the outlying areas. Due to the lack of transparency and political misrepresentation, KCEC members lack voting rights.
Whereas the members of the Mora-San Miguel Coop recently received their capital credits, KCEC members have received none.
Thank you for your consideration,
FYI: KCEC Voting Facts and Figures (Ask KCEC for an update!)
District 1, Taos, represented by four trustees has approximately 17, 113 meters and 12,469 eligible voting members. So each trustee represents about 3,100 members.
District 2, Questa and Red River, represented by two trustees, have 3,634 meters and about 2,726 voting members. Each trustees represents about 1,376 members.
District 3, Ojo Caliente, represented by one trustee, has 1,640 meters and 1,239 eligible voting members. The single trustee represents 1,239 members.
District 4, Peñasco Valley, represented by two trustees, has 2,057 meters and 1,619 eligible voting members. Each trustee represents 809.5 voters.
District 5, Angel Fire-Eagle Nest, represented by two trustees, has 4,714 meters and 3,918 voting members. Each trustee represents 1,959 members.
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