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Socorro Council Webcast  
Council meets on 1st and 3rd Monday
111 School of Mines Road.

August 17, 2015 Socorro City Council agenda item: Electricity Utility Feasibility Study  

Special buy-out/sell-out webpage
click here

Click here for more news, and videos

(Now a dead issue- for archive only)

Use either or both of the following secure email address to express any concerns or complaints about the SEC:



Smith-Christensen, LLP
ATTN: Socorro Electric Review
5970 Fairview Rd., Ste. 126
Charlotte, NC 28210

City of Socorro
111 School of Mines Rd.
Socorro, NM 87801
Phone: (575) 835-0240

Flyer with auditor contact information

Click here for more Buyout information


Report the conduct of an attorney at the Disciplinary Board of the NM Supreme Court Website- The form

Consumer complaints with the NM Attorney General - Utilities problems
Website - Form & instructions

NM Attorney General Open Meeting Act  

NM PRC (Public Regulation Commission) - Your rep is probably Ben L Hall.
Website  - Online Complaint Page
Please read instructions and FAQs
download a copy

Submit a complaint about Open Meetings and Inspection of Public Records Act or here

Contact Wiggins law firm
Letter to the editor Chieftain  
Letter to the editor Abq Journal  
Letter to the Informed Cynic  

Complaints to Agencies:
Nat'l Rural Electric Co-op Association
NM Rural Electric Co-ops  
New Mexico RUS
NM Rural Electric Coop Act [2013]   
Cooperative Finance Corp. (CFC)  


Report the conduct of an attorney at the Disciplinary Board of the NM Supreme Court Website- The form

Consumer complaints with the NM Attorney General - Utilities problems
Website - Form & instructions

NM Attorney General Open Meeting Act  

NM PRC (Public Regulation Commission) - Your rep is probably Ben L Hall.
Website  - Online Complaint Page
Please read instructions and FAQs
download a copy

Submit a complaint about Open Meetings and Inspection of Public Records Act or here

Contact Wiggins law firm
Letter to the editor Chieftain  
Letter to the editor Abq Journal  
Letter to the Informed Cynic  

Complaints to Agencies:
Nat'l Rural Electric Co-op Association
NM Rural Electric Co-ops  
New Mexico RUS
NM Rural Electric Coop Act [2013]   
Cooperative Finance Corp. (CFC)  


6/20/24 - Power Struggle: Wolberg predicted backlash against SEC in 2018. Chieftain

6/10/24 - Supreme Court rules state regulator can change rates proposed by rural electric cooperatives. Chieftain  

6/6/24 - Despite inflation electric utility formation still viable option. Chieftain or .pdf

2/29/24 - Guzman (energy) said they need more time than 45-minutes with SEC board. Chieftain

1/25/24 - Meet the communities trying to take over their local electric utility. ... Activists say public power would lower bills and expand clean energy. But they face tough opposition from investor-owned utilities. Grist

1/25/24 - City willing to extend Co-op franchise, but not indefinitely. Chieftain

9/25/23 - Mayor lays plans to provide a new electric service to schools.  Chieftain

Just found 2015 article: July 9, 2015: New Mexico co-op faces opposition by city.   AHC Law   

May 15, 2023 - Rural electric co-ops to get $10.7B in USDA funds for clean energy grants, loans. SourceNM   

September 19, 2022 - Indigenous groups say changes to utility regulation in NM would favor energy companies. ... 2020 ballot measure altered how people get onto the PRC and shrank the board. Source NM    

June 3, 2022 - Electric Co-ops Are Well Situated To Lead The Green Energy Transition. Popular Resistance

May 19, 2022 - Socorro Electric Coop agrees to restructure rates ... After three years of refusing to do so, last week the Socorro Electric Coop agreed to restructure its rates as directed by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission in September 2019. This comes as a compromise between SEC and the NMPRC Utility Division Staff after several years of back and forth. Chieftain or PDF

April 28, 2022 - McCartney elected to Coop Board. Chieftain  or  .pdf

April 21, 2022 - Bustamante seeks re-election.
Chieftain or .pdf

April 21, 2022 - Letter: City’s feud with electric cooperative is harmful. Jim Nelson - Chieftain or .pdf

April 21 - City accuses Coop of attempting to delay informing members. Chieftain or .pdf

April 20, 2022 - SEC Annual meeting newsletter announcement and Socorro City buyout. Download.pdf

April 7, 2022 - SEC again ordered to restructure rates. Chieftain or .pdf

April 1, 2022 - Socorro Electric Co-op fights PRC and city Albuquerque Jorunal or download.pdf

March 31, 2022 - Bustamante, McCartney face off. No SEC candidate for Catron.  Chieftain or Download.pdf

March 24, 2022 - SEC trustees accumulating fines ... accumulating a $1,000 fine per day since April 2020 after refusing to restructure their rates as directed by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. Chieftain or download PDF

March 10, 2022 -
The city of Socorro sent an open letter to the Socorro Electric Cooperative's CEO and Board Members, offering to acquire the cooperative's system within the city of Socorro and to take over providing electric services to city residents. Download PDF

April 15, 2021 -
Update on SEC vs. City of Socorro lawsuit.  Chieftain or Download .PDF

