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

June 6th, 2009
Letter: Unendorsed doesn’t mean ‘independent’


I am responding to the letter from some “independent” candidates for the Pedernales Electrical Cooperative’s (PEC) board of directors that was recently sent to multiple newspapers. I want to address some of the misleading allegations directed to me–albeit not by specific name—and to set the record straight.

First of all, we are actively engaged in only the second open, democratically conducted election in PEC history. We owe this opportunity to reform groups that successfully fought to bring an end to the self-perpetuating abuses of old-guard leadership at PEC. If members of the PEC4U Steering Committee and other committed PEC members, like David Hall, had not dared to challenge the old regime, PEC would still be controlled by the Fuelberg/Burnett machine.

This year as last, PEC4U and other groups such as Clean Water Action invited all candidates to respond to their on-line questionnaires. Of the current 11 candidates, 7 candidates actively sought endorsements by responding to the questionnaires (Boone, Landaker, Rogers, Mayfield, Cox, Jenkins and Clement.) The four that chose not to respond had the right to remove themselves from consideration. In the end, each organization endorsed three candidates: Clement, Landaker and Cox.

Now, those un-endorsed or “independent” candidates are complaining. Now they want to muddy the waters and cast sinister doubts on the very organizations that four of them actively sought endorsements from, the very organizations that only last year, successfully broke down the PEC barriers to open elections. Further, they want you to believe that “endorsed” candidates by PEC4U or others must be untrustworthy zombies.

No group has ever claimed, as alleged to have “exclusive rights” to determine what is best for PEC. No where in the process was I asked to check in my brain, my business acumen, or my integrity or sign any allegiance document in blood. It is sad to see these self-described “independent” candidates casting aspersions now that other candidates have been endorsed.

I declared as a PEC candidate because after almost 2 years of time attending Board meetings and court hearings and doing my homework with the Navigant Report, I knew I could bring to the Board 13 years of sound cooperative experience plus 24 years of Air Force senior procurement experience and a proven track record of integrity, ethics and fiduciary responsibility. I am committed to making PEC a stronger co-op, one that is responsive to members/owners. They have been disregarded for far too long.

I urge PEC members to reclaim their co-op by voting for candidates with proven track records and recognized accomplishments. I trust that few members will be misled by the scare tactics of candidates who, having failed to win endorsements themselves, now want to attack the three candidates who were endorsed, as well as the organizations involved.

Cristi Clement
Marble Falls

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One thought on “Letter: Unendorsed doesn’t mean ‘independent’

  1. Your headline makes no sense. Any candidate in an election, if endorsed by a specific group, is no longer independent. To state otherwise is to belittle the intelligence of the readers. By the way, you claim to have 13 years of cooperative experience, but I read on your resume that your were an IT analyst for a coop bank. That’s really not relevant to the position you are running for. In my profession (HR) we call statements like that “padding” and frown upon it.

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