We requested email interviews with all Board candidates and sent them all the same questions. We are posting them in the order received. Here are Dave Stephenson’s responses, received June 26.
1. Do you plan to serve for at least a full year if you are elected or reelected?
Yes, I do. Of course, assuming we have our 2023 election in August, our next election should be in March 2024, which is in just seven months. We need to get our annual meetings back on schedule.
2. If you are elected or reelected to this unpaid job, how many hours per average month do you expect to spend on Crestview matters?
I expect that will vary considerably month to month depending on what’s going on. My feeling is that spending 40 or more hrs per week on Crestview as a board member is not a sustainable way to serve the company’s best long-term interests. On the other hand, spending just an hour or two a month isn’t nearly enough to be engaged as a board member. My guess right now is that I will probably average about 10-15 hrs per month although, again, that will likely vary a lot.
3. Will you make your email address and/or phone number available to shareholders for direct two-way communications on Crestview policy matters?
Yes, definitely both. I also think we can use technology to foster better two-way communication between all company leadership and its customers, the shareholders.
4. In the past year, how many Board meetings have you missed?
Two, maybe three, when I was out of town. I’ll miss this month’s meeting as well because I’m working from outside the country, and Crestview no longer allows Zoom meeting attendance, which I think is a mistake.
5. In the past year, what has the Board done best, and what has it done worst?
Best – defining a process for well site evaluation and appointing a subcommittee of shareholders to help with the work. Worst – getting rid of Zoom meetings. It has caused me to miss meetings I would have otherwise attended. During a time when the level of shareholder concern, and interest, are higher than they’ve been in many years, deciding to remove the Zoom monthly and annual meeting options just makes no sense to me.
6. What are your views about the Well Site Selection process?
The process was very well defined. The Ad Hoc committee was clearly engaged and committed. But, once the process moved along, communication and updates were spotty and confusing. Information provided in several monthly meetings was incomplete which tended to raise more questions than answers. Following the well site selection process through to its end – and more importantly being very deliberate about providing all shareholders with clear updates and next steps – is critical to rebuilding trust.
7. What are your thoughts about at least one of Crestview’s long-term challenges, perhaps including shrinking groundwater allocations, additional wells, aging infrastructure, technology, finances, governance, urbanization, climate change?
I have several concerns, finances being at or near the top. Shrinking allocations along with voluntary and forced usage reductions means less, not more, revenue for the company in the coming years. Couple that with aging infrastructure and big capital project expenses and you don’t need a business degree to see the dial is flashing red. Borrowing more isn’t the answer. All potential solutions should be on the table and at least discussed. These include: rationalizing the number of wells we truly need in the long term; aggressively seeking all county, state and federal grant dollars available; going through expenses with a fine-tooth comb to ensure we’re as efficient as we can possibly be and only then, and only if necessary, consider reasonable rate increases to make up any shortfalls to ensure we are on stable financial footing for the long term.
8. What else would you like shareholders to know about you and your campaign?
Steven Muro and I decided to get involved and run for the board for one basic reason – we both saw that the company has some real problems and we believe we can use our complementary business backgrounds to help fix them. Our bios and some of our proposed solutions can be found on our website WeNeedLeadership.org.
Please forward this newsletter to other Crestview shareholders so they can sign up to receive future posts directly. Click on the Home tab and read earlier posts, or use the Tags word cloud or Search box to focus on a topic. Shareholders may comment below.