April 8, 2021 -
Letter: Update on City vs SEC lawsuit by Mayor Bhasker. Chieftian or Download .pdf

April 8, 2021 -
Update on City vs SEC lawsuit - Mayor Bhasker. Chieftain - Download . PDF

April1, 2021 -
Co-op suspends election of trustees. Chieftain or download.pdf

February 18, 2021 -
Upcoming SEC elections - ... there will be an election for two positions on the Socorro Electric Cooperative’s Board of Trustees this spring. Letter to the Chieftain PDF Version

January 21, 2021 - Co-op elections coming up. After skipping last year due to COVID-19 public health restrictions, Socorro Electric Cooperative is planning to go ahead with this year's annual meeting, scheduled for Saturday, April 10 at Macey Center. Chieftain .PDF

December 31, 2020 - SEC needs to be held responsible (re: powerlines) Letter to the Chieftain.   .pdf version

December 3, 2020 - Magdalena approves SEC franchise agreement. Chieftain or download PDF

October 29, 2020 -
SEC needs to look into clean energy. Chieftain Letter or download  .PDF

August 12, 2020 -
While Socorro petitions for new rates, Co-op waits for Supreme Court. Chieftain or download PDF

June 22, 2020 -
Two Electric Projects in New Mexico Being Funded by USDA  NOTE: "The Socorro Electric Cooperative Inc. is receiving a $28 million loan to connect 485 consumers, build and improve 45 miles of distribution line, and build and improve 25 miles of line for the Magdalena Transmission Line Rebuild project."   This is not "funding", customers still have to repay the loan.  Download press release

June 4, 2020 -
Transforming your electric cooperative’s power supply. ...
By Duane Highley Chief Executive Officer Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. Chieftain or Download

May 28, 2020 -
Letter to Chieftain re: rates. Download

April 23, 2020 -
Socorro Electric Co-op to comply with PRC ruling Chieftain
Download story

April 17, 2020 -
Socorro City’s response to SEC. Press Release

April 15, 2020 -
SEC Board fined $185,000.00 by the PRC. Download Court document   List of court filings as of 4/16/20.   Related: (Oct 2019) Clock ticking on SEC appeal. Chieftain

March 5, 2020 -
SEC trustees run unopposed - Chieftain     Download  

February 12, 2020 -
SEC amends its declaratory judgment filing

February 5, 2020 -
Co-op to vet trustee candidates; intervenes in Tri-State case .  Chieftain     Download  

January 29, 2020 -
City: No (SEC) permanent agreement is in place.

January 29, 2020 -
Transparency, independence are fundamentals electrical co-ops need to reinstate. Letter to Chieftain  Download  

January 23, 2020 -
Tri-State embraces renewables Chieftain  Download  

January 9, 2020 -
Where’s the juice? 500 MW line open for business ... With the first annual payment of a $1.9 million “transmission charge,” the Navajo Nation is securing the rights to use or sell access to 500 megawatts of electrical transmission capacity for 35 years starting Dec. 23.  Navajo Times

December 19, 2019 -
Socorro only has month-to-month franchise (SEC) agreement  Chieftain   Download  

December 12, 2019 -
SEC files lawsuit against Socorro  Chieftain  Download  

November 20, 2019 -
Tri-State expands community solar. Chieftain  Download  

November 20, 2019 -
SEC board needs to reevaluate its allegiance to Tri-State. Chieftain Letter (McCartney III)   Download

November 20, 2019 -
Socorro, others battle for control of electric systems.
Chieftain  Download  

November 14, 2019 -
Trustees assert membership elected them to make rate decisions Chieftain     Download  

November 7, 2019 -
PRC says "no" to SEC's request. Chieftain   Download  

October 17, 2019 -
Clock ticking on SEC appeal.  Chieftain   Download  

October 4, 2019 -
SEC Co-op defies PRC ruling. Chieftain   Download  

September 20, 2019 -
Tri-State: wholesale rates unchanged - Chieftain  
Download article  

September 12, 2019 -
The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission reached a decision on Socorro Electric Cooperative's proposed rate increase. The commission just voted 4-1 to deny the rate increase and adopt the Recommended Decision made by the Hearing Examiner.   Download the PRC final ruling  

September 10, 2019 -
Socorro City Reply to Socorro Electric Co-op August 2019 newsletter related to "The City of Socorro is proposing to create a municipal electric utility and to begin "siphoning off " Members of SEC."  
Download SEC newsletter  
Download Socorro City reply to SEC newsletter  

September 5, 2019 -
City: SEC wants a 'second bite at the apple'

September 5, 2019 -
Socorro County needs economic development, lower electric rates. Letter to the editor Chieftain    Download  

August 28, 2019 -
SEC says rate increase is just, reasonable.Chieftain
Download      Related: August 22, 2019 - SEC response to PRC Download  

August 23, 2019 -
Hearing Examiner: SEC rate increase should be denied.  Chieftain    or  download  

August 22, 2019 -
Lawsuit claims SEC responsible for Quebradas fire.
Chieftain     Download  

August 15, 2019 -
Before the NM Public Regulation Commission
In the matter of the filing of advice notice number 69 by the Socorro Electric Cooperative Case No. 18-oo383-UT. ... Statement of the case:
On December 3, 2o18, Socorro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SEC) filed Advice Notice No.69 for a proposed rate increase…. Etc.   Download  

August 8, 2019 -
Proposed rate structure is inequitable, regressive - Letter to the editor.  Chieftain   Download  

August 1, 2019 -
Creative, flexible power supply partner welcomed.  
Reyes, Jr OpEd   Chieftain

August 1, 2019 -
It's time for face to face with Tri-State  
Chieftain   Download

July 26, 2019 -
City agrees to meet with SEC Chieftain    Download

July 26-2019 -
SEC board continues to back expensive,
dirty coal. Letter - Chieftain    Download  

June 6, 2019 -
Public blasts Socorro Electric Coop over rate hike.  

