Open Forum on March 21

It's very important to me that OPPD's customer-owners be given frequent and clear opportunities to learn more about OPPD and to provide input on where the utility is headed. As such, I'll be hosting my second open forum on March 21 and hope to see many of you there. 


  • When: Wednesday, March 21 from 7:00 - 8:30 PM. Presentation starts at 7:15.
  • Location: UNO's Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Room 209
  • Who: Open to the public

Format: I plan to walk through a presentation that summarizes recent and planned OPPD activities and hope to engage attendees in dialogue throughout. If questions remain at the conclusion of the presentation, I'll stick around as long as necessary to answer the questions I can.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any comments or questions in advance. I can be reached at and 402.681.9458.

Onward and upward!  

February 2018 Board Meeting Agenda

Committee and Board meetings are this week. Committee meeting is Tuesday, 2/13 at 8:30am and our Board meeting is on Thursday at 4pm. Here are your links to agendas and materials:

Here's the quick run down of what we're discussing and doing:

  • Community Solar. We are learning more about the proposed structure of OPPD's first community solar program, including the rate plans. This will kick off a month of public input. We expect to take action on the proposal at the March board meeting. (Committee meeting only)
  • Strategic Directive Reviews. We are hearing reports on Strategic Directives #1 (Strategic Foundation) and #3 (Access to Credit Markets) and will be voting on whether or not the District is sufficiently compliant with both. (Report and discussion at Committee; vote via consent agenda at Board meeting). Link to policy binder. 
  • Strategic Directive Approvals. We're wrapping up a month of public comment on changes to SD13 (Public Outreach and Engagement) and will be voting during the Board meeting. We've received fewer comments than I have thumbs. 
  • Executive Compensation: Mo Doghman. We'll be discussing Mo's performance and potential wage increase during closed committee meeting and voting on a pay increase at the Board meeting. 
  • Update on 2018 Legislation. We will hear an update on the latest activities in the Unicameral's legislative session.

Please don't hesitate to call or email should you have any questions, comments or concerns. 

Onward and upward.  

January Board Meeting Agenda

Our first board meetings of 2018 are this week. Committee meeting is Tuesday, 1/9 at 8:30am and our Board meeting is on Thursday at 4pm. Here are your links to agendas and materials:

On the surface, the agendas are a little on the lighter side. Here are the biggies that will warrant more discussion and attention:

  • Update on bond refinancing. The finance team recently refinanced $220 million+ of bonds, which has a present value savings of approximately $22.3 million in debt service. (Committee meeting only)
  • Update on state and federal legislation. The Nebraska unicameral and Congress are both back in session, and we'll receive an update on bills that may impact the district. (Committee meeting only)
  • Strategic Directive 6: Safety. We'll vote on whether the district is compliant with our safety strategic directive. (Discussion in Committee. Board consent action item.)
  • Strategic Directive 13: Community Outreach & Communication. Stemming from the board's discussion at our July 2017 workshop, we're refining this strategic directive. It's gone through multiple iterations in Public Information Committee. The full board will review and determine whether it's ready for public comment. (Committee meeting only)
  • We'll receive an update on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  (Committee meeting only)
  • Updates on litigation and cyber security. (Committee meeting closed session only)
  • We'll consider compensation adjustments for Kate Brown and Mo Doghman (Preliminary discussion in Committee meeting closed session. Voting at Board meeting)
  • Election of Board Officers (Board meeting only)

OK, so maybe the agenda isn't quite as light as I was thinking! As always, give me a call or shoot me an email if you have any comments or questions.

Onward and upward.

    December Board Meeting Agenda

    Reminder that the Board will vote on the 2018 Corporate Operating Plan at our Thursday meeting. I recently posted a very brief run down here. It includes several links for those of you interested in digging deeper and learning more. 

