Four candidates vie for district seat on MLEA board

RANGELY | In the first contested election for the Rangely district seat on the Moon Lake Electric Association (MLEA) board in several years, Brad Casto, Alan Ducey, Sam Tolley and Tim Webber have thrown their hats in the ring.
This year’s election is a contested one for the first time in a while. “The last two terms were unopposed in this district,” Yankton Johnson, MLEA manager of personnel and member relations, said via email.
MLEA serves Rangely and the surrounding areas. There are seven members on the board of directors representing seven districts. The directors can be elected to four three-year terms with an election held every third year.
“Directors govern the co-op,” Johnson said. “They decide how its resources and services are to be used for the benefit of member-owners.”
Responsibilities include interacting with members, understanding the cooperative’s business policies, establishing goals for the manager, reviewing financial matters and making financial decisions, among others.
“A director holds a position of honor and trust. A director is the co-op in the eyes of the membership and the public. They must be seen as well-informed, completely trustworthy and deeply concerned,” Johnson said.
In return, directors receive a “small stipend” for meeting attendance and are reimbursed for all expenses when attending meetings.
“They also receive life insurance while on the board,” Johnson added.
Ballots, and their bios, were mailed April 29. MLEA members can vote by mail or at the May 30 annual meeting.
Following are brief bios for the District 7 candidates, along with questions each candidate answered via email. Their names are listed in alphabetical order.

Brad Casto

Brad Casto, Incumbent
Casto is the owner of Rangely Auto Parts. He managed Rangely Auto Parts from 1999-2004, purchasing the business in 2004. He received his post-high school education at CNCC in Rangely and has been a MLEA member for over 18 years. He and his wife, Michelle, are the parents of two children.
He participates in recreational activities and sporting events, and is a Septemberfest supporter. Brad donates time and resources to CNCC, Rangely High School Rowdy Worm and the Rangely Off-Road Adventure Rally. His hobbies include hunting, boating, four-wheeling and spending time with family. Brad has served as the board president, vice president and secretary-treasurer for Moon Lake Electric. Brad would like to thank the members for their past and continued support.
1. Why do you want to serve on this board?
I would love to continue to serve the members of Rangely, and to use my continued experience on the board to advance the service and success of Moon Lake.
2. What other board experience do you have?
I have had the pleasure of serving Rangely on our city council, the RDA and RDC boards, the Moon Lake board of directors, the planning and zoning committee, safety committee, finance committee, Human Resources committee, and the utilities committee. I strongly believe in being involved in Rangely and its future.
3. What is your present perception of Moon Lake and the direction it’s going?
My perception of Moon Lake is they are a great co-op, keeping the member’s best interests at heart. Like any business, there are always things that this organization can improve on, and the current board is driving to accomplish this.
4. What is the biggest challenge facing Moon Lake right now, in your opinion?
There are currently many challenges facing Moon Lake right now including politics, green energy, an aging workforce, maintaining an aging power system, hydro-power issues, and preparing for growth in our system.
5. How do you foresee improving Moon Lake on behalf of the community if you are elected?
If re-elected, I foresee improving Moon Lake by tackling all challenges head on while keeping the members best interest at heart. I will do my best to keep our rates competitive in an energy challenged environment. I will use my past experience to prepare Moon Lake for our younger generation’s future.

Alan Ducey

Alan Ducey
Ducey is the current owner and operator of Ducey Electric Inc., a family-owned business that has been servicing western Colorado for the past 36 years. He and his wife, Crystal, are the parents of five children. Ducey has been a member of MLEA for 44 years. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, farming and ranching.
1.   Why do you want to serve on this board?
I want to serve on the Moon Lake Board to give the people good communication between Moon Lake and Rangely area. I want to represent concerns people might have. I want to continue a good relationship with Industry and Moon Lake.
2.  What other board experience do you have?
I have served on two boards: school board for nine years and fire board for eight years.
3.     What is your present perception of Moon Lake and the direction it’s going?
Moon Lake Electric is going in the right direction for the future and holding down cost for consumers and the vision for future projects and needs that could help with growth.
4.     What is the biggest challenge facing Moon Lake right now, in your opinion? 
Biggest challenge for Moon Lake is to stay ready with needs from industry that my come and maintaining a power system that is and has been maintained with upgrades.
5.     How do you foresee improving Moon Lake on behalf of the community if you are elected? 
Improving Moon Lake with community would be to work to maintain a KW cost that has been and would like to see continue at the low rate that we have now. I would also like Moon Lake requirements for new services and upgrades to be more user friendly with state requirements with family home service equipment.

