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Local News

October 1, 2013

Electric cooperative bids farewell to longtime director

The Delaware County Electric Cooperative cast a light on a retiring director recently at its annual meeting.

Ernie Bartz of Sidney Center was honored by the cooperative for 37 years of service during its annual meeting held Sept. 20 at Delaware Academy Central School. The cooperative provides electricity to 4,600 members in Delaware, Schoharie, Otsego and Chenango Counties.

Bartz said Monday he decided to step down not because at 84, it was time, I had been on long enough. It was nice to have the recognition,” he said.

“I’ll have fond memories and I will miss the local and state organizations,” he said. He said the work is part of his “commitment to serving the area.”

His current activities including working as an associate broker at RealtyUSA in Sidney.

Cooperative finance manager Millie Faulkner has worked with Bartz for about 25 years. He served as a vice president in 1989, president for a term in 1991, and secretary for several years, as well as being a director.

The cooperative was formed in the 1940s by farmers and Bartz was a farmer for 32 years, leaving the industry in 1986. But along with his real estate and other activities, including community service in the Boy Scouts, his local church and singing in the barbershop quartet, “he had his pulse on what his members needed and had their best interests at heart at all times,” Faulkner said. “He will be missed.”

Mark Schneider, the cooperative’s general manager and chief executive officer, said with all of Bartz’ experiences, “he truly tapped into the needs of the community.” Because of Bartz’ involvement, he saw the need to keep rates as low as possible.

“It was a real honor to be serving with him.” Schneider said that while he was glad to be involved with the parting honors, he was sad to see Bartz leave.

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