James Oakley

District 5 Candidate

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James Oakley is a 5th generation Texan from Burnet. He graduated with a BBA from Texas State University and spent 10 years in corporate communications/public relations. He was then elected in 1998 as a Burnet County Commissioner. He was appointed by Governor Perry to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, which is a statewide regulatory authority, serving from 2009 to 2018.
In 2014, Oakley was elected as Burnet County Judge and was re-elected in 2018 and again in 2022. He is active with the legislature and in his community. He is appointed to several public boards/committees such as CAPCOG & CAMPO. Oakley was elected in 2013, re-elected in 2016, and again 2019 to the Board of Directors of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative. In 2015, he was selected by his board peers to serve as President.

I ran for the PEC Board in 2013 and re-election in 2016 and 2019 with the mission to enhance customer service, reduce electricity rates, and streamline governance while increasing transparency.  I am proud to report that within my time on the board, we have:

Reduced electricity rates by just over 14% which is attributable to:
  • Negotiated new lower cost wholesale power contracts
  • Collaborated with LCRA to reduce existing contract costs by $220M for the remaining life of the contract
  • Reorganized PEC staff resulting in substantial reduction in labor costs, while enhancing the customer service experience.
  • Restructured existing capital project debt saving $15.3M annually
  • Developed Commercial Paper Program for Short Term / interim financing that saves $2M annually
  • Defeased older 30 year uncallable, high interest bonds to a 2.34 % rate resulting in a decrease of $15M cost in annual principal & interest
Implemented a new operating platform that saves $5M/yr. in software/staff expense and allows dynamic member interface. It has improved PEC’s ability to manage construction projects, process payroll, control inventory, and increase efficiencies in all areas of accounting. The NISC platform streamlines outage reporting and makes information available real time including communicating with mobile devices.
Provided employees with new tools/equipment to improve safety/efficiency that also enhance the ability to respond to emergency scenarios such as the historic Memorial Day flood in the Wimberley area.

First cooperative in Texas to invest in utility scale, (2.8 megawatt) battery storage with half of the cost granted by TCEQ.  Currently, PEC has the largest renewable portfolio of any cooperative in the nation while maintaining rates that are in the bottom quartile of Central Texas providers.

Continued community support by implementing “Power of Change” which allows members to round up their monthly bill to fund various local non-profits, scholarships, and volunteer organizations.  This new funding option empowers the membership to determine funding levels as opposed to having been prior solely rate dependent.

Streamlined governance to be more efficient, effective and transparent by modifying bylaws/policies. I was able to work with the board/staff to design a process of building agendas and conduct board meetings such to save substantial time and expense.  Transparency has improved with more data available on the website and as all meetings are now live streamed.

 I ask for your vote to continue these achievements and implement new initiatives such as:

Deployment of up to 15 megawatts of member/community solar generation capacity at no cost to members, as recently approved by the board and during my term as President.

Advanced discussions regarding the development of partnerships to utilize PEC infrastructure to deliver high-speed broadband internet.

Adoption of new technologies that benefit members, improve safety, customer service, expand rate options, and allow for electric vehicle charging stations.

Embrace environmentally friendly, cost effective initiatives such as converting antiquated security/street lighting to efficient LED night sky friendly fixtures.

Oakley is endorsed for re-election to the PEC Board by elected leaders within the District 5 service area including:
Judge Oakley's wife, Julie, is a CPA and is the City Manager for the City of Lakeway.  He lives on Lake Travis in the Spicewood area and they are members of Lake Hills Church in Bee Cave. James can be reached at 512-744-5205 or JudgeJamesOakley@gmail.com.