Sam Tolley

Sam Tolley
Tolley currently is the vice president of AESC/SPN Well Services. Sam has worked in the oilfield well servicing business for more than 40 years. At one time, he was the owner of Alliance Energy Services Company. He graduated from college with an associate’s degree. Tolley has been a MLEA member for 40 years. He is the proud uncle of many nieces and nephews and several adopted grandchildren. His hobbies include hunting, the great outdoors and cars.
1.     Why do you want to serve on this board?
With all that is going on with regards to the “Green New Deal “ and other political agendas in the country, I believe it is more important than ever for our local boards to apply good common sense to the decisions that will affect all of us in the very near future. I think I can help to bring a voice of reason for any of our local concerns.
2.     What other board experience do you have?
I have served on the CNCC district college board, Rangely school board, and the Association of Energy Service Companies board of directors.
3.     What is your present perception of Moon Lake and the direction it’s going?
I think Moon Lake Electric Association is a wonderful organization that serves our community very well. I believe they are heading in the right direction with regard to the continued supply of low cost power to our community.
4.     What is the biggest challenge facing Moon Lake right now, in your opinion? 
The radical agenda of those that would have us embrace this “Green new Deal.” This along with increased regulations.
Rising power cost that would hurt our local economies that must compete with regard to commodities, whether it be hay or oil and gas.
 5.     How do you foresee improving Moon Lake on behalf of the community if you are elected? 
I believe I can help in making good common sense decisions that will help Moon Lake continue to provide us with low cost power, which will help to allow our local industries to compete in a very competitive market. This will help us to preserve the economy we have and possibly increase our local economies through continued supply of low cost power, coupled with outstanding service.

Tim Webber

Tim Webber
Webber is the executive director of the Western Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District. Webber has a Bachelor of Science in parks and recreation, leisure planning and management with a minor in corrections and has worked in the field of recreation for more than 30 years. He also worked as a Guardian ad Litem in Minnesota, as well as in a group home shelter for runaway youth. He has been a MLEA member for 14 years.
He has also served as the RDA/RDC board member. Webber and his wife, Annette, are the parents of three children. His hobbies include hunting, fishing and outdoor sports.
1. Why do you want to serve on this board?
Serving on this board would help me to better understand what the energy needs are for Rangely and the region that Moon Lake Electric serves. I have served on many boards and continue to do so within the community and I believe that would benefit the residents and Moon Lake Electric as a whole with maybe a different view on issues that we may face in the future.
2. What other board experience do you have?
Rangely Area Chamber of Commerce—treasurer/board member several years; Club 20 Board of Directors—past voting member Rio Blanco County; Rangely Development Agency/Rangely Development Corporation Town of Rangely—past chair/board member; currently serve on the Colorado Northwestern Community College Foundation board 10 years; currently serving on the Rangely Rural Fire Protection Board 10 years.
3. What is your present perception of Moon Lake and the direction it’s going?
Moon Lake Electric is and has been headed in a great direction and is doing very well as an organization.
4. What is the biggest challenge facing Moon Lake right now, in your opinion?
Environmental groups and the attack on coal, oil and gas are the biggest threats to this organization. Anytime a change is made to this industry to restrict it, it causes the cost to rise for all of us! Education is the key on this!
5. How do you foresee improving Moon Lake on behalf of the community if you are elected?
By doing the job I was elected to do and, by learning more about how Moon Lake Electric works. Also, by listening to the patrons and making decisions on what is best for both.