Bob Perry has been the General Manager at West Oregon Electric Cooperative (WOEC) since January. Vernonia’s Voice sat down to visit with him, find out about his background and ask him a few questions about his view on the operations at WOEC.
Perry is an intelligent and thoughtful man who takes his time and answers questions in a very deliberate manner. He is extremely knowledgeable about the electric utility industry in general and especially about cooperatives. He appears to approach his job with a customer service mentality and is very community minded. He is approachable and easy to talk to, with a dry sense of humor and a no-nonsense attitude. He says his personal motto, which is etched in stone on his desk (on the back of his name plate, facing him) is “Non Sibi, Seb Aliis,” Not for Themselves, But for Others.
Perry and wife Linda are purchasing a home in Vernonia with a yard for Megan, their Labrador retriever. Together Bob and Linda enjoy riding motorcycles and kayaking. Linda likes to quilt and garden; Bob says he enjoys shooting sports, fishing and amateur radio. Bob, who is of Scottish decent, also owns and plays a set of bagpipes. Perry says he will become a member of the Lions Club and would like to be an active member of the Chamber of Commerce.
The question on everyone’s minds about the new General Manager is, of course, “Can you lower our electric rates?” Perry’s answer, though probably not what the members want to hear, was a simple, no.
“You have a certain revenue requirement to pay your bills,” explained Perry. “That is just a fact of life. The economics of this co-op are not going to change. It’s not that we can lower rates. I think looking forward we could stabilize rates.” Read More