Bluebonnet members re-elect four incumbent directors during Annual Meeting

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative’s members re-elected four incumbent directors at the co-op’s Annual Meeting Tuesday in Giddings, heard reports on the co-op’s financial health, growth patterns and projections and recent technology improvements, including a new website.

Directors Roderick L. Emanuel, District 3, Bastrop County; Russell Jurk, District 4, Lee and Williamson counties; Byron Balke, District 6, Austin, Colorado and Fayette counties; and Robert Mikeska, Disrict 7, Washington County; were unopposed and re-elected in their respective races.

“This year marks Bluebonnet’s 75th anniversary and this Annual Meeting is one example of what makes cooperatives great and why they remain as important and relevant today as they’ve always been – democratic control by our members and owners,” said Rick Schmidt, Bluebonnet’s Board chairman. “Congratulations to the four incumbent directors who were re-elected. The fact that they were all unopposed is a testament to the confidence that our members place in their leadership.”

One third of Bluebonnet’s 11-member Board is up for election each year. Directors serve staggered, three-year terms. This year, 6,251 Bluebonnet members voted either by proxy or in person at the Annual Meeting.

Mark Rose, Bluebonnet’s general manager, spoke to the approximately 450 people who attended the meeting about the 75-year history of Bluebonnet’s journey to bring electricity to Central Texas and the benefits of being a member-owner of a co-op seven and a half decades after the first meter was installed. Rose’s comments were punctuated by a video that highlighted Bluebonnet’s milestones in 2013, which included how the co-op manages growth, installing new LED security lights to replace high-pressure sodium security lights, and the ability to electronically sign forms, which is convenient and saves time and paper.  

Matt Bentke, Bluebonnet’s deputy general manager, provided information about the co-op’s operational and financial strengths, including how and where the co-op has grown and will grow, in terms of the number of meters and kilowatt hours that have been or will be consumed by Bluebonnet’s residential and commercial members.  

Bentke cited numbers that illustrate Bluebonnet’s service and operational efficiency. He reported Bluebonnet has added about 425 new meters in the first quarter in 2014, 100 more than this time last year. Bentke showed a map of Bluebonnet’s service area with 14 new, under-construction and proposed residential and commercial developments that, when completed, will add about 67 megawatts to the co-op’s electric distribution system. One megawatt will provide power to about 300 homes.  

Lastly, Bentke highlighted improvements to Bluebonnet’s technology, anchored by Bluebonnet’s new website that launched this month, and how these improvements will help the co-op provide better service to its members.

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves more than 85,000 meters and owns and maintains 11,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet’s service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County, and from Milam County to Gonzales County. For more information about Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, go to and follow the co-op on Facebook and Twitter.

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