These are the 2020 candidates for the Cloverland Electric Cooperative board of director elections. Their biographies are presented in their own words.
- April 27 – Ballots mailed to members of record as of March 27, 2020
- May 29 – Ballots due & voting ends
- June 4, 6:00 p.m. – Annual meeting of members – election results announced
Cloverland Electric District A Candidates
Brent Edington, Pickford
Brent Edington is a lifetime resident of Pickford where he, his wife Amber, and their three children have made a career in farming by raising beef cattle and hay. He is community-minded as a long time Chippewa County Fair board member, 4-H mentor, and overall helpful neighbor. Brent’s life mission is to serve his community and neighbors. He volunteers for numerous fundraisers, cares for the elderly, always willing to loan a helping hand, and he and his wife with a lifelong friend even traveled to Oklahoma to assist farmers in the aftermath of the devastating wildfires in 2017. Brent hopes he can use his knowledge and resources to help benefit the entire Cloverland membership through hard work and transparency.
William LaLonde, St. Ignace
Hello, my name is William LaLonde and I am running for re-election to the board of directors. You will not see any negative campaigning from me. I will give you just the facts. In the last three years this board has opened all our meetings to members, we now have meetings in different locations in all districts and at different times to accommodate the members. We lowered director compensation, we have not raised rates, and we are now paying capital credits. We also have raised our equity from 15% to almost 23%. I want to help continue this trend and I ask for your support. Please vote in May 2020. Thank you.
Cloverland Electric District B Candidate
John Sawruk, Sault Ste. Marie
Graduated LSSU class ‘77; 34 years utility experience in engineering, operations, purchasing. Three years with CEC gave me unique insight into how investor-owned and co-ops differ. Completed coursework with NRECA earning CCD, Board Leadership, and Director Gold Programs (highest available). Currently was elected vice-chair. Promised to have the minutes published, meetings opened to public. Accomplished both. Board is focused on debt reduction, as poor equity levels are costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. With better fiscal oversight and strict adherence to board purchasing policies, we’ve managed to improve our equity level from 14% in 2014, today 22% with a goal of 30%. Achieved this without a rate increase the last three years. Next term working to extricate CEC from the current purchase power contract as there are better alternatives. Maintaining system reliability, retain the lowest rates of all Michigan co-ops. Thank you for your continued support.
Cloverland Electric District C Candidates
Larry Mersnick, Manistique
Hello, I worked for Enbridge for 34 years. Retiring as a construction project coordinator, which included building pipeline on main line projects, overseeing field work, quality control, and keeping in budget. I retired in 2010, was elected county commissioner in 2014-2018, serving as financial chair, 2 ½ years; board chair, 1 year; was on the LMAS, Job Works, UPCAP, County Road Commission, Energy Boards, 4 years. I would consider it a privilege to be a Director on the Cloverland Board to provide reliable service and the lowest kw’s we can! Look to the future, learn from the past by helping new business, and explore a possible power grid from lower Michigan across the Straits of Mackinac. I am old school and believe in common sense. By problem-solving with logic and work experience, I believe Cloverland to be a good source of power for Yoopers for years to come.
Virgil Monroe, Manistique
It has been my honor to serve District C on the board of Cloverland Electric Cooperative for the last nine years. I was born and raised in Curtis, graduated from Newberry High School, a degree from North Central Michigan College. I retired as Chief Electrical Inspector for the Bureau of Construction Codes, State of Michigan. I was responsible for the implementation and enforcement of all laws, rules, and codes that govern the electrical industry in the State of Michigan. I dealt daily with state legislators and local code officials. I was a licensed Master Electrician and registered electrical code instructor with the State of Michigan. I completed the education requirements for the Credentialed Cooperative Director certificate and Board Leadership certificate to be better prepared to perform my duties as a member of the board. I am again seeking your support for the position of director on the board of CEC.
Annual Meeting of the Members Notice
Please be advised that pursuant to Article II, Section I of the Cloverland Electric Cooperative Bylaws, the Annual Meeting of the Members of the Cooperative is called by the secretary of the cooperative. The purpose of the annual meeting is to announce the director election results and to inform members of any other substantive matters. The meeting shall occur Thursday, June 4, 2020, at 6 p.m. Due to the global COVID 19 pandemic, it is in the best interest of our members, board, and staff to have a virtual meeting. We will continue to monitor the situation and post updates through our social media channels.