Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative announced the results of its 2020 board election at the co-op’s 82nd annual meeting July 8, which was held online this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Three incumbent directors were re-elected in Co-op Districts 1, 2 and 3.
The election was conducted by mail and web ballot by an independent election contractor. Election results were tabulated from ballots received on or before May 27, 2020. Voter participation was 17.4%, with 1,188 ballots received (1,045 paper and 143 online) from 6,827 eligible voters.
In Co-op District 1, incumbent Cindy Thorman of Osceola ran unopposed and was re-elected with 345 votes. District 1 includes parts of Osceola, Alden and Garfield townships, and Farmington and Somerset townships.
In Co-op District 2, incumbent Mike Morris of Luck was re-elected with 308 votes. Also on the ballot was Erick Vitalis of St. Croix Falls, who received 155 votes. District 2 includes part of Osceola Township, and St. Croix Falls, Eureka, Sterling, Laketown and Milltown townships.
In Co-op District 3, incumbent Ed Gullickson of Amery ran unopposed and was re-elected with 339 votes. District 3 includes part of Garfield and Alden townships, and Lincoln, Blackbrook, Clear Lake, Vance Creek, Star Prairie, Forest and New Haven townships
Thorman, Morris and Gullickson will serve three-year terms on the co-op board, beginning with the July 27 regular board meeting. Directors meet monthly to make policy and budget decisions. They are elected by members and each represents a district in the co-op’s service territory. Overall, nine co-op directors serve on the Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative
Other Polk-Burnett board directors are: Joe Metro, Balsam Lake, District 4; Jeff Traynor, Balsam Lake, District 5; Wilfred Owens, Frederic, District 6; Jerry Okonek, Spooner, District 7; Chuck Brookshaw, Webster, District 8 and Tom Swenson, Webster, District 9.
Polk-Burnett is a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative that provides reliable electricity with efficiency and extraordinary service to 20,000+ homes, farms and businesses across 2,000 square miles.
"Electric cooperatives are unique because we are owned and governed by the members we serve. Co-op directors are local members who live and work here. They understand and listen to our local community. Local board governance is one of the greatest advantages of our co-op business model,” said General Manager Steve Stroshane.