New year, new leadership, new (and old) issues

Chris Meyers
General Manager
Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives


The first day of this year’s legislative activity is Monday, February 4, with several new members joining the ranks of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma State Senate.

Legislators from across the state will be working with a new governor and lieutenant governor for the first time in eight years. We congratulate Gov. Kevin Stitt and Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell on their elections to the highest leadership positions in Oklahoma, and we look forward to working with them as they strive to make our state a better place to live, work and enjoy.

Just as Oklahoma’s 101 House of Representatives members and 48 State Senate members will be tasked with representing the interests of their local citizens, electric cooperative leaders from all parts of the state are looking forward to engaging in the political process to help bring an enhanced quality of life to their rural and suburban consumer-members. Issues such as electrical safety, avoiding wasteful duplication of grid infrastructure, improving rural access to broadband, and increasing utility and consumer access to technology and innovation will be at the forefront of topics electric co-op leaders will be discussing with local legislators over the course of this 57th Legislature.

With our state welcoming a new governor and lieutenant governor, all of us at the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives are excited to welcome Jim Reese, former Oklahoma secretary of agriculture, to our staff. Jim’s wealth of past legislative and state office leadership and experience will be a great asset to our team. Jim succeeds Kenny Sparks as our association’s director of government and regulatory affairs, a position Kenny held for more than 10 years before recently announcing his retirement. We want to thank Kenny for his dedication and service to Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives and know you’ll join us in welcoming Jim Reese to our leadership team. 


A time to reflect on the past and future

Larry Hicks
Oklahoma Association of
Electric Cooperatives


February is a good time to look back but also a good time to look forward. From an older electric cooperative member to the younger members out there, I would like to pass on some of my reflections on this fleeting life. My word of advice is to give of your best in all you do, as life goes by too fast. We are here to make a difference, and I’m blessed to be a part of the electric cooperative program and join them in the mission of empowering lives. Since we celebrate Valentine’s Day this month, I thought it would be fitting to share a poem I wrote a few years ago called “The Birthday Blues.” I hope it will be inspiring to you in some way.


Well, it’s my birthday what can l say, I feel I am in a downhill slide all the way.          

Here it is 4:30 in the morning, l just as well get up and write down this warning.      

To the young people l say, sleep while you can for there is coming a day bones will be aching your mind slipping too, what is an old person like me going to do?               

Blood pressure goes up, the old ticker slows down, here we go for the last final round.     

I feel like an old transmission slipping out of gear, I may as well laugh as shed a tear.    

I used to go fast and reckless you see, but now I go slow for a broken bone could be.     

Don’t think l am complaining as l look around and see, a lot of old folks worse off than me.

So l keep on going, no let up I see, My Creator, my God is still shaping and molding on me.      

What’s one more birthday, it doesn’t amount to much, it’s all the birthdays that go with it that makes the final touch.   

My final desire in this life is to see God shaping my children and their families.      

I count it a blessing to help someone in need, whether family or friends, with one small deed.      

As l look back on this old life which went so fast, I know in my heart this won’t last.       

My closing comment is, be positive, thankful and true, that’s all God really expects any person to do.         

Good Lord! How did I live this long?

OKL Article End