Suzanne Obenshain should be re-elected to the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative board. Please see a fully understanding below:

We all support broadband to the entire territory, especially with virtual teaching in this pandemic. Ponder for this cost to occur solely from the SVEC--$300 million for the investment in just our territory! Not possible without a substantial increase to our monthly power bills! The state of Virginia allocated $42 million to assist this effort for all Virginia — $42 million, when our territory would be $300 million. Suzanne has been instrumental in getting the fiber cable to the substations. She and the board are working to get partners to reach the underserved, a priority for all of us, but partnership is the key. Think about this — if it were profitable, Comcast, Glofiber, etc., would have already done this. Suzanne and the SVEC board are working beyond profit to locate partnerships — focus of their upcoming board meeting. It is not economically viable to attempt this alone. Some would counter that bordering co-ops have done this. These co-ops are small. Our SVEC encompasses eight counties and one city.

Suzanne Obenshain is responsible to the owners. There are 79,000 residential owners and 600 net meter owners. The latter uses solar power, drawing power in times of need, such as multiple cloudy days. This industry is challenging — Suzanne does her homework. In supporting attempts for clean energy, we cannot ignore the needs of the majority member owners. Clean power is a goal, proceeding in a economically responsible and sustainable manner. This industry is challenging, and Suzanne obtains the education to proceed without compromising our energy access.

Suzanne recently was placed on the Old Dominion Electrical Co-op Board, from which we buy our power. She is poised to advocate for us — the SVEC. She will strive to keep our costs affordable and our rates as low in an ever changing atmosphere. Not everyone has limitless resources, and Suzanne advocates for all members.

SVEC has the lowest power costs in the commonwealth. This is not by accident. If you benefit from this, proceed to a ballot and vote for Suzanne.

The SVEC has 97,000 member votes. In the past, some attended the annual meeting, and a small number were counted. The board had the foresight to initiate online or mail voting, prior to the pandemic, to engage more members. Yes, insightful, and Suzanne was instrumental. We received notification in the mail of this meeting in the past with no voting opportunity, so many current notices have been trashed. If you are a victim of habit, retrieve your right to vote. If you are pleased with your rates and appreciative of your board’s commitment to improve service and clean energy, vote. Go to support@directvote.net or call 952-974-2339 — cast your vote today (Aug. 10 deadline), and I urge you to choose Suzanne Obenshain.

Suzanne is an avid learner of energy systems, especially for our service district. Her meeting attendance has been nearly 100% — missing one meeting to celebrate her son’s graduation. She has a personal history in business, with demonstrated success. She demonstrates diligence and good stewardship in the SVEC. This job is not simple. It requires educational endeavors, time, thoughtfulness, business sense, and responsible financial decisions. To keep power costs affordable and service reliable, expertise in the industry is essential — vote to re-elect Suzanne Obenshain.

Cathy Slusher lives in Rockingham and is a physician at Harrisonburg OBGYN.

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