San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 26th, 2008
Break up PEC!

COMMENTARY
By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large

It’s great to be hearing again from our old friend, former Kyle City Councilmember Jerry Kolacny – opera lover, gadfly, provocateur. Finally understanding that many people read The Hays Highway, Mr. Kolacny has begun reading it, too. We’d like to think of Mr. Kolacny as The Hays Highway’s funny neighbor.

We recently plied Mr. Kolacny for his opinion concerning Lila Knight’s recent announcement that she’s running for the board of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC). As we all know, PEC is in big trouble these days, even after running off its well paid general manager and producing the resignation of its board president. The agency still faces state Senate hearings, a member-initiated lawsuit and a criminal investigation.

Despite reform, the PEC directors still receive somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000 for attending one meeting per month and serving on various boards. Ms. Knight said she would start by trying to cut directors’ salaries in half.

But that’s not good enough for Mr. Kolacny. Submitted now for your approval, or displeasure, are remarks made by Mr. Kolacny one day recently when he came by to borrow a cup of sugar:

“Given, PEC’s directors are corrupt and thieves. While Lila would likely do a good job, why does she want the position? So that she can sit on the board and take only $1,000 per hour instead of $3,000 per hour as the current directors and do us members all a big favor? Austin American Statesman and the Hays Free Press don’t want to talk about that: they just want to talk about how evil the PEC directors are.

Has Lila, or any other potential candidate, ever sat on corporate boards? Does she know anything about the electrical utility business?

PEC needs to be privatized and sold off with the proceeds going to the members. The members own PEC, right? And then we can buy our electricity from whoever if Patrick Rose would get out of the way and allow deregulation to take place for electrical co-ops. Patrick Rose made sure electric co-op members were not allowed to buy their electricity on the open market as other Texans. Rose got a lot of political bang for his providing cover for PEC. But how much cash did Patrick Rose get from PEC employees and board members? The liberal Democratic newspapers as the

Come on, electrical co-ops are a dinosaur from when Texas was populated with a bunch of starving struggling farmers. Co-ops are obsolete.

And why do we need yet another political class of overseers to direct our lives? All over buying electricity that comes out of the end of a wire.

Who will oversee the PEC elections to be sure they are fair and there is no fraud? Do candidates for PEC have to report cash donations and expenditures or is it all cash in brown envelopes under the table? And, are the PEC elections going to be something like in a third world country? Stuffing ballot boxes, throwing away ballots, counting phony ballots from dead people! Bring in Jimmy Carter!

Break up if necessary, but sell PEC, and let’s all get on with our lives.”

And that, friends, is one man’s opinion.

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