OPEA members will elect Regional Directors in OPEA’s odd numbered regions and the retiree west region this summer. Regional Directors help manage the operation of the association and serve as our leaders in counties across the state. The odd numbered seats and the retiree seat elected this year will serve a term beginning January 1, 2018 and ending December 31, 2019. Also, OPEA members in Region Four will have a special election to fill their vacant director’s seat and that term will begin in August 2017 and run until December 31, 2018. All of the regions have one seat up for election, except Region Five that has three seats.
“These elections are an opportunity for OPEA members who want to be more active in and be a stronger voice for state employees and retirees. Our association is strongest when we have leaders who are involved with members in their region,” said OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley. “We must have Regional Directors who are in frequent contact with their local members so they can help state employees and OPEA.”
“Members rely on their Regional Director to be their voice at OPEA and keep them updated on our association’s events. The directors also must also work to organize OPEA members on a local level and work to get them engaged with their elected officials,” he said. “OPEA staff works closely with our directors to best meet the needs of local members.”
Filing period for the seats begins on begins June 15th and will remain open until 5:00 p.m. on June 30th. Ballots and voting instructions will be sent via email, to OPEA members with a current email address on file with OPEA, on August 1st. Members without an active email address online will receive their voting instructions by regular mail. Votes must be cast by 5 p.m. on August 19th. Winners will be announced at the OPEA Annual Convention and Delegate Assembly on August 26th.
To run for Regional Director, the candidate must be a dues-paying state employee member or lifetime achievement award recipient, live in the region’s boundaries, or have designated their workplace in the region, and have been an OPEA member for at least one year. Persons who have been a member of a competing organization (example OCPA, CWA) within two years of the filing date are ineligible to file.
To be eligible for the retiree west position, the candidate must be a dues-paying retiree member and live in the west region. OPEA’s regions in this year’s elections are as follows
Region One is comprised of Alfalfa, Beaver, Blaine Canadian, Cimarron, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Kingfisher, Major, Roger Mills, Texas, Woods and Woodward Counties.
Region Three is Garfield, Grant, Kay, Lincoln, Logan, Noble and Payne Counties.
Region Four is Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Coal, Johnston, Love, Marshall, Murray, Pontotoc and Seminole Counties.
Region Five is Oklahoma County
Region Seven is Craig, Nowata, Osage, Pawnee, Rogers and Washington Counties.
Region Nine is Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, Mayes, Ottawa, Okfuskee, Okmulgee and Sequoyah Counties.
Region Eleven is Choctaw, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain, Pittsburg and Pushmataha Counties.
The Retiree West Region is generally those counties west of I35. If you live in a retiree “border” county along I35, and have questions about which region you might be in, contact OPEA to see if you are Retiree East or West.
Candidates should complete and sign the filing form which you will find printed in this Advocate and submit it to the OPEA office either in person, via mail, fax (405) 524-4671 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Candidates should also submit a statement describing their priorities if elected, and a brief biography. It can be no more than 300 words. Each candidate may provide a photograph to be published in The Advocate with their statement or they can come by the OPEA offices for a photograph. We will also place all candidates’ statements on our website and our Facebook page.
Regional Directors serve on the OPEA board of directors which meets approximately eight times a year. They also attend OPEA statewide events and are responsible for helping OPEA grow in their part of the state. They participate in activities at the capitol and serve as the contact for regional OPEA chapter officers and members.
For OPEA to be a truly member-driven organization, we need strong leadership from different agencies and locations across Oklahoma. If you live in one of the regions with open seats, please consider running. OPEA needs you. For need more information about serving as an OPEA officer or the elections, please email email@example.com or call the OPEA offices at (405) 524-6764