Reminder: Utility District election deadline is September 30

Thu, 09/23/2021 - 3:30pm

Ballots are due back at the Block Island Power Company by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30 for the election of three members of the Block Island Utility District Board of Commissioners. There are six people running for the three seats on the five-member board. Three are incumbents: Barbara MacMullan, Everett Shorey, and Bill Penn, all of whom have been on the board since its beginning, and all of whom were involved in the conception and realization of the idea of a rate-controlled utility district as members of the town’s Electric Utility Task Group and later the BIPCo Transition Team.
The three new candidates are John Warfel, Tom Risom, and Tim Dowling.

All six candidates have provided profiles and statements as to their experience and desire to be on the board that were included in the ballot mailing.

Most people don’t really know, or think about where their electricity comes from or why it costs what it does. The exercise of taking the Block Island Power Company from a private, for-profit, investor owned utility to a not-for-profit, ratepayer-controlled entity has shown the community just how complex it can be. From engineering to finance, power-purchase contracts, rate setting, and regulatory issues, it is a lot to tackle and understand.
Voters must be “qualified electors” to vote in the election, and for those who receive bills for more than one meter, only one vote may be cast. The ballots are coded to ensure people only vote once.

There was a small snafu when the ballots were first mailed out. A typo may have made it confusing as to whether the voter should select two or three candidates. The correct number is three. A second, replacement ballot was sent out a few days later. It doesn’t matter which ballot people use, as long as you know to vote for three candidates.

Ballots may either be mailed back to the company (make sure to allow enough time), hand-delivered to the office or dropped off in the box outside.
None of the current candidates will be involved in the actual election. Volunteers will be counting the votes, and three more are needed. If interested in helping with the election, contact Tracy Fredericks at (401) 466-5851.