To the editor: Gary Newman is a good person and a good GVEA representative. I have known him for several years and have sometimes chided him for not being as “progressive” about transitioning to renewable sources as I would have wished. I have come to realize that he has been fighting diligently against the “stick-in-the-mud” board members who are holding out for coal and oil as our rates continue to rise and our air continues to sicken us.
Fortunately for us, some of these stick-in-the-mud board members are no longer on the board and have been replaced with members who are not beholding to the families and corporations that want to keep making money from coal and oil and actually have the welfare of our families in focus. The fact that some of these former sluggish board members are supporting Gary’s opponent is further evidence that Gary needs to remain on the board. I hear often that we can’t move to quickly into renewables because it is more important to keep rates low. Our rates are not low. I have watched our rates increase by 150% in the time I have been a member or GVEA. We not only have the highest rates in most of the country but the unhealthiest air. I, personally, would rather have clean air than “cheap” electricity. If electricity has to be expensive, we can learn how to use it more conscientiously. Try breathing less ... doesn’t work so well.
I think we can have both, but we first have to cut the coal and oil factors down to emergency back-up instead of the backbone of our generation. Gary’s opponent wants us to fear that transition by scaring us with the “higher rates” argument. We don’t need another “stick-in-the-mud on the board. Let’s keep Gary.