Bill Hart represents District 9, which covers Lafayette County south of the Suwannee River. He lives on a farm west of Mayo and has served on the Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) board of trustees since 1989.
Q: What do you like most about living in the Suwannee Valley?
It’s a good rural community and a farming community. I just like living out in the country.
Q: What line of work were you in before you retired?
I worked for the school system. I started out as a teacher, where I taught both elementary and high school. Then I got into administration. I was an elementary school principal and eventually became the assistant superintendent.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
I live on a farm, so I tend to my cows and do other things around the farm. I just enjoy working out in the open air.
Q: What made you want to serve on the SVEC board?
My dad was on the board back when the cooperative was first created, and he spent a lot of time convincing people to sign up before that. I wanted to follow in his footsteps and carry on the legacy he started here. I have also served as secretary, vice president, and president of the Seminole Electric board.
Q: What are you most passionate about as a member of the board?
Mainly, providing reliable electric service all the time and helping the members of Suwannee Valley Electric. The farmers and other people in our area are still very dependent on SVEC. Afford-able electricity is a necessity for people in rural areas. So I enjoy serving people and it’s important to me to help SVEC continue to keep everybody’s lights on.
Q: What’s the most important impact SVEC has on its community?
This is a rural area, and we keep the power on so that our members can have amenities like electric lights, water heaters, and electric pumps that wouldn’t work without electricity. We take it for granted now, but when SVEC was created, investor-owned utilities would only serve cities and towns. They wouldn’t go out in rural areas. And they still won’t. That’s what cooperatives do so that farming communities can have all the benefits electricity brings.