This meeting will allow SEC ratepayers and other stakeholders to comment on SEC’s pending rate case and ask questions.

The format of the public comment meeting will be as follows:
1. SEC will give a short 5-10 minute presentation on its rate case filing.
2. PRC Hearing Examiner Carolyn R. Glick will permit questions from the audience to SEC about its rate case filing.
3. Public comment not to exceed 5 minutes per person.

If you are not able to attend, you may watch live from the City of Socorro website,
To Allow Socorro Electric Cooperative
Ratepayers and Other Stakeholders to Comment
on SEC’s Pending Rate Case and Ask Questions
Download the announcement  

April 18, 2019 -
Hawkes, Bustamante elected new trustees.  Chieftain  

April 11, 2019 -
Three co-op trustee positions on the line. Chieftain  

February 1, 2019 -
Amending the requirements to protest a proposed Generation and Transmission rate change - NM Senate Bill 357 seeks to amend the current statute concerning regulation of Generation and Transmission (G&T) Cooperatives in NM.
Currently, as you know, G&T cooperatives such as Tri-Sate have no oversight from the NMPRC unless 3 of their member distribution cooperatives protest a proposed rate increase. In addition, transmission-only customers of G&T's have no standing at the NMPRC or other venue to protest the transmission rates charged by G&T Cooperatives. As an example, Tri-States transmission rates have increased 23.4% since just 2016 or 7.8% per year and there has been little to no Tri-State transmission investment in New Mexico.

This legislation seeks 3 changes:
1) Reduce the required number of customer protests to one customer or member in order to require the Commission to review the rates and make a determination regarding whether the filed/proposed rates are Just and Reasonable. (Reduce customer protests from 3 to 1)

2) Adds the definition of a "Transmission Customer"

3) Includes "Transmission Customers" as an eligible party (member or customer) who can file a protest of proposed rates by a G&T.

As a Tri-State Transmission Customer, SEC members should be interested in this legislation and willing to call/email/write your senators and representatives to express your support for these changes. There are other municipal and cooperative utilities in New Mexico who are particularly interested in this moving forward. Support and votes needed to get it done. This is particularly important to rural and small town New Mexico communities. Download 2019-NM-Legislation-SB357  Download this notice 2019NM-SB357 Notice  

January 24, 2019 -
Co-op taking candidates for trustee election  Chieftain  

January 4, 2019 -
Co-op District II trustee named (Jim Nelson)

December 3, 2018 -
We need to explore clean renewable energy. Ward McCartney letter to the Chieftain  
PRC complaints website

SEC rate increases may begin in January.
Chieftain              Full rate table:  
            Public meetings on rate increases:
Oct. 19: Socorro Annex Building, 198 Neal Ave, 6 pm
Oct. 22: Magdalena Senior Citizens Center, 6:30 pm
Oct. 23: Alamo Wellness Center, 2 p.m.
Oct. 25: Datil Elementary School Gym, 3 pm

October 17, 2018 -
Proposed SEC rate increase for 2019   Rate table  

October 16, 2017 -
No peep from councilors on proposed takeover - Gary Jaramilo letter to the Chieftain editor  

October 4, 2018 -
SEC Board vacates Holcomb’s post  Chieftain  

October 1, 2018 -
Warning to wives about SEC billing statement. Chieftain  

September 20, 2018 -
Why is SEC board acting as if it has something to hide?  
Chieftain or .PDF  

September 16, 2018 -
PRC denies SunZia permit. ... It will transport electricity generated from wind farms in the eastern part of the state to a hub west of Phoenix that would serve customers in Arizona and California  Chieftain  

September 13, 2018 -
Socorro Mayor talks SEC buyout Chieftain or PDF

September 6, 2018 -
SEC electric bills about to rise? ... City considers filing PRC protest. Chieftain     
Related:   SEC electric bills about to rise? ... Resolution paves way for increase  Chieftain  

August 23, 2018 -
Mayor: City buyout of SEC grid would mean cheaper rates. Chieftain    or website

August 1, 2018 -
Average Retail Price of Electricity to Residential Sector, August 2018 (cents/kWh)  

May 5, 2018 -
Is the SEC doing enough with renewable energy? (And annual meeting report from the Chieftain)

April 26, 2018 -
Co-op annual meeting Saturday (April 28)

March 15, 2018 -
Bhasker vows to go after the Socorro Electric Co-op

January 25, 2018 -
SEC: Deadline for co-op trustee candidates is Jan. 31

September 7, 2017 -
View of (SEC) contract harmful? The City of Socorro’s offer to buy out Socorro Electric Cooperative is the reason behind the Co-op’s decision not to let City Administrator Donald Monette review its contract with Tri-State Energy last month.

