Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Leadership change on FKEC board

TAVERNIER -- The board of the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative has chosen a new president and treasurer, ending the long runs in those posts by David Ritz and Frank Hawkins, respectively.

"It's time to rotate some of the officers around," Ritz, who had been president since 2005, said Monday.

"I had talked about it for the last two or three years. I thought it was appropriate that you change leadership of the board every once in a while."

Ritz has been replaced as president of the 26,000-member co-op by Jim Boilini, a Key Largo optometrist and restaurateur who has been on its board since 2004.

H.B. Barrett, owner of Islamorada-based Freightman LLC and a co-op board member since 2002, is the new treasurer, replacing Hawkins, who held the post for 10 years.

The FKEC board made the moves during its annual meeting at Coral Shores High School on April 20.

Much like county and city commissions, the co-op board's role is to make policy decisions, while day-to-day operations and policy implementation are handled by full-time administrators.

As co-op president, Boilini will oversee board meetings and be the only person to sit on each of the board's six committees. He'll also become one of FKEC's primary spokespeople.

Boilini said his priorities as president are ensuring the safety of co-op workers, keeping costs down for customers and maintaining system reliability. He doesn't plan any major changes in direction for the co-op, he added.

"[Ritz] did a great job and he's a hard act to follow, that's for sure," Boilini said.

As treasurer of the co-op, Barrett will chair meetings of the board's three-person finance committee, which he has sat on for a decade.

He said his goal will be to keep up the work Hawkins has done.

The FKEC services Ocean Reef south through Marathon. Co-op customers paid an average monthly residential bill of $116.76 from April of last year through March. They experienced, on average, a total of 43 minutes of outages in 2012.

rsilk@keysnews.com

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