Q&A with Jeremy Behling, candidate for Yampa Valley Electric Association board, District 7
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Q. What qualifies you to serve on the YVEA board?
A. As a commercial lender for nearly 10 years and an owner of several small businesses in Steamboat Springs, I have an extensive understanding of fiscal responsibility and how to strategically advance an organization. Understanding how to succeed in free market enterprise has proven to be valuable in my nonprofit work. Over the last 10 years, I have participated on several nonprofit boards, serving in many capacities, from at-large board member to treasurer and board chairman. During this service, I received formal training in nonprofit financial management, governance, strategic planning and development. Understanding the role of the board versus the role of the CEO or president of a nonprofit organization is crucial. If elected, I will continue to grow, learn and improve my ability to represent the interests of our local communities.
Q. Why do you want to run for the YVEA board?
A. The Yampa Valley is a special place. Routt and Moffat counties have amazing history. Many great people have laid the groundwork to provide the next generation better opportunities to live and raise families here. I want to serve on the YVEA board because of the work that has been done before me to build our communities into what they are today. Be it as a board member of YVEA or the owner of small businesses or teaching my kids, I believe that it is my responsibility to give back to our community and bring positive growth that will provide the next generation to come even more opportunities to grow and succeed in our wonderful valley.
Q. What are your goals for YVEA?
A. I have five major goals for YVEA.
- Improve strategic planning and governance of YVEA.
- Develop new revenue opportunities for YVEA that will allow for lower costs to all members. Providing high speed broadband internet to all members of our community is a real possibility through YVEA.
- Keeping our electric cost as low as possible while ensuring that YVEA remains fiscally solvent.
- Drive accountability through thoughtful policy adoption that will provide a more consistent customer experience for the benefit of our members.
- Understanding what our communities need and want from YVEA and working to make them realities.
Q. What do you see as YVEA’s goal in the community?
A. I believe that the goal for YVEA in our community is one of support and collaboration. As a membe
r-owned utility, YVEA’s main purpose is to ensure that our community has affordable, reliable energy. YVEA is in a unique position to not only provide a large number of high paying jobs to our community but also has the ability to positively impact other industries and their ability to create jobs and grow our community. I believe that YVEA should have a goal of finding solutions to energy issues that will enhance our communities ability to grow wisely over the next several decades.
Member owners of Yampa Valley Electric Association are voting on three board members from Districts 4, 5 and 7. Ballots were mailed May 24, and they must be received by Thursday, June 20. All three districts feature contested races, and the Steamboat Pilot & Today will be publishing QandAs from each candidate in the June 11 and 12 issues of the newspaper.
Q. How do you view the future of energy in the Yampa Valley?
A. The only constant in our lives is change. The future of energy in the Yampa Valley is on the precipice. Whether we are ready for it or not, the landscape of energy production and emissions is coming. Both state and federal legislature are working toward reducing emissions and decreasing the use of nonrenewable energy. If we are not preparing for these changes, they will have dramatic negative impact on the communities of Routt and Moffat counties. As a member of the YVEA board, I would like to champion a progressive approach to creating job opportunities within the new energy production landscape. YVEA needs to blend our economic need for our coal mines and power plants with the new opportunities that lie within the renewable energy sector. This needs to be done with the primary goal of providing affordable energy to our members, while at a minimum, maintaining jobs.
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