Vote for Adam, Jimmy & Jonathan

SUBHEAD: Please vote for Adam Asquith, Jimmy Trujillo, and Jonathon Jay for the Board of the KIUC.

By Michael Shooltz on 18 February 2014 for Kauai Rising -

Image above: Illustration from Monopoly game of Fat Cat being arrested. From (

We are currently in the midst of an election for three of the nine KIUC Board Members. Like so many of the issues we face in our world today this feels like a critical time.  Many of us have experience from the current board and staff of KIUC as an attitude of disdain toward we the members of the KIUC Cooperative. It comes across in many ways, even beyond the fact that we pay the highest electric rates in the country.

When I organized the members of my neighborhood to opt out of Smart Meters, Jim Kelly, KIUC's Public Relations man, came to my home to speak with me and some of my neighbors. We had not only opted out of Smart Meters but also insisted that we all have analog meters on our homes. When Mr. Kelly came to speak with us he said that our opt out request would be granted but he asked that we accept another model of digital meter that he said would be a better choice in terms of maintenance.  He had brought one of the meters with him to show us.

I asked Mr. Kelly if that meter put out radiation. He said, "No, this meter doesn't put out any radiation."  I then showed him a copy that I had of a part of the operating manual for that meter, and I read to him from it the part that described the amount of radiation that was put out by the meter that he was recommending. His response was, "Well that's not what they told me in the shop!".

The reason that I had that information on hand was that a friend had had the same conversation with Mr. Kelly three weeks earlier and was told the same thing. So, Mr. Kelly knew that he was lying to us. We were provided with analog meters.

At the orientation meeting held for the candidates who are now running for this election they were briefed by Mr. Walter Barnes who has given the orientation to candidates since the beginning of KIUC.  At this orientation the candidates were informed about the Non-Disclosure Agreement that would be required to sign promising, under severe legal and financial penalties if violated, to not disclose anything that happens behind closed doors at KIUC.

When asked when KIUC chooses to request input from the membership about matters to be decided upon affecting the Coop members, Mr. Barnes replied, "Never!".

When asked why membership input is never requested Mr. Barnes replied, "Because they don't have a f---ing clue!"

This is a pretty stunning attitude and clearly the residue of the crumbling plantation style paradigm which served the few at the serious expense of the many.

Furthermore, when discussing the role of Board Members it was made clear by Mr. Barnes that their outside research was not welcome and that their role was to support management decisions.  Furthermore when decisions were made and presented to the public, those decisions would ALWAYS be presented to the public as unanimous decisions but the Board irregardless of any differences of opinion.

So, we have a culture at KIUC where those who we supposedly elect to represent us must agree to not share with us the workings of our Co-op under severe penalties if they do. Clearly, especially in these challenging times, a change is not only needed, but required.

With that in mind I offer my heartfelt endorsement to the slate of three candidates who have chosen to run on a platform of change, a respect for, and open  collaboration with, the membership, and who are willing to explore the health and privacy issues created by Smart Meters.
The ballots have already gone out and must be in by March 8th.

This will be a close election. Your vote really matters.

Please vote for Adam Asquith, Jimmy Trujillo, and Jonathon Jay for the Board of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.

Letter to the TGI Editor (unpublished)

In his February 17th letter to the editor I couldn't help but notice Mr. David Proudfoot's reference to the responsibilities of the KIUC Board of Directors and his defense our coops blatant promotions of it new fees for the installation and monthly charges for those who opt out of Smart Meters.
Mr Proudfoot proclaims that, "Once elected, however, those representatives have a fiduciary duty to govern in the electorate's best interests, and a corresponding duty to explain to the electorate the reasons for their challenged decisions." It would be refreshing if that standard actually became a reality.

However, it was quite interesting that no one at KIUC ever clearly explained how it is possible for the cost of meter reading to go up. Originally KIUC was reading 30,000 meters with the cost included in members monthly bills.
After installing approximately 27,000 Smart Meters, KIUC now only reads 3,000 meters. If, as Mr. Proudfoot states, it is truly "the elected representative's fiduciary duty to govern the electorates best interests", could one of those Board Members please explain how it can possibly cost $340,000 MORE to read 27,000 LESS meters.

Rather than actually explaining where these fantom fees came from, KIUC instead used all of their promotional efforts to divide the members and distract the conversation towards who should pay these fantom fees.
In fact, KIUC distorted the language on the recent ballot so that the new installation fees, a significant portion of the new fees, which are directed at the 27,000 customers that have not yet opted out of Smart Meters, weren't even mentioned on the ballot question.
Of course these installation fees were also never mentioned in KIUC's promotions urging the members to vote "YES".

Mr. Proudfoot did a nice job of explaining the KIUC Board Members responsibilities.
However, when KIUC members already pay the highest utility bills in the country, another fantom $340,000 might not actually be considered something in "the electorate's best interests."
Michael Shooltz


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