Concerns about OPALCO | Letter

If you are an OPALCO member, you have certain rights guaranteed by Washington State law. OPALCO is, by its own admission, “a corporation organized under Chapter 24.06 RCW, the Miscellaneous and Mutual Corporations Act.” To protect members the Act requires that corporations “set forth” in their Articles of Incorporation, “The purpose or purposes for which the corporation is organized.” (RCW 24.06.025(3). In another section the Act requires any changes to the Articles of Incorporation to be approved by the members by a two thirds majority (RCW 24.06.190).

So now that OPALCO intends to add to its “purposes” becoming a mini Comcast plus a Internet service provider, plus a phone company, plus the builder and manager of 100 mini cell towers spreading 700 MHz radiation into every nook and cranny of San Juan County, a change to the Articles of Incorporation would seem to be required.

OPALCO’s excuse for depriving its members of their right to determine the purposes of the cooperative they say we own, is that the whole wireless and Internet business will support the delivery of electric power. This is pretty lame, even for a SJC organization. One look at the promotional material for their “Broadband Initiative” makes it clear that this is something entirely separate from the electric power business.

Any scheme that requires the committing civil crimes and the total denial of our rights as members/owners should probably be rejected.

Steve Ludwig

Lopez Island