Readers, we own PEC and pay its employees including the Board Members. James Oakley, the main subject to the troubling reporting in last week’s HFP editorial, actually receives two paychecks.
All elected and hired employees are required to represent the best services for PEC users in maintaining and developing new advances in our electricity with cost effectiveness. Employees must be able to participate in company discourse without fear of incrimination and losing their jobs. If they had not testified to the fraud and oppression under Bennie Fuelberg, crimes would still be occurring. The HFP was effective in reporting the investigations.
Our service employees are not hired on their political affiliations nor should Board Members be elected on theirs.Yet political partisanship from the Board may have initiated the resignation of John Hewa, an outstanding, progressive General Manager. He defended intimidation by some Board Members against employees who objected to remarks made by then Board President, Oakley who retained Board Membership despite a strong Coop request to be replaced. Hewa chose not to direct under these censoring conditions.Unfortunately, the majority of the Board did not honor the achievements of Hewa and ignored the best interest of the shareholders. In the business world censorship of employees would have required all directors involved to step down. Co-op owners, all of us, should protect the interests of all users and look at changing Board Membership.
Board Members are not given the authority by us, their owners, to threaten any of our employees. In fact, we need open discourse and the need for active exchange of ideas. Low morale and oppression are very serious to a progressive environment.
James Oakley was removed from his leadership as Chairman because he called for a tree and a rope for a black suspect, harking back to lynching days. Equally offensive are threats to silence our employees. After Hewa leaves, the next General Manager must assure that he supports open dissent without repercussions.
HFP needs to investigate the PEC Board with the vigor they took in the Fuelberg era. The newspaper has “Free Press” in its title. The U.S. Constitution upholds the freedom of the speech and of the press. HFP and PEC co-op owners must be more diligent in monitoring the Board.
Call for the following. More Press coverage. More user awareness about the selection of the next General Manager. Stop voting on political identities. Support cleaner and cheaper products. Enjoy your rebates from proper management, not repression.