June 15, 2010
Firing of General Manager, Instigated by Old Guard PEC Board Members, Smacks of Previous Closed-Door Politics
Statement of Tom “Smitty” Smith,* Director, Public Citizen’s Texas Office
Monday’s surprise move by the board members of Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) to remove Juan Garza as general manager was a wake-up call. It seems that even on its way out the door, the old guard – which has historically tried to conduct business without public input – wants to cause as much mayhem as possible. This shouldn’t have happened at a closed-door meeting. It shouldn’t have happened the week before the annual meeting and new board member elections. It shouldn’t have happened so suddenly. This move essentially leaves the PEC rudderless for at least a year while it engages in a nationwide search for a replacement and the new general manager is brought up to speed on the co-op’s problems, further delaying the reforms we need as co-op members. A reform deferred is a reform denied.
We urge the incoming board to reconsider this action and at least allow for a transition period where Garza stays on as interim general manager until a suitable replacement can be found. Co-op members deserve at least that.
* Tom “Smitty” Smith is a member of the Pedernales Electric Co-op.