Socorro Electric Coop board shoots themselves in the foot
Fear and loathing in Socorro?
Reform advocates suggest that the Socorro Electric Coop really, really, REALLY fears transparency. REALLY. Reformers also suggest that the more the SEC board and their hired hand (attorney) fight it, the more it looks like there must be something to hide. After all, if there's nothing to hide, why on earth would they be fighting - tooth and nail - to keep things as secretive as possible? Not only that, they say, the legal folly that the attorney, Dennis Francish, is encouraging the board to pursue (suing its own members!) will cost the SEC tens of thousands of dollars. They point out that this means that the SEC members - you and me - will have to pay this out of our pockets or by way of increased electric rates. Many in the reform movement state that they have never seen an organization as committed to secrecy as the Socorro Electric Coop, nor have they ever seen an attorney so clearly working against the interests of his supposed clients (the SEC members) as Dennis Francish. Reformers wonder what the NM State Supreme Court's disciplinary board (which handles complaints against attorneys in New Mexico) would think of Mr. Francish's behavior, suggesting that an attorney who sues his own clients must clearly be in violation of ethical standards or codes of conduct.
What exactly are they so afraid of?
To paraphrase Shakespeare, methinks they doth protesteth too much. If they have nothing to hide, they sure do make it look the opposite. What, exactly, are they afraid of? That the members might discover that for decades the board has violated its own bylaws (failing to redistrict, failing to issue capital credit refunds, and so forth)? There might even be something worse going on there, maybe some sort of corruption or fiscal chicanery? It surely feels suspicious that they are fighting these things so vociferously.
Here comes the sun
Sunlight is the best disinfectant, as they say. Time to let the sun shine in. And time to let the attorney, Dennis Francish, go back to his pasture. Reform advocates state that Francish has been about as biased as possible during this whole process. Frankly, I agree; he's made a bit of a fool of himself on multiple occasions, whether it be when he inserted his own biased editorial comments into the SEC annual meeting, at which he was supposed to be a neutral party, or when he has hurled personal insults at SEC members at the various SEC board meetings. That's fine, it's Dennis Francish's constitutional right to behave like a fool. It's not his constitutional right to behave like a fool on our tab, however. As for SEC board member Donald Wolberg - I thought he was elected to be a reformer, not a defender of the status quo. Et tu, brute?