Kyle elected to WRVEC board
Ozark County resident Jim Kyle on Saturday was elected to the White River Valley Electric Cooperative’s board of directors after being nominated from the floor during the co-op’s annual meeting in Branson.
Kyle’s election was unusual in that he did not participate in the usual process through which co-op members are nominated by the nominating committee. In that process, co-op members who are interested in serving on the board contact the co-op before a specified deadline. The nominating committee considers their qualifications and presents a slate of candidates. This year, all those who expressed interested before the deadline were accepted as nominees, said Cassie Cunningham, the co-op’s communications supervisor. Three Ozark County candidates participated in this usual way: David Freeman of Brixey, Paul Wade of Gainesville and Anita Scott of Thornfield. The nominees then submitted 300-word bios that were published in the current issue of Rural Missouri and were also available on the White River Valley Electric Cooperative’s Facebook page and website (whiteriver.org).
Kyle expressed an interest in serving on the board after the slate was nominated by the nominating committee and after the other nominees’ bios were published. Kyle said he had been interested in serving on the WRVEC board but had not offered himself as a prospective candidate because the co-op’s guidelines specify that board members cannot have relatives who are co-op employees, and until this summer, Kyle had a cousin who worked as a co-op lineman. When that cousin recently took early retirement, Kyle became eligible and offered himself as a floor-nominated candidate, purchasing ad space in the Ozark County Times and on the Times’ Facebook page to announce his candidacy.
WRVEC communications supervisor Cassie Cunningham told the Times in August that a nomination from the floor had happened only once before, as far as she knew.
The board comprises nine members serving three-year terms: two members each from Ozark, Stone, Taney and Christian counties, and one from Douglas County. Directors are elected on a rotating schedule, and this year, a single member was elected from Ozark, Taney and Stone counties.
At Saturday’s meeting in Branson, Kyle was nominated from the floor, giving Ozark County members (one per household or membership) a slate of four candidates to choose from.
Cunningham said Monday the Ozark County vote totals were Freeman, 168; Wade, 214: Scott, 184: and Kyle, 360.
Kyle told the Times Monday he has no agenda. “I’ve got no ax to grind,” he said. “I’m just here to support the employees and help make the cooperative the best it can be.”
He replaces outgoing board member Bill Cook of Theodosia, who did not seek re-election. The other Ozark County board member is Pat Funk, who currently serves as board president.
Other board members whose names may be familiar to Ozark Countians are Gainesville Schools superintendent Jeff Hyatt of Sparta, who represents Christian County on the board and serves as its vice president, and former 155th District State Rep. Lyle Rowland of Cedarcreek, who was elected Saturday as a board member representing Taney County.
Cunningham said about 1,200 people, including members and their families, attended Saturday’s meeting.