Related: July 2016- Tri-State presentation to SEC

August 31, 2017-
How do Socorro Electric Co-op rates stack up.
(Part 1 of 2) Chieftain (Part 2 coming)

Reclaiming Public Services. ... How cities and citizens are turning back privatization.TNI

August 10, 2017 -
Would you support a City of Cororro buyout of the SEC? Vote here

August 3, 2017 -
Mayor proposes buyout of SEC: Options outlined at Co-op board meeting - Chieftain
.pdf version

August 2, 2017 -
Socorro Electric Co-op member survey -
In the upcoming months, SEC will be conducting a phone survey with members to received input on a variety of issues. We are interested in how we are doing as your provider. The SEC has hired a professional firm to conduct this survey, with the hopes of giving honest feedback about the service. The survey will ask questions on a variety of topics, such as the price of electricity, renewable energy, responsiveness to inquires, and internet service.

July 27, 2017 -
Letter from Socorro Mayor, Ravi Bhasker, to the SEC board

Landowners support (SunZiaw) road restructions - Chieftain

July 16, 2017 -
25 Percent of Australian Homes Have Switched to Solar, and Other Green Triumphs This Week TruthDig

July 13, 2017 -
Co-op defends situation with TDS - Chieftain
downlaod pdf version

July 7, 2017 -
Could SunZia supply SEC? Chieftain
pdf version

June 29, 2017-
In light of the Socorro City Council's recent release of its long awaited electric feasibility study, Mayor Ravi Bhasker issued a formal letter to the Socorro Electric Cooperative at its regular bi-monthly meeting - Download the article - Chieftain

City releases electric utility feasibility study - Download the article - Chieftain

Download the full report or visit the Socorro city website here:
ity website.

June 8, 2017 -
Socorro City Council talks electric study. Chieftain

May 11, 2017 -
Herrera: Local politics tarnishing (electric) cooperative's efforts. ... The proposed breakup of Socorro Electric Cooperative seemed to be gaining steam, as evidenced by remarks made at a public meeting Tuesday, May 2 at Socorro City Hall. Chieftain

Socorro effort (offer utility service) feasible in small steps. ... A piecemeal plan for the City of Socorro to offer electric utility service is feasible, the attorney helping the city explore the option said last week. ... “It’s feasible if the city starts small and builds up equity over time,” attorney Nann Winter said.

April 27, 2017 -
Co-op election recount sought - Chieftain

April 25, 2017 - NOTICE:
Socorro and Catron county folks might be interested in an upcoming Community Input Meeting Socorro City will be hosting on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 5:30 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers located at 111 School of Mines Road. Click here for the website.

The agenda isn’t finalized as yet but speakers will include: Luis Reyes, CEO of Kit Carson who will be discussing their departure from Tri-State T&G to Guzman Energy as their new power supplier and the impact it will have on their rates and future economic development at Kit Carson. He will also discuss their broadband business. Kit Carson has also formed a partnership with Continental Divide Electric Coop to run fiber down main street in Grants to provide high speed broadband.

Other speakers will be from Guzman Energy, City of TorC, Nann Winter, Rio Grande Energy, Enchantment Energy Consulting, TDS and of course the City of Socorro.

Please Note: SEC declined it’s invitation to be placed on the agenda!
Socorro Electric Co-op Vote Results:
District 2:
Judy Holcom 970 votes
Melanie Kelly 653

District 3:
Luis Aguilar 829 votes
Cndy Riverra 825 votes

April 16, 2017 -
Mayor: Co-op a hurdle in TDS broadband effort in Socorro.
... (It appears the Socorro Electric Co-op and the board are still hostile to the customers and Socorro City development. This is consistent with their policy of working against the member-owners going back 10 years. SEC archived news here )

Latest legislative update at San Augustin Water Report Website

April 13, 2017 -
Mayor: Co-op a hurdle in TDS broadband effort in Socorro.
... (It appears the Socorro Electric Co-op and the board are still hostile to the customers and Socorro City development. This is consistent with their policy of working against the member-owners going back 10 years.)

February 2017:
HB-380 - Introduced by our Rep. Gail Armstrong:
Relating to Rural Electric cooperatives; Allowing mail-in or proxy ballots to count toward establishing a quorum.
Download the biill here or visit the NM government website here for more details.
Readers may remember this was a critical issue at the recent co-op annual meetings as the board tried to disqualify voters.

SEC Website
SECs own video link  
August 24, 2016 - News on the City of Socorro feasibility study for municipally-owned electric utility. Meanwhile:

RFI for Wholesale Electric Power Supply

RFP for City of Socorro Municipal Electric Facilities Design.

