Political Op/Ed by Pam Ward, Shelton: Re-elect Tom Farmer

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I am writing to endorse the re-election of Tom Farmer for PUD 3 Commissioner.  Tom is a thoughtful and intelligent man who has exhibited a fine ability to learn about the major issues facing Public Power today and execute good judgment while serving the customers of our PUD during his first term.

Having been a member of the management staff of PUD 3 during the early 1990s when the planning began to consolidate all of the operations of the utility in one place, I applaud the Commission and staff for the wonderful manner in which the current facility has become reality.  It is regionally and nationally recognized to have utilized cutting-edge technology for energy efficiency and is a model for others interested in building to such standards.  During the process of putting together the final plans, Tom was always supportive of “doing it right.”

I have been reading all of the letters to the Editor in the Journal about what a great job Mr. Komen would do to keep down rates, not “bulldoze” trees and how he would not have approved building the complex at Johns Prairie.  How can he possibly know what the current issues are when he has not attended a PUD 3 Commission meeting in nearly four years?  How can he know that the majority of any need for rate increases to us occurs because of the price increases from the Bonneville Power Administration to wholesale power?  How can he know that underground power lines fail more often in this part of the country as a result of weather and soil conditions and cost many times more to replace than putting up overhead lines?  How can he know that the entire complex at Johns Prairie came in under budget and that the financial timing was perfect with low interest rates, retiring of older bond issues and the price of building at the time?

Tom Farmer has been there and understands what will help our PUD be cost efficient as well as energy efficient into the future.  Please consider carefully and vote for his re-election.  It’s important to all of us.

Pam Ward, Shelton