Indian Electric Cooperative has seated a new trustee on its board after district meetings and a drive-thru election were held June 9.
District 3 members chose Lee Peckenpaugh over four other candidates, including incumbent Rick Van Deventer, John Favalora, Matt Griffin and Wade Coffey. Peckenpaugh was elected soundly to a three-year term.
“Leading a co-op that serves more than 20,000 meters comes with a lot of responsibility, so we are appreciative that all five of the candidates were willing to give of their time to represent those in their district,” IEC CEO Todd Schroeder said. “IEC’s outlook continues to be a good one, and we’re thankful for members who step into leadership roles and help guide us forward.”
According to the returns, 135 members registered for the District 3 meeting on June 9, more than the 96 necessary to satisfy quorum. Members cast their votes at the Skedee Fire Department in drive-thru fashion from noon-6 p.m. IEC employees registered voters on iPads, then members proceeded to the next station in their vehicle, where a third-party conducted the balloting process. Many who participated commented on how much easier it was to remain in their vehicles and that it was efficient, taking only a minute or two before they were able to return to their busy lives.
Returns were tabulated at 6 p.m. by the third party, with candidates in attendance along with a small group of employees and the IEC attorney. Peckenpaugh began his term immediately.
Peckenpaugh is a Pawnee County native, and he and his wife, Mary, make their home in the Skedee area. He is a farmer and works in the pipeline industry. Peckenpaugh’s late father Loris was a longtime IEC trustee, serving the cooperative for multiple terms.
Peckenpaugh joins trustees Jim Hadlock, Berry Keeler, Mike Spradling, Greg Fielding, Ralph Jerome and Chris Hudgins on the IEC board.
Keeler (District 1) and Hadlock (District 2) also were at the end of their terms in June, but they did not draw opponents and retain their seats for another three years. Although elections weren’t necessary, Keeler and Hadlock called meetings for their districts, but neither reached quorum so no business was conducted.
IEC members Dave Crabtree, of Ralston, and Turner Mashburn, of Fairfax, respectively, won $100 bill credits in random drawings of those who registered for the District 1 and 2 meetings. Leslie Malone, of Pawnee, won the $100 bill credit for District 3.
In June 2021, IEC held its first drive-thru district meeting due to the pandemic. Thanks to new legislation this session, drive-thru registration and voting can now be counted toward meeting quorums as regular practice, not just in special circumstances.
IEC plans to continue the drive-thru process for the annual meeting, which will take place on July 26. Drive-thru registration and voting on proposed bylaws changes will be from 3-7 p.m. on that day at the co-op’s Cleveland and Fairfax offices. Registrants will receive a $20 bill credit, an IEC baseball cap and be entered to win more than $8,000 in prizes and bill credits. The grand prize is a Hustler Fastrak zero-turn mower. Winners do not need to be present for the drawing and will be notified by phone.