City of Socorro legal notice re: municipal-owned electric utility:

LEGAL NOTICE At the Socorro City Council meeting of April 18, 2016, the City Council unanimously approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 16-03-21b. The purpose of this ordinance is to create a municipally-owned electric utility in order to provide for the efficient delivery of reliable electric power service to the City, its Industrial Park and the public. Specific details are included in the ordinance. Ordinance No. 16-03-21b will take effect five days following this publication. Copies of the ordinance are available at City Hall in the City Clerk's office, 111 School of Mines Road in Socorro. Published in El Defensor Chieftain on April 28, 2016

City of Scorro report on June 30, 2016 - Co-op starting metering project

March 31, 2016 - When will rooftop solar be cheaper than the grid? Here’s a map

March 29, 2016 - Request for Information for Wholesale Electric Power Supply for Socorro City   

2016 Annual Meeting
April 16th at Macy Center

Feb. 4, 2016 -
Another Trustee (Melissa Amaro) Resigns

October 28 - Judith Holcomb, from Magdalena, was chosen by the board in a secret ballot to replace Charlie Wagner as District 2 representative.

October 28th board videos   

Agenda for October 28th meeting   

October 4 - update on net metering...
A letter from SEC management to net metering customers is a must read.   More on this later Download here  

Related documents: [New Oct 4th]

Video of the board discussing net metering
part 1 is here: (move the timer into 18:40)
Part 2 continues the discussion. There will be more on this issue soon.

October 1 - Co-op looks to replace Wagner  

September 25 - Notice of District 2 election
Those interested in running need to contact the General Manager, Joseph Herrera no later than Oct 23rd.

Remember, ALL members get to vote on who will represent District 2 - Not just members living in that district. It roughly covers Magdalena, Alamo, and western part of Socorro.

All Districts Map

9/25/15 - Land and Conservation Fund due to Expire

September 14, 2015 - Three Cities on renewables  

September 10 - Wagner a martyr for integrity (Chieftain) 

As attorney fees increase, it is interesting to review this article from August 2011 in the Chieftain    

September 2, Wagner Steps Down (Chieftain)

August 30 -
When Charlie Wagner decided to run for the SEC Board of Trustee, it was because he had worked with electric cooperatives for many years and understood how they worked and the good that they historically did for coop members. He learned that the SEC did not operate for the benefit of its members and spend money recklessly driving rates up. He made these facts known to the members through a series of talks and power point presentations to members and civic organizations. Members put reforms into effect and created a more open cooperative where they could attend board of trustee meetings, limit the amount of money trustees could spend and their terms of service, vote by mail, have more equal voting districts, etc. This history is recorded and available on this website … and some of it did indeed make history!

Board members sued the membership because of enacted bylaws that shifted power from trustees to the members, a first in United States cooperative history. They also set up a campaign of harassment against Charlie and leaders of the SEC Reform Group. Prevarication, threats, physical and verbal attacks were common. Trustees used members’ money to drag reformers into court. More insidious actions were those of members who ran for trustee positions as reformers and then used their power to act for their own benefit instead of for the members. Things reached a crisis this year and Charlie decided to resign judging that he would be more effective using his knowledge and abilities off the board. The exact reasons are contained in the attachment entitled “Resignation.” The other attachment is the board’s press release. They plan to appoint a District 2 member to fill Charlie’s seat but are asking for people to submit their names for appointment. It is time for others to carry the torch for the members.  
Download this press release  

August 28 - PNM requests rate increase
Related: PRC reject PNM rate increase last May  

August 27 - Two fill co-op vacant seats  (Chieftain)

August 26 - Press release - Trustee Wagner resignation

Trustee Wagner resigns from Co-op board
effective immediately:

This is notice of my resignation effective as of the adjournment of this board meeting, from the Socorro Electric Cooperative.

I cannot continue to serve on a board that operates under Bylaws that reduce benefits of members and strip them of their rights, nor serve under policies that divest individual trustees of equality, independent judgment and their right of dissent as well as freedom of speech.

This board, since the latest sham election, is composed of the same trustees that sued the entire SEC membership, drove the cooperative to the brink of bankruptcy and spent a half a million dollars on themselves yearly. My association with them is an impossibility.
Wagner's resignation  

- Wagner resignation.mp4
Discussion about Resignation.mp4
- Presidents report and committee assignments.mp4
Discussion on the Socorro power generation issue.mp4
Note: it took MEMBER concern to bring this issue to the board table, otherwise the board has been completely ignoring the fact the co-op is in serious trouble and on its death bed.
Report on SW energy conference.mp4
See SW conference video. Note, according to Wolberg, a shill for the coal industry, it cost $490 to power that 100watt bulb with solar.
Thats cheap. Most of the coal plants have a capital investment of BILLIONS over DECADES before they can power that first 100 watt bulb (and require rail, and mines, and distribution network, etc)... Go Solar!

- Tri-State Report.mp4  
- RUS report.mp4   
- Oath off office.mp4

Considering the wise cracks about job loss if coal goes under.... relatively few people dig for coal compared to building and installing alternate energy systems, a fast growing segment of the economy. The last thing the coal mine owners want is the burden of dealing with labor, the fewer employees the better. What about the job loss related to solar? Since when does the coal industry become a welfare agency and a jobs program??  The steam-age is over folks.

