To the editor:

Since its inception, Oregon Trail Electric Co-op has been a quality provider of electric power to many of our Northeastern Oregon communities.

However, there is one area of community responsibility that I feel this organization has fallen short. Economic and cultural vitality in any rural community relies heavily upon volunteer leadership to provide the visioning and manpower necessary to bring about positive change. This leadership comes from a variety of occupations, each with a different package of motivations. This is what makes each of our communities unique and wonderful places in which to live.

I personally feel that it is the responsibility of primary employers in any community to establish internal policy that encourages employees to actively participate in key community projects and activities. I can't think of any organization that touches more lives in our communities than our provider of electric power. In this case there is a real synergy in that the health of our communities directly impacts the health of OTEC, and vice versa. Yet through the years I have seen little participation of top OTEC employees in the leadership of some of our most significant projects. OTEC has a pool of wonderful employees that could help make a difference. As in any organization the people at the top set corporate policy and have significant impact on employee attitudes, emphasis and moral. Because of this, I feel strongly that OTEC's Board needs someone who fully understands how critical andquot;quality leadershipandquot; is to a community's health and has demonstrated this belief through an impressive resume of community leadership.

Through the past 25 years, Dr. Chuck Hofmann has proven his belief in investing time in community through involvement in numerous civic activities. He served on Baker City's Council for 13 years, of which he served as mayor for six years. Additionally, he has been an active participant on many state and national boards. I feel the Chuck brings to the OTEC Board a perspective that is needed and the ability to help implement change. I encourage you to vote for Dr. Chuck Hofmann to serve another term on OTEC's Board of Directors.

Chuck Rouse