Out with the old, in with Bain, Iha, Smith

An election many thought would parallel last year’s Kauai Island Utility Cooperative Board of Directors race — dismal interest and little change — had more voters usher in three new faces, and retire three incumbents.

The three new directors are David Iha, Allan Smith and Carol Bain.

Iha received 3,564 votes, Smith got 3,544 and Bain 2,900.

The incumbents running for the open seats were Dee Crowell, Jim Mayfield and Ray Paler.

This year’s election drew 7,191 ballots compared to last year’s 5,651. That meant 1,540 more ballots in 2007.

Iha, Smith and Bain will be inaugurated March 27 in the KIUC main offices conference room, at 4463 Pahee St. in Lihu‘e. Following the inauguration, the new directors will join current board members for the first meeting of the sixth Board of Directors at 1:30 p.m.

“We ran a great election with a lot more information out there and I think it showed that more people are interested in the direction KIUC is going,” said KIUC spokesperson Anne Barnes. “I am proud of everyone who voted and grateful for them getting their ballots in on time.”

The directors are one of nine elected representatives by members of KIUC. There are staggered three-year terms for the Board of Directors, tasked with helping allocate a quarter-billion-dollar budget.

The new directors will join: Dane Oda, Alfred Laureta, Derek Kawakami, Dennis Esaki, Peter Yukimura and Phil Tacbian.

The board governs the business and affairs of KIUC and is generally concerned with the broad courses of action to be followed by the utility. It is not involved in the day-to-day utility operations.

“I think people want to have a diverse board, and now they have a woman on the board,” said Carol Bain by phone from El Paso, Texas, where she was visiting with family after her mother’s March 8 passing. “I believe in the Democratic principles on which the cooperative is based.”

Out of the seven candidates running for the three open seats, four were nominated by committee in January. Bain was among three who successfully petitioned to be on the ballot, and the only one from that group to make it to the board. The other two petitioners were Jim Mayfield and Peter Thielen.

“The Democratic principles on which the co-op is based are more than something I like to read about,” Bain said, “I like to live them.”

She is ready for the work ahead and says she will immediately begin her homework.

“We’re going to need the resources and the ideas from every member of the cooperative before we can have a better energy future,” she said.

Iha and Smith were not available for comment.

• Adam Harju, editor, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 227) or aharju@kauaipubco.com.

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