Election time for Utility District board

Thu, 09/02/2021 - 3:15pm

The Block Island Utility District is holding its third election for the Board of Commissioners. There are five commissioners, and under a staggered-term arrangement, three are coming up for re-election as incumbents. The commissioners are Chair Barbara MacMullan, Secretary Everett Shorey, and Treasurer Bill Penn. All three have been involved for years in the town’s quest to acquire the Block Island Power Company through their involvement on the Electric Utility Task Group. All three have seen that goal realized. All three are running for re-election.
There are also three challengers. One is a long-term island resident, one has recently retired and transitioned from summer visitor to resident, and one is a non-resident, but owns a home and is, therefore, a ratepayer. The bylaws allow for both non-residents and residents to run and be on the board.
Those hopefuls are respectively: John Warfel, Tom Risom, and Tim Dowling.
All six candidates bring something different to the table, and biographies and mission statements from each are included in a mailing to ratepayers.

The ballots were mailed out on Monday to ratepayers, but it was quickly discovered that there was a typographical error involving the number of commissioners that electors should vote for. The proper number is three.

A second set of ballots will be coming on the heels of the first, with the corrected information. Voters are asked to use the second ballot. Safeguards
are in place to make sure nobody votes more than once, and Block Island Power Company President Jeffery Wright says that none of the three commissioners coming up for re-election have been, or will be involved in the election process.
If anyone would like to volunteer to help count the votes, please call the power company.

Ballots must be returned by September 30.