CAPITOL WATCH: Rep. Tony Dale filed 2 bills to change PEC to single-member district elections

HERE WE GO AGAIN! REP. TONY DALE FILED 2 BILLS TO CHANGE PEC TO SINGLE-MEMBER DISTRICT ELECTIONS.  EFFECTIVE DATE SEPTEMBER 1, 2015.

But, the PEC Board passed a resolution on March 17 to OPPOSE HBs 3391 and 5431. The bills would radically change and destabilize PEC. Click here to download the resolution.

The resolution passed with a 5-2 vote. Directors Emily Pataki and James Oakley voted NO.

The main lines are:
  • Under HB 5431, PEC current directors would be terminated as of November 2015.
  • The seven directors would have to campaign for re-election within newly-defined district lines.
  • Under the new rules, redistricting would be required to give each director an equal number of members from whom to seek election. Members would no longer vote at-large. Rather, they would be limited to vote in their district of residence and would vote only once every four years.
  • Runoff elections would be needed if no outright majority is won in the first round.
  • Elections would be held no later than Nov. 30.
  • Director terms would change from three years to four years without term limits.
  • Directors’ new terms would begin Jan. 31, 2016.

If this looks familiar, it’s because you’ve already voted on this issue twice: once in 2011 and again in 2014. Each time, single-member district elections were voted down, but no one seems to want to hear it.

I voted to oppose both bills. Such legislation would undermine and usurp member control. They are an unprecedented and unwarranted overreach into a private, member-owned cooperative. 

These bills can both affect PEC members because:

  • They constitute a potential adverse action that could destabilize and potentially downgrade PEC’s financial rating.
  • They could harm member/owner investment and could damage PEC’s business reputation. They would introduce absolute chaos. Chaos is unnecessary and harmful to PEC.

Earlier in 2014, I opposed the release of your voter records to PEC board candidates. I am a tireless advocate of openness and member privacy. I need your help to protect your rights as members.

Bill sponsors include: Rep. Tony Dale, Rep. Doug Miller, Rep. Andrew Murr, Rep. Paul Workman and Rep. Marsha Varney. You may contact any of these representatives at  www.house.state.tx.us