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By Indiana Reed
Special to The SUN
The La Plata Electric Association, Inc. (LPEA) board of directors will have three new faces when it convenes for its next meeting on May 15.
Mark Garcia unseated District 1 (Archuleta County) incumbent Lindon Stewart.
Garcia has lived in Pagosa since 1994. He is a mechanical engineer and currently serves as the executive director for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. A consultant to local governments in southern Colorado, he was Pagosa Springs Town Manager 2003-2008. He also served on the LPEA Round Up Foundation Board 2000-2004 and was president for three years
Jack D. Turner beat district 4 incumbent Herb Brodsky.
Michael Rendon won in District 3 over Richard Alan Yoder, to fill the seat of retiring Harry Goff.
Election results were announced at the LPEA Annual Meeting, held Saturday, May 11, at Sky Ute Casino and Resort, Ignacio. This year, in District 2, incumbent director Tom Compton was the only nominee, thus he retains his seat. In accordance with LPEA’s bylaws, annually one seat in each of LPEA’s four districts comes up for election.
Out of the 22,827 LPEA members who were mailed ballots, only 5,140 cast votes, for a 22.5 percent return. In contrast, approximately 26 percent of LPEA’s residential and commercial members returned ballots in 2012.
Ballots were prepared in accordance with requirements of the La Plata County Clerk, and the county’s electronic voting equipment was used by Fredrick Zink & Associates, the independent accounting firm retained to tally the votes.
In a very close decision in District 1, Archuleta County, 1,554 of the approximately 7,700 LPEA members returned ballots with incumbent Stewart receiving 760 votes and challenger Garcia receiving 792.
In District 3, the City of Durango, new candidates Rendon and Yoder received 1,305 and 544 votes, respectively. District 3 includes approximately 7,400 voters.
Candidate Turner was elected as the director for District 4, which covers north and east La Plata County and includes approximately 7,700 eligible voters. Turner received 895 votes to incumbent Brodsky’s 838.