August 26th meeting agenda has been revised to include an executive session to discuss trustee conduct at meetings  Revised Agenda  

Recent residential rates table   

July fees to lawyers:
Wiggins $4,719.73

Christensen (SEC "audit") $6,802.40

Annual Meeting re-do videos:
Quorum count.mp4  
Agenda issues and vote tally.mp4  
Treasurers Report.mp4  
Wagner not allowed to give trustee report.mp4
General Managers Report.mp4
Public Comment.mp4   

August 22 - "Election" results:
Registered voters = 392. Quorum present.
Wolberg 671 mail-in - 171 in person = 842 votes

Anaya 552 mail-in - 212 in person = 764 total

Leroy Anaya (Left)                    Don Wolberg (right)

There is no way this "election" could have turned out any other way.


August 20, 2015 in the Chieftain:
Co-op meeting, Election Sunday

Council picks firm for study of utility

Note in the story above that the attorney said a quorum must be present BEFORE the business meeting for the votes to count. In the last election, the attorney said the opposite, a quorum was needed for the business meeting for the vote to count. Of course, that was when another reformer was elected, and the same election Don Wolberg got only 6 votes.   So... bad attorney advice again - I wonder if they will give us the money back for that meeting?   

August 18, 2015 -
Socorro City Council voted to go forward with the study on feasibility of the city generating their own electricity.

Socorro Feasibility Study going forward.mp4  or .wmv

The website of the company doing the study is here  

August 1, 2015 -
Meeting Agenda: Socorro City Council agenda item: Electricity Utility Feasibility Study  

August 5, 2015 -
Why Are Americans Switching to Renewable Energy? Because It’s Actually Cheaper

Orlando utility buys solar at under fissile generation prices

August 1, 2015 -
Your mail-in ballot probably arrived by now. It's a sure bet, those two characters will get on the board despite losing their last bid for election that was nothing short of embarrassment with 1 getting only 6 votes and the other only 46. There is no option for "neither of the above". Quorum or not, they will win the seat, probably by board chair appointment. This fix is in. The only way to send a message to the board and their lawyers is to not return the ballot. If you do come to the meeting and register, DO NOT vote.

What we see here is the final nail in the democratic process and the beginning of the end of this co-op. The final looting will begin with virtually unlimited spending by trustees like the old days. That will be the legacy of the majority of the board members and their lawyers.

Meanwhile - well run companies progress:
Electric Co-ops are already practicing the future of energy   

Below find the minutes of the new Credentials and Election Committee held on June 29, 2015. The entire two and a half page document is of interest to SEC members but page 2 displays one of the major problems with the new bylaws: the fact that voting by mail is not longer mandated by bylaw but a function of a Committee nominated by trustees and selected by an person not named but probably the President of the Board of Trustees.

Excerpts from the document:

"Due to the fact that only two (2) members filed for candidacy,........discussion ensued whether to conduct the trustee election along with the mail-in ballots; to forego the mail-in ballots and in-person voting; determination of a quorum; and electing the candidates by acclamation."

"Discussion ensued that there is no need to go with the expense of conducting the election with the mail-in ballots."

"The Committee discussed at length the pros and cons of conducting an Election and a motion was conduct the election of candidates with mail-in ballots."

The Committee decided as they now have the power under the new bylaws which do not mandate "vote by mail".

Another striking statement from page 2:

"Attorney Wiggins read Section 5.03 Election of the bylaws and stated that the worst case scenario would be that there would be no quorum of members."

To many members the "worst case scenario" would be the return to the board of candidates and former trustees Leroy Anaya and Don Wolberg who are the only candidates because of inadequate publicizing of rules and time limits for the self nomination process. If a quorum is not achieved at the August 22, 2015 meeting, the election is invalid and the election will have to be reset with time for other candidates to announce. This don't vote, don't go strategy is the only way to get better trustees on the board who can shift the board majority from the the present form to one who will back member rights by making changes to the present new bylaws that strip members of any control of the cooperative.

June 29, 2015 -
062915-credential and election committee minutes  

July 23, 2015 -

July 23, 2015 - Don Wolber letter to Chieftain (Scroll down)  

September 30, 2015 -
A letter from SEC management to net metering customers is a must read.   More on this later Download here  

September 25, 2015 -
Notice of District 2 election
Those interested in running need to contact the General Manager, Joseph Herrera no later than Oct 23rd.

Remember, ALL members get to vote on who will represent District 2 - Not just members living in that district. It roughly covers Magdalena, Alamo, and western part of Socorro.

All Districts Map

September 14, 2015 -
Three Cities on renewables

September 10, 2014 -
Wagner a martyr for integrity (Chieftain)

As attorney fees increase, it is interesting to review this article from August 2011 in the Chieftain    

September 2, 2014 ,
Wagner Steps Down (Chieftain)

September 1, 2014 -
Tues. the 2nd, Socorro City Council meting agenda

August 30, 2014 -
Top 10 Lies about Municipalization

August 29, 2017 -
Activist Guide to Video Archiving  

This meeting was very important. There were two presentations, the first by Aaron Christensen, the attorney looking into "issues surrounding Socorro's management practices, Board governance, etc." The complete contract with the SEC is attached. Mr. Christensen spent Tuesday in one on one discussions with individual board members and Wednesday morning with Mayor Bhasker and other city officials. He probably also spent time with staff, management, and attorney but I have no direct knowledge of such meetings. Members may communicate with him by way of email and snail mail for the next two months and it is very important that members express their opinions. Contact inrformation in the left column of this web page and below. Mr Christensen's presention video is below.

