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Tuesday | May 26, 2020





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CWP Board Elections

Letter to the Editor

I am curious about the full-color ads in the Brainerd Dispatch as well as the glossy flyer that was mailed to my home on behalf of the “CWP Actuality Group.” These ads are supporting some current board members, one of whom took a $70,000 secret bonus, and another who did not take the money, but kept the dirty little secret. The other “new” board candidate this group is supporting is to replace a board member who “actually” began asking questions about the secret payouts and bonuses.

The CWP Accountability Group clearly lists their members on their website. This group is made up entirely of volunteers who are using their own money, time, and resources to hold the current board and management accountable to the members. Who exactly is behind the Actuality Group? No one seems to know. It’s curious, however, that they seem to have access to the entire Crow Wing Power member list – which has been denied to the CWP Accountability Group, despite several requests. They also seem to have a big budget for color ads and fancy flyers. Where does their advertising budget come from? Well, it’s not hard to figure out when you know who will benefit from the status quo.

If you want more of the same – secret back room deals, bonuses to executives, and non-disclosure agreements, then CWP Actuality group is probably for you. However, if you want to know what really is happening at our  electric cooperative, check out CWP Accountability Group. They are supporting three board candidates who are dedicated to providing a full audit of past dealings and transparency going forward. Their candidates are: Bryan McCulloch, Gary Bakken, and Loren Beilke. Please do your own research, and then be sure to vote for all districts on your CWP board election ballot.

Shawn Marie Brummer
Brainerd, MN

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Thanks to Ideal Twp Supervisors

Letter to the Editor

I would like to thank the Ideal Township Supervisors for their decision to listen to the taxpayers of the township for dropping their proposal to install an electronic billboard at the community center/fire station in Ideal Township. At a special meeting on April 29, 2020, the board was presented with a petition of 100 names requesting that $75,000 not be spent to install a 5 ? x 13 sign. As a result of citizen feedback the supervisors rescinded their proposal.

The supervisors asked those attending the meeting via Zoom to assist them in creating more open lines of communication. Monthly meetings by the supervisors are not well attended and this lack of participation on behalf of the taxpayers could lead to decisions by the supervisors that are not accepted by the taxpayers. Simply said, we citizens need to take a more active role in our local government.

I would purpose for the supervisors to do two very important items to bring transparency to the forefront of their dealings:

1) Increase the size of the board from 3 people to 5. Increasing the board members would increase the prospect of bringing different ideas / values to every decision made by the supervisors.

2) The supervisors should require competitive bids on any purchase with a value of $5,000 or more. Having a bidding process in place will allow ample time for the community to be aware of how the current $1,000,000 budget is being spent. This also allows for pricing options to be evaluated properly and with full transparency.

Mike Eastwood
Pequot Lakes, MN

Bring Accountability back to the Crow Wing Power Co-op Board

Letter to the Editor

Have you ever wanted to change something? Most of us have. The upcoming Crow Wing Power Board Elections are coming up and we definitely need some changes there.

There continues to be a lot of questions at CWP. Does the upcoming mining project have individual royalties for anyone? Are there Non Disclosure Agreements (NDA) being offered for hush agreements? Why are long term, faithful employees being pushed out? Why are there still parts of the monthly meetings closed to folks, including one board member? Why don’t the minutes have ALL the information from the meetings?

These three folks; Bryan McCulloch, Gary Bakken and Loren Beilke, have promised to get answers. Please vote for them in the upcoming election. You can and should vote in ALL districts, not just yours. Let’s bring honesty, transparency, fiscal responsibility and ACCOUNTABILITY back to Crow Wing Power. For more information go to: www.cwpaccountabilitygroup.com

John Ward

Who do you want to represent you on the Crow Wing Power Co-op Board

Letter to the Editor

Hello Member of the Crow Wing Power Co-op,

Over the last two years a small group of members and one Cooperative Board Member have been stirring the pot, trying to disrupt the operations of the Crow Wing Power Cooperative. Their complaint is based on a sales commission paid to the CEO and some of the Board members for helping a small local business sell its technology to a large multinational corporation. This group believes that the commission belongs to the Co-op.

That small local business developed innovative technology for remote monitoring of power usage meters which the Co-op used for years. They did this with the insightful assistance of the CEO and the Cooperative Board by allowing them access to the Co-op distribution grid. With their own innovation and this access, the small business was able to develop a proprietary product.

Crow Wing Power Co-op has benefited greatly from the collaboration that created this remote monitoring technology. It has saved the Cooperative hundreds of thousands of dollars in labor costs; provided faster response to power outages; and helped put the Cooperative on the cutting edge of power distribution.

When the small local business had the opportunity to sell its technology to a large multinational business, the CEO (not the Cooperative) was asked to help with the sales transaction and as a result, a small percentage commission was paid. This commission amount, when taken out of context, may look like a very large sum of money. The lack of disclosure may also add to a possible uncomfortable feeling by the community.

Large multinational businesses, by nature, will always protect their investments. Trade secrets and nondisclosure agreements are the best way that any technology company can stay one step ahead of the competition.

Does this commission belong to the Cooperative, I would say NO.

The reason to write this is that deceptive advertising by one of the board members with support from his cronies has to stop. This disruptive board member and his supporters are trying to take over the Coop Board and force their own agenda.

When submitting your ballet for the Crow Wing Power Cooperative Board in May think about who you want to represent you. The disruptive incumbent Bryan McCulloch, and his cronies Gary Bakken, and Loren Beike or some more reasonable alternative.

Darrell Shannon
Crosslake, MN

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