I am Nick Hellbusch. My wife and I moved to Coaldale, Colorado in November of 2020. The beauty of the area and the small, close community convinced us to relocate our family and small business to Coaldale.
I have decided to run for the Sangre de Cristo Electric Association (SCDEA) Board of Directors to give back to such an awesome community. After reaching out to SDCEA cooperative members and listening to dozens of individual stories, the members have consistently voiced for change.
The SDCEA has the highest electric rates in Colorado. As a current owner of a small CPA practice, I know how important it is to work with clients to help reduce costs, create budgets using industry-specific benchmarking and create long-term relationships built on trust. If elected, I will review operating budgets and look for creative ways to save SDCEA members money.
Many members have voiced how they have lost trust in SDCEA. As a former financial/operational auditor for the City of Colorado Springs, I was responsible for reviewing the municipal electric utility which has over 400,000 customers. This included drafting audit reports made available to the public. I will use my experience as an auditor to build back the trust of our members and create better channels of communication with the SDCEA.
Many others have voiced dismay that SDCEA attempted to make changes to the electric rates that [in my view] would have punished people who try to reduce their electric consumption, produce their own electricity through net metering, and people living on fixed incomes whom are already being squeezed during this inflationary time.
My previous experience included co-developing Colorado Springs first community solar garden. The 2.5 MW project had 2,500 panels that credited participants’ utility bills for the next 20 years essentially making your electric bill inflation-proof. I worked directly with City Council and the Colorado Springs Municipal’s Utility CEO and management team to facilitate a change in the local laws that would allow the solar garden to connect to the grid. If I’m elected to the SDCEA board, I will work to help facilitate changes on rate designs, ensuring all members are represented in a fair way and encouraging rate design structures that incorporate member input to increase transparency.
Your mail-in ballot was mailed out on May 13 and must be mailed back and received before June 2 by the out-of-state election company. Please note: you can vote for all of the open board seats on your ballot, regardless of which county you live in.
Your vote for Nick Hellbusch for the Fremont County Seat and Sandra Attebery for the Custer County seat is a vote for change, accountability, and transparency.
Nick Hellbusch – Coaldale, Colorado
Candidate for Fremont County