The second presentation was by Kathy Buhl of the Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC). (see video below) The CFC has an Integrity Fund which grants money to protect the geographical integrity of rural electric cooperatives from hostile takeovers by other companies. The SEC applied for such a grant and Ms. Buhl announced that the grant was approved which means that they will give the SEC $263,000 a year with a approximate $600,000 life time cap to fight the City of Socorro if the city does decide to break off from the SEC. A question from the audience clarified that no SEC member or Mayor Bhasker was spoken to concerning the situation. The CFC deals only with the "corporation" which means management although member/owners do own the cooperative. Ms. Buhl cites the fact that the members elect trustees as their representatives so they do have a voice. The problems with trustees did not factor into the decision to award the grant. This action is reminiscent of 2010 when the trustees sued the members. The were no copies of the report available for distribution but a formal for a copy is in the works.

The meeting was fairly well attended by members, Mayor Bhasker and other city officials with the result that public comments (also taped and posted) were lively and in some cases very hard hitting.

The SEC Foundation Committee, Trustees Dorough, Cordova & Wade, met before the Board Meeting to devise new policies in regard to scholarships. Final action will not be voted on until next month's meeting but one proposed change produced some spirited debate. Seems that no child will be considered for a scholarship if his/her parents are delinquent on their bill. This is a big problem given the trouble with estimate billing which often results in sky high amounts being charged. One member who has been protesting the manner in which scholarships are awarded was told that the reason his son was not considered was because their account was delinquent. The fact that he was questioning a estimated bill of $3,100 which was found to be wrong did not matter nor did the fact that no policy at that time addressed delinquency. Members should consider if this is fair as they can take corrective action by bylaw amendment. Video below.

An almost hour long executive session followed the open meeting. Of note was the change that Trustee Wagner was allowed to attend. Those of you who remember the police being called to forcibly and illegally remove him from the room will find this very odd. Mr. Christensen was in attendance at the executive session.
  082714-Meeting Comments  

Flyer with Christensen law firm contact information
Or see the left column on this web page

Presentation by Aaron Christensen.wmv  (15min)
(Smith/Christiansen agreement  )

Presentation by Kathy Buhl of CFC.wmv  (12min)

Public Comments.wmv

Change time and location of Dist 2 Annual meeting.wma  (9min)

Foundation Committee report to the board.wma  (8min)

August 25, 2014 -
Don't forget, Wed 27th is the board meeting and it is important to attend as a presentation by Aaron Christensen who is doing the "audit", and by Kathy Buhl of the CFC Integrity Fund. Here is the agenda

Note in the agenda:
"G. PRESENTATION BY AARON CHRISTENSEN" This is the attorney hired to look into the activities of the SEC who has been receiving complaints, etc. from the members.

This morning, Tuesday 26th, he is meeting with the trustees on an individual basis. Tomorrow morning (Wednesday) he will meet with Mayor Bhasker. This afternoon presentation should be really something.

" H. PRESENTATION/KATHY BUHL--CFC INTEGRITY FUND" This is the Fund that the SEC is hoping to get money from to fight any take over of the SEC by the City of Socorro.

Members should attend this meeting if at all possible as the future of their electric power is at stake. If you like what is going on, attend and say so. If you dislike the actions of management, legal advisors, and the board majority, attend and say so.

Prior to the regular meeting will be a meeting by the Foundation.
Aagenda for the foundation meeting  

State rankings of electric rates kw/h.
(Above webpage in pdf format) AARON CHRISTENSEN

August 18, 2014 -
Comments by the mayor to the Chieftain reporter concering lack of reporting on SEC issue

Agenda for tonights city council meeting  
(Nothing scheduled on SEC issue)

August 7, 2014 -
Herb Meyers comments on SEC Board (also as letter in Chieftain)
Trustee Wagner on Censurship  
(Note: On-line version of The Chieftain only published 1 letter to the editor)

August 5, 2014 -
Video clips from Socorro City Council meeting August 4th

Public comments
Santos Aragon part 1 of 2.wmv (11min)
Santos Aragon part 2 of 2.wmv (10min)
Buy-out information and rate discussion.wmv  (20min)
Customer billing problem.wma  (8min)

Socorro City Council meeting agenda  

August 1, 2014 -
Following are 2 letters. The first is a reply by Mayor Bhasker to SEC board Chair Anne Dorough referencing: her letter to the editor in the Chieftain of July 17.
 072814-Ltr Bashker-Dorough   

July 17, 2014 -
Anne Dorough letter to Chieftain:
Co-op takeover costly, bad idea (Chieftain Letter)  

July 7, 2014 -
The second letter is to the Socorro residents from Mayor Bhasker. Bhasker to residents  

July 31, 2014 -
The law firm of Smith & Christensen was hired by the SEC to conduct an independent audit. See contract below.

Among Services to be performed are:

"1. Firm is to review Socorro's current written and unwritten policies, practices, and procedures, including those of Socorro's Board. This review will include but not be limited to issues surrounding Socorro's management practices, Board governance, Board compensation, reimbursement of Board Members' expenses, Board benefits, and such other issues as may be raised by the members, employees or Trustees during the investigatory phase of the audit."

