BOULDER - City of Boulder officials have formed a 16-member governance working group, as the city continues to conduct research about whether to create a new, city-owned, city-run electric utility.

The governance group's role will be to advise Boulder City Council members on the "best ways to ensure representation for the variety of customers that would be served by a local utility," Sarah Huntley, a Boulder city spokeswoman, said Tuesday.

The governance group already has met once and is scheduled to meet again today. In all, the group is scheduled to meet four times and make recommendations to the Boulder City Council in early July, Huntley said. The recommendations are scheduled to be discussed by council members at a July 23 study session.

"We're really proud of the diversity of perspectives that are included and the commitment everybody has expressed so far to ensuring a meaningful local voice in the decision-making process," Huntley said of the group. Its members were invited by city officials to sit on the group.

Xcel Energy Inc. spokeswoman Michelle Aguayo said the new group seems to be part of the process city officials have said they'll follow related to the potential new electric utility.

Boulder voters in November 2011 narrowly passed two ballot measures on the topic. One approved a $1.9 million annual budget for five years to study how to create a new municipal electric utility, while the other gave the Boulder City Council the authority to create such a utility under certain conditions.

Volunteers named to the governance working group are:

David Cohen, founder of E7 Ventures, a hybrid renewable-energy systems-development company in Boulder.
Manohar Croke, a psychotherapist and educator who lives in the unincorporated area of Gunbarrel. She owns the Boulder-based business Points of Light LLC.
Angelique Espinoza, public affairs manager at the Boulder Chamber.
Karl Gerken, manager of facilities engineering at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder.
Virginia Holtzman-Bell, Boulder laboratories site manager for the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Michelle Krezek, a deputy for the Boulder County Commissioners' office.
Ken Leiden, a resident of the Dakota Ridge neighborhood in northwest Boulder.
Barney Moran, a resident of the Palo Park neighborhood in northeast Boulder.
Mike Parenteau, the Corden Pharma Colorado site facilities and maintenance manager and the site's electrical engineer in Boulder.
Steve Pomerance, a Boulder City Council member from 1986 to 1993 and from 1995 to 1997.
Susan Riederer, a resident of the Gunbarrel neighborhood and a former director of the community school program for the Boulder Valley School District before she retired.
Nolan Rosall, public affairs chairman on the Downtown Boulder Inc. board of directors.
Coby Royer, a resident of the Martin Acres neighborhood in southeast Boulder.
John Terela, operations manager for the Boulder site of IBM Corp.
Steven Wallace, operating partner of Best Western Plus Boulder Inn.
Louise Vale, vice chancellor for administration at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

In all, the city of Boulder has close to 70 community members participating in various working groups doing research on various aspects of the "municipalization path," Huntley said.

Separately, Boulder officials in April formed a 12-person, city/Xcel partnership working group. That group "is looking at how we might be able to partner with Xcel Energy to achieve our goals, which is a separate path from the municipalization path," Huntley said.

The city anticipates it will decide by August whether or not to enter negotiations with Xcel to consider acquiring Xcel's infrastructure, including assets and equipment, under a timeline set by city officials.

More about the city's Energy Future "work plan" on governance is online at http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17976&Itemid=5778