The seats of Pedernales Electric Cooperative board member Emily Pataki (left) of District 2 and board President Mark Ekrut of District 3 are up for election in 2023. Ekrut will be running for re-election, he told DailyTrib.com. Pataki had not responded to an inquiry by deadline. Courtesy photos
The Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s 2023 board election process starts Jan. 17, when candidates can first apply to run for seats in districts 2 and 3. The process has a few changes this year.
Current board President Mark Ekrut represents District 3, which includes the area north of Lake Travis to Texas 183. He plans to run for re-election, he told DailyTrib.com in a recent email. He was first elected in 2020.
District 2, which is currently represented by Emily Pataki, includes Cedar Park and parts of Williamson County. Pataki was first elected in 2014 and is finishing her third, three-year term. Board members are limited to four terms of office, so if re-elected, this would be her last. Pataki had not responded to a DailyTrib.com inquiry on if she is running for re-election by this story’s publication deadline.
On Nov. 18, the Board of Directors heard details of a draft resolution outlining election dates for the upcoming year. The item will be on the Dec. 16 agenda for final approval.
In October, the board gave final approval to a few election bylaw changes, including eliminating candidate videos from PEC’s election webpages and expanding the time period when candidates have access to a list of cooperative members’ contact information.
Previously, that list was only available in January. Now, it will be available two months’ prior to the candidate application period, giving them more time to gather needed signatures to qualify for the ballot.
At the November meeting, Kathi Thomas, a candidate for District 4 in the 2022 election, spoke during the public comment section and asked the board to reinstate candidate videos.
“They cost time and money, but they are valuable,” she said. “The value goes beyond dollars and cents.”
She suggested letting candidates make their own videos, within guidelines, that could be posted on the PEC website.
She also suggested reinstating candidate forums.
“You canceled candidate forums during COVID time, which was a good idea at the time,” she said. “It’s time to bring them back.”
The election resolution, if approved in December, will include the following important dates:
- Jan 17-March 27, 2023 — candidate application period
- Feb. 10 — names due to board for members of the Qualification and Elections Committee
- Feb. 17 — board to approve the QEC
- April 5-6 — QEC meets to vet candidates
- April 10 — board candidate orientation
- May 16 — voting begins
- June 9 — voting ends at 5 p.m.
- June 13 — results released
- June 16 — election winners sworn in at annual meeting, seated for June meeting immediately following annual meeting