"3. Firm will require a means by which its membership, Board members, and employees may communicate confidentially with Firm about any issues of concern. Socorro will provide a link on its website......for interested persons to communicate confidentially with Firm via e-mail."

This contract was approved by the Board of Trustees at the June 25, 2014 Board of Trustees meeting. The Firm link is still not up on the SEC website but we have given an alternate secure and direct email Use this address to let the Firm know of your opinions, complaints, treatment by the SEC, etc. All methods will be utilized to publicize this contact link so that a broad range of experience of members with the SEC can present a accurate picture of conditions throughout the SEC service area. Please find free to forward this information.
073114-law firm email address  
Smith/Christiansen agreement  

July 31, 2014 -
The articles (below) are from this morning’s Chieftain and all deal with the SEC coop. Trustees Wade and Cordova have voted to censure Trustee Wagner again. Read this article carefully as it says more about the Board of Trustee’s majority than about Trustee Wagner. Trustee Wagner was also the only trustee who voted against suing the members in 2010 among other acts that the Board considered “disloyal,” etc. Trustee Wagner’s letter to the editor refutes Trustee Dorough’s letter in the last two issues of the Chieftain and inserts in SEC’s billing and Greg Miller’s letter covers the positives in selling the whole coop.

July 31, 2014- Chieftain articles:
- Trustee calls for recall of SEC chair Dorough  (Letter)
- Co-op board censures Wagner  
Letter to editor from Greg Miller on Socorro buy-out  

July 30 , 2014 -
June board meeting minutes


SEC Website

SEC monthly newsletters
SECs own video link  

New By-laws adopted April 25, 2015  
Special New By-law web page click here

November 30, 2015 -
Co-op board appointee takes seat as trustee

2015 Annual Special Webpage  
Because there was no quorum, the Annual Meeting it will reconvened August 22nd and will include the election of 2 new Trustees.

All Districts Map   

Co-operative law website  


GPS Mapping of SEC Territory 
2012 Satisfaction Survey
Map of New Districts
Current 2012 By-laws  
Current Board members
Right so inspect public records
Youth Tour NRECA program
SEC Youth Tour Contest winners  
Seven Principles of Co-ops
Nat'l Rural Electric Co-op Association
NM Rural Electric Co-ops  
New Mexico RUS
NM Rural Electric Coop Act [2013]   
Cooperative Finance Corp. (CFC)  
Robers Rules of Order website  

Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) 
Energy Efficiency & Conserv. Program
New Mexico Court Case Lookup
Enchantment Magazine  

Recent payments to outside consutants

Wiggins lawfirm - 2014
Jan - $21,458.56    
Feb - $12,498.76
Mar - $16,154.77
Apr - $7,438.05
May - $11,901.14 (Includes Annual Meeting)
June - $2,954.84
July - $5,093.48
Years 2010 to end of 2013 at least $209,626.29

Bryce Wilson, Accountant - in 2014
Jan - $16,202.56   
Feb - $13,687.22   
Mar - $13,212.39
Apr - $11,335.74 (March 9-22)
May - $17,936.23 (3/30 to 5/13)
June - $14,289.60 (5/11 to 6/4)
July - $10,886.69 (6/15 - 7/3)
At least $105,000 in 2013

Cordova PR Firm 2014
5/9/14 - $2,889.00
6/13/14 - $1,081.53
7/11/14 - $3012.05

Cordova PR Firm billing in 2013  

Top 10 Lies about Municipalization

May 23 and June 5, 2014 Letters SEC to

June 16 - Socorro resolution to: receive complaints about the SEC and investigate feasibility study  

June 14 - Email from Trustee Wagner to Mayor Bhasker re: June 16 council meeting  
Dec 16, 2013 City council minutes
Feb 3, 2014 City council minutes  
Docs. given to the council at 3/4/14 meeting
Socorro and SEC franchise agreement

Click here for more news and information.

(New district numbers)

WARNING... on the use of email addresses ending in These are reviewd by management staff, and saved. Never assume privacy.

District 1: Leo Cordova
District 2: Charlie Wagner - Resigned (safe to use)
District 3: Melissa Amaro - Resigned

District 4: Dave Wade
Distgroct 5: Anne Dorough -
Wiggins, Lorna Wiggins, Wiggins


August 7 - Chieftain:
Co-op not fair, reasonable (letter)  
Trustee Wagner on Censurship  

July 31 - Chieftain:
- Trustee calls for recall of SEC chair Dorough
- Co-op board censures Wagner  

July 24 -
Mayor wants to see a co-op quorum (Chieftain)
Ruth White letter to the editor re: buy-

July 17 - Co-op takeover costly, bad idea  

July 3 - Legal, consulting firm to review co-op board  (Chieftain)  

More SEC Co-op News >>>
Wiggins, Lorna Wiggins, Wiggins


NM Statutes and Court Rules

As of Feb 10, 2016 - No active cases. Links to previous cases at the top.


Wiggins Williams Wiggins, Socorro Electric Attorney, Anne Dorough, Bryce Wilson, Joseph Herrera, Eileen Latasa,