SRP system for electing leaders criticized as unfair and undemocratic

The renovation of the Salt River Project Administration Building involved a full transformation of the east wing into a public “grand entrance” featuring a three-story atrium./Photo by Kurt Griesbach, courtesy Corgan

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

The question of how the leaders of the Salt River Project are chosen — and whether acreage-based voting is fundamentally unfair to most of the utility’s customers — became a flash point at a contentious meeting Thursday.

For more than 100 years, SRP has weighted votes for board members, president and vice president by how much land a person owns. That stems from farmers pledging their land as collateral to build the Roosevelt Dam and gives large landowners immense power in deciding who controls the organization.

The elected board members set rates and policies for the water and power utility.

Officials said they will explore changes to that system, but based on the heated discussion among decision makers Thursday, changes seem unlikely.


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