KCEC gets new trustee at annual meeting


One new member was elected to the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative board of trustees in last month's election, which also saw the formal re-election of three sitting members.

Bernie Torres, a resident of Costilla and former Questa Independent School District board member, won a spot in a three-way race for the co-op's District 2, which covers the area from Questa to the Colorado border.

Torres clinched 333 votes in the May election. Bobby Ortega, an incumbent of 12 years, got 413 votes. Daryl Ortega, a sitting school board member, did not win a seat on the board of trustees after receiving only 73 votes.

Torres took the seat of Virgil Martinez, a longtime veteran of the co-op board who decided not to seek another term.

Manuel Medina and David Torres ran unopposed for District 1, which covers the town of Taos and surrounding areas. No votes were cast in that election.

Bobby Ortega told The Taos News in a June 13 interview, "This last year was a big one for the co-op," especially because the utility transitioned out of its contract with Denver-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which enforced a 5 percent cap on renewable energy for the co-op. The co-op now has a wholesale power contract with Guzman Energy.

"We'll have a better control of our destiny," Ortega said.

The co-op's annual membership meeting, held Saturday (June 10), failed to attract a quorum of its approximately 30,000 members, Ortega said.

At the 2015 annual meeting, the membership voted to lower the critical mass of members needed to conduct official business from 3 to 2 percent. Ortega said there were about 100 too few people at Saturday's meeting to reach that threshold.