As many of you are aware, Frisco is a growing city. With that growth comes the need for more infrastructure such as roads, fiber optics, sewage, and utilities. Many of these topics have been major points of spend in Frisco bond awards to make sure we have a good foundation upon which to build.
One of the critical elements outside the scope of the city’s control is electricity. Most of us pay our electricity and gas bill to Co-Serv who are the driving force behind much of the infrastructure. In turn, Co-Serv partners with companies like Brazos Electric to manage planning, implementation, and maintenance.
Co-Serv is a cooperative that is not a part of de-regulation, so residents living in Co-Serv areas do not have electric provider options. But, residents are members and shareholders in the co-op, who may, via public election, serve on the Co-Serv board.
In the June 2014 Co-Serv board election, Clint Bedsole is challenging incumbent Jerry Cobb. Mr. Bedsole’s rapid escalation to board candidate is a result of the of the late 2013 Brazos Energy bid to add a sub-station, and accompanying high power transmission lines, along major Frisco thoroughfares.
The idea of adding power lines is not new given Frisco’s growth, but the sudden and haphazard way the topic entered the city threw residents up in arms. Citizens decended on to City Hall in record numbers garnering support of the Mayor and City Council.
As a result, the West Frisco Coalition formed to organize citizen efforts and ensure representation for some 30,000 residents.
There is significant support coming from Mayor Maso, Frisco City Council, State Rep. Pat Fallon, Senator Jane Nelson, US Senator Michael Burgess, and commercial entities such as The Republic Group, creators of the Master Planned community Phillips Creek Ranch. The strength of more than thirty neighborhoods has unified residents and the City of Frisco, forcing Co-Serv to the table to vet better options for upgrading power. This project should come to a head this spring and the Coalition will be ready to protect our families and their investments.
Proposed routes could change impacting your backyard. Kendall Meade, the coalition’s chairperson and president of Pearson Farms, would like residents to stay informed. “It is critical that residents without a power choice are given a representative voice on the board to share concerns and require more innovative approaches to energy placement.”
The Election Process
The election process for the board seat is a bit unique. Rather than a staged voting venue, each household receives ballots in late May, inside the June edition of the Co-Serv magazine. To count as a vote, each household must complete and mail one ballot. Co-Serv will announce the winner at an annual picnic held in June.
The challenge for the process to date has been transparency and gathering factual data. What is the cost of above-ground lines? What is the cost of underground lines? When does West Frisco need more lines? Is there a master plan for Frisco so the other areas don’t find themselves with these same issues in a few years? Is Co-Serv comparing their energy projections with city’s land use plans?
One of Clint’s driving motivations to run for the board is to answer these and other questions about the process and timelines.
How can you help?
- Clint Bedsole
- Vote, Vote, Vote!
- Learn more about the topic through the sites below.
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