2020 Trustee Election

Three Flathead Electric Cooperative Board of Trustee positions are up for election this year. Thank you in advance for participating in this important process. By doing so, you ensure that your Cooperative is working for you. Five names will be drawn from those voting to receive a $50 electric bill credit.

How to Vote

  • Check your mail for your official ballot (mailed to all Flathead Electric Co-op members on March 19).
  • Vote for only one trustee per district.
  • Mark your selections by filling in the box next to the candidate of your choice. Detach ballot and place in the enclosed prepaid postage return envelope.
  • Mail ballot to Survey & Ballot Systems, 7653 Anagram Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55344. Please allow sufficient time for delivery.
  • Do not deliver to the Flathead Electric offices.
  • Ballots must be received on or before April 9, 2020 to be considered valid.

Lost ballot?

Replacement ballots can be requested before March 31 by calling Flathead Electric Cooperative offices at 406-751-1834.

Candidates

The candidates for each district are listed below:

District # 6 (West Valley, Marion)


Duane Braaten

President
406-755-5326

As owner of Farm-to-Market Pork, Duane and his wife Janette, have over 45 years of experience in the agriculture and retail business. Duane has served on numerous boards, including the Montana Board of Livestock, the West Valley School Board, and the Rates Review Committee for FEC in 2006. He was elected to the FEC Board in 2008. Duane has served on the officer team for 7 of the 12 years he has been on the Board and is currently finishing his first year as President. Duane has attended numerous Director Training Courses. He recently received the Director Gold Certification.

District # 8 (Bigfork)

Jerry Bygren

Jerry Bygren

Secretary/Treasurer
406-261-5075

Jerry was raised on a farm in Wyoming, attended Laurel High School, and received a BS Degree in Business/Accounting from the University of Montana. After 41 years, Jerry retired as President/Director of Flathead Bank of Bigfork. He currently serves on the Community Foundation for a Better Bigfork. Jerry has previously served as a Bigfork Volunteer Fireman/Trustee, and on the boards of Roundup for Safety and Big Brothers and Sisters, among numerous other groups. He has received his Board Leadership Certification for the Co-op. Jerry’s education and financial experience provide a sound foundation and useful insight to serve as an FEC Trustee.

District # 9 (Libby)

Terry Crooks

406-293-6629

Prior to serving on the Board of Trustees, Terry served as the Roundup for Safety District 9 representative. Terry and his wife Thesia have lived in Libby for 48 years. He graduated from Butte High, York College (Nebraska) and Oklahoma Christian University. He holds the NRECA Board Leadership Certification and has served many non-profit boards including David Thompson Search and Rescue, Western Montana Search Dogs, National Search Dog Alliance, South Lincoln County Critical Stress Management and Yellowstone Bible Camp. Terry is also the local minister for the Libby Church of Christ and manages the Yellowstone Bible Teen Camp.

Article XVIII Bylaw Amendment

Flathead Electric Cooperative is asking members to vote “yes” for a change to Article XVIII. Simply put, the amendment would alter language in the bylaws to allow for the full text of amendments to be made available to our members on our website, as opposed to being required to mail it to each member.

Rationale

Flathead Electric Cooperative’s Board of Trustees rely on the Co-op’s bylaws to guide them through their decision-making process. Periodically, bylaws need to be amended and updated for relevance to the times. Trustees recently identified several potential bylaw amendments to come before the membership.

The board takes the task of amending bylaws very seriously. They voted to form an advisory committee, inviting members at large to represent each district in the Co-op’s service territory, to help examine the issues.

It is currently required that the full text of bylaw amendments be mailed to every member of the Co-op (many who don’t care to read it). Mailing the text of all the bylaw amendments to each member would cost members tens of thousands of dollars in postage and related expenses.

At the recommendation of the member advisory committee, the Co-op is proposing a single bylaw amendment this year, which will save tens of thousands of dollars in members’ money now and in the future. The change would allow for the full text of amendments to be made available to our members on our website, as opposed to being required to mail it to each member. By request, members could still have the information mailed to them, they could choose to peruse it online, or they could simply read a summary of amendments on their ballot.

As a member-owned, not-for-profit Cooperative, Flathead Electric is always looking for ways to operate efficiently and streamline costs. This bylaw amendment will have a positive impact in the future as well, as it will continue to save a significant amount of members’ money when there is a proposed bylaw amendment.