going for broke: on running in the KIUC board election

ken stokes running for kiuc board

Didn't help that KIUC renominated the three incumbents for another Board term, yet, heck, I'm runnin' anyway.

True, I've been considering this form of public service for some time. I actually sought nomination in last year's election, yet didn't make the cut...wot with strong candidates like Allan Smith and David Iha in the pack.

Still, our island's energy future is SO challenging, and I would be thrilled and honored to serve in this way.

I would hope to help make our electricity greener, sooner, cheaper...and 'twould be grand to join good buddy Carol Bain, who won election last year.

I've looked closely at our strategy choices, and believe I can make a contribution.

Never mind that our electric coop Board hasn’t gotten much involved in strategy, except in a review capacity…that’s typically a good thang.

CEO’s do strategy, and Randy Hee has a strong strategic planning capability in place. And Derek Kawakami just honcho'd a fairly intensive Board-level stratplan process...which led to the green target of 50% in 15 years.

Yet, methinks the proverbial sh_t ain’t fully hit dakine fan yet, and we’re gonna face some tougher strategic choices in the coming months and years. I’d certainly support and push our executive team in this effort.

For one thang, we're gonna need to tweak our business model for the transformation just ahead. We certainly don't want our community-owned utility to perceive community-based energy solutions as a competitive threat.

Nor do we want to preside over a dwindling rate base as we contemplate a writeoff for our largest and most polluting generators.

Either way, if elected, I’d be committed for the long-term. It takes a fair amount of time and orientation to get a Director up-to-speed, and I support the notion that our Directors oughta have longer terms.

Challenge number one: getting elected in a process that relies heavily on name recognition. 'Stokes' is not exactly a household word (heh), and I’m up against a coupla incumbents who get.

I’m hoping that, with help from my networks in Rotary clubs and community groups around the island, I can at least raise the level of discourse as our coop members consider their choices.

Wanna help? Got some tho’ts? Be in touch…

Published by Ken on January 25th, 2008 tagged Community Initiatives, Energy

One Response to “going for broke: on running in the KIUC board election”

  1. Elli Ward Says:

    Aloha Ken,

    Thanks for stepping up. kauai needs needs your knowledge in this key leadership position. Last month at the Board of Water Supply meeting, I presented them with a letter of warning. The following is from that letter.

    Our power and water utilities are interdependent and energy-hungry. The Department of Water is KIUC’s largest consumer, satisfying its energy needs almost exclusively by burning fossil fuels. Both utilities are unable to withstand interruptions to their energy source for more than a few days at the most. From the KIUC Strategic Plan 2008 – 2023 KIUC is committing itself to generate at least 50% of its electricity renewably without burning fossil fuels within 15 years. However admirable this may be, it is too little too late. The impending peak in the world’s production of oil will have severe consequences to the ability of KIUC to continue to remain in operation. Failure by the Water Department to become energy independent would be devastating.

    The KIUC Board of Directors is too consumed with budgetary matters to take the bold actions needed to kick oil dependence in a timely manner. The price of oil will become prohibitively expensive and KIUC could go bankrupt. There goes our sole source of power! We can live without lights, but we cannot live without water and food. If we are to have enough food, we must grow it ourselves. To grow enough food we must have irrigation water. If we are to have a future on this island we must use gravity to supply our water. This was done in the past and it can and must be done again. It can and should be done better than in the past. The amount of water needed to have food self-sufficiency needs to be provided at costs that subsistence farmers could afford.

    This announcement of your candidacy gives me some hope. Please, contact me for support in this campaign.

    David Ward