Flathead Electric Co-op announces election and Board vacancy results

Reconvening on April 12, the Board of Trustees for Flathead Electric Co-op announced election results. Ballots were due to the independent election processing company Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS) by April 9, 2021. Flathead Electric received certification from SBS that a total of 6,988 ballots were received.

Three seats on the Flathead Electric Board of Trustees were up for election this year. Candidates had to be members of the Co-op and live in the district they sought election to represent. The certification stated that Jake Van Houten won the District #2 (Lower Valley, Somers, Lakeside, Creston, Rollins, and Cooke City) seat receiving 3,254 votes over incumbent Charlotte Housel who received 2,760 votes. Challenger Mark Liechti received 649 votes in the District #2 race. District #3 (Whitefish, Big Mountain, Olney) incumbent Jay Downen was re-elected receiving 4,589 votes to challenger Curran Edland’s 2,076. Facing no opposition, incumbent Alan Ruby (District #5 – Kalispell, North of US Hwy 2) was re-elected as well, receiving 6,224 votes.

Voters overwhelmingly passed a series of amendments to the Bylaws, with 5,101 voting in favor and 356 voting against. Passing these amendments will allow for technological progress (such as the option of electronic voting) and flexibility on when the Annual Meeting is held, among other advancements.

The Board and staff wish to extend a sincere thank you to those who voted and encourage members to continue to stay involved with the future success of Flathead Electric Cooperative.

In a separate but related matter, per the Bylaws, Trustees have filled a vacancy on the Co-op Board. Steve Streich of Kalispell was selected to fill the District #4 (Helena Flats, Columbia Falls Stage) vacancy following the February resignation of District #4 Trustee Doug Grob. The Board accepted applications for a representative, and after a series of interviews, selected Streich, who owns and operates Streich Farms, a Montana seed potato farm that has been family owned and operated for nearly 70 years. He has also served as a board member for cooperative businesses for many years, including CHS-Mountain West Cooperative and Flathead Farm Mutual. The Board says it was a difficult decision, due to the high caliber of all who applied, and they extend their appreciation to those candidates. Streich will serve as Trustee until the 2022 Annual Meeting, at which time a District #4 Trustee will be elected by the members.

For more information about the Co-op’s Board of Trustees and their districts, visit https://www.flatheadelectric.com/about/board/.

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