In the Mail — Oct. 16, 2020

Friday, October 16, 2020

Hope to see you at the Park Electric annual meeting


If you didn’t read your August issue of Rural Montana, MT Electric Cooperatives’ Association Magazine, you may not be aware that Park Electric Cooperative’s General Manager, Matt Haggerty asked PEC members for feedback on possible, future mail-in balloting to update our current, restrictive voting policy.

As a reminder, the only way you can currently cast your vote is by attending the annual meeting, which is scheduled on a workday in the middle of the day.

So it’s no surprise Matt’s letter informed us that in 2019, fewer than 10% of over 6,000 PEC members voted. Also, other coops have an average 25% return rate with their mail-in balloting.

Nine other MT coops have adopted vote by mail.  The average cost was $1.00 - $1.75 per member, and was paid for from the coop’s accrued general fund, which did not increase member’s electricity rates.*

Now that this opportunity is finally on this year’s ballot, and to better serve all PEC members in the future, we all need to show up at this annual meeting, at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, Park County Fairgrounds, Livingston, to vote for the required bylaw changes, so our cooperative can implement mail-in balloting in the future. Agenda details: Rural Montana Oct 2020; or online:

Due to Covid-19, PEC is having a drive-in, half-hour meeting where from the safety and comfort of your vehicle you participate by tuning into a designated AM band on your radio. Voting ballots will be handed out and picked up through your car window by PEC employees wearing face masks and gloves.

*Keeping in mind that one of Park Electric Coop’s main goals has been to keep member’s electric rates as low as possible, it struck me odd that Matt, our coop’s General Manager only stated the estimated, overall cost without notifying us about the funding for this investment. But it is great knowing PEC has a very healthy, general fund to cover such improvements.

Let’s vote for mail-in balloting and strengthen our coop!

Hope to see you at this important meeting where we can at least exchange waves & smiles.

Catherine Logan 
PEC District 5 member


How lucky is Livingston to have Laurie Bishop?


I first heard Laurie Bishop speak during a state budget impasse a few years back. There was no fiery ideological bent to her presentation. She carefully, thoughtfully, and calmly explained what was at stake and how it affected us. She was thorough and she trusted our intelligence. It felt more like a kitchen table discussion than a political speech.  At the end of her speech I turned to my wife and whispered, “How lucky is Livingston the have Laurie Bishop!?” 

Since then I have contacted her often to get her take on everything from primary candidates to the mask mandate. That same considered approach comes through in every conversation. She has done her homework. 

Recently I’ve got some mailers attempting to tie Laurie Bishop to Nancy Pelosi and the National Democrats. It’s laugh-out-loud ridiculous. Laurie Bishop is my neighbor. She’s your neighbor. She represents us. She deserves our vote. 

Aaron Schuerr