Letter: Holy Cross election | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Holy Cross election

Reading through the candidate profiles for the upcoming HCE board of directors election June 8, I was struck by Clem Kopf’s remarks concerning the depth and length of the Aspen Skiing Co.’s successful attempts to influence and handpick candidates for the HCE board.

As a former director of HCE for 33 years I have an opinion or two I’d like to share. Electricity has captured such a vital role in today’s lifestyle that it is a shame to politicize the policy decision-making process entrusted to the board. The current board of directors is hopelessly compromised with conflict of interest issues as members try to sort out what is good policy for them personally and what is best for HCE.

There is a solar energy company owner, a county and a city environmental planner, and an energy efficiency coordinator. Overall, it is an incredibly green group of individuals who would benefit from some balance. Lynn Dwyer, who is retiring, was the first of the hand-picked candidates, and after a short learning curve became a respected board member. Her “light” green agenda may well be replaced with “heavy” green.

Beyond board issues, the hypocrisy of the Aspen Skiing Co. trying to promote their green image when it is undoubtedly one of the biggest carbon polluters in the valley coupled with its private jet-setting clientele is absurd. To enable the cash registers to click in on Thanksgiving, artificial carbon snow is produced as long as it is cold enough to run snow guns.

Every year and season is different, and the climate is definitely changing for the warmer side. Yet how perfect was this past season where we had a magnificent warm sunny fall that precluded snow making and enabled an extra month of growing season to produce another major ingredient of modern day America, local food production. In the long historic picture it is the height of arrogance to believe that man controls the climate, but it behooves us all to attempt to leave the planet at least as good or better than we found it.

Back to the candidate profiles. There probably are too many people aspiring for the current open director’s position to ensure any other outcome than the ski company’s choice of David Hornbacher being elected. Auden simply has to put out the word to the company’s work force and his environmental cohorts that their choice is another certified, conflicted candidate who happens to currently run the Aspen Municipal Electric system. This heavyweight approach is hard to match by the other candidates. Right out of the box in the May 23 local papers, there were two political letters of support for Hornbacher from Auden and Dan Richardson, the mayor of Carbondale, who probably due to his residential location is not even a HCE member. I don’t personally know David Hornbacher, and I’m sure from Dan’s endorsement that he is a fine person in his own right, but we do not need another conflicted board member at HCE.

Wake up, Holy Cross members, and coalesce behind an entrepreneurial business person who will add balance and integrity to the policy-making process. Green has always been my favorite color, but if anyone thinks that they are going to reliably run HCE’s load curve on 100 percent renewable energy at this point  and keep reasonable rates, they better be prepared to face the music, and it isn’t going to be a waltz.

I know and will support the forward-thinking, green but balanced Jared W. Kerst for his broad scope of interests and the impeccable heritage of honesty and dedication that reflects his upbringing.

Tom Turnbull


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