    Here are links to Tuesday's committee meeting agenda/materials and Thursday's board meeting agenda/materials. Some really interesting and important items on the agendas, including:

    • Community Solar announcement
    • Update on the Innovation strategic initiative 
    • Update on the Integrated Energy Marketplace initiative
    • Corporate Officer Compensation Plan
    • Legislative update looking forward to the 2018 Nebraska unicameral session


    2018 Corporate Operating Plan

    OPPD’s 2018 Corporate Operating Plan (COP) is up for approval at our December 14 board meeting. I wanted to provide a very brief synopsis, and I hope that anyone with questions or comments will contact me at any time. The board’s first access to the COP was at our November 16 board meeting when we received a copy and CFO Javier Fernandez presented the highlights. He did a great job of hitting the high points. If you’re interested, you can view his presentation here (runs from 0:40:00 to 1:22:00), and link to slide deck here.

    At roughly 1:18 during the presentation I asked Javier what he views as the biggest risks to OPPD achieving what’s planned in the COP. His answer struck me in that the first risk he mentioned was the potential negative consequences of the tax reform/cut plan currently being considered at the federal level. His answer is worth a listen.

    In short, things are looking great with the COP.  Here is what I see as the highlights:

    • Rates. No general rate increase. Yes, fixed fees will go up as planned, but the overall rate structure will result in no general increase.
    • Rate Stabilization Fund. In 2017, $8 million will be deposited bringing the total up to our target of $50 million.
    • Decommissioning Funding. Also in 2017, $24 million will go into the Decommissioning and Benefit Reserve Fund, which is the first deposit made into the account. Projections show this fund growing to $33 million in 2018. This is aside from two other decommissioning funds currently on the books. Generally speaking, decommissioning funding is good (projected to be $449 million in 2018).
    • Capital Expenditures. All capital expenditures in 2017 and projected capital expenditures in 2018 will be funded with cash. No additional debt is good.
    • Net Income. Projected to be $76 million in 2017 and $80 million in 2018. (This is after revenue deferrals of $32 million and $9 million respectively).
    • Renewables. We’re expected to be over 30% in 2018. Looking forward (not covered in 2018 COP) we have new wind projects coming online in 2019 and 2020 getting us to 50%.

    There is much, much more to dig through if one is so inclined. I’ve spent quite a bit of time sifting, and Director McGuire and I had a good meeting with Javier and other members of management to discuss the plan.

    You can provide comments here or just shoot me an email at

    Onward and upward.

    November Board Meeting Agenda

    We have a busy agenda at tomorrow's board meeting. Here's a link to the agenda & associated materials. Here's a quick list of what I consider to be the more important items. 

    • 2018 Corporate Operating Plan introduction
    • Voting on refinements to strategic directives related to rates and customer service
    • Voting on 2018 board meeting schedule
    • Introduction of new demand side management partnership with Nest
    • The amazingly-popular President's Report

    Come join us. 4pm at 444 S. 16th St. I'll share my coffee!

    October Board Meeting Agenda

    It's the eve of our day-long committee meeting, so I'll get right to the point. Here's a link to the committee meeting package of materials. The agenda is the first page, so if you're interested in seeing all the full monty of what we'll be discussing, please take a look. 

    I'm anxious for our discussions on Strategic Directives #2 (rates) and #5 (customer satisfaction). In both cases, we'll be refining them, which is an outgrowth of our July workshop discussions. I expect that we'll vote on them both Thursday.

    We'll also be reviewing Strategic Directives #10 (ethics) for potential refinements and #12 (information management & security) for compliance. Related to the latter, we'll hear a cyber security update in close session. 

    Also in close session, we'll have a discussion about executive and corporate succession planning, which is a very important topic. 

    As always, email or call with questions or comments.  

    September Board Meeting Agenda

    First, I want to offer condolences to the family of Rich Hurley, who passed away on September 8. Rich was a great colleague on the board. He was thoughtful, inquisitive, and open-minded while staying focused on creating a great electric utility. He will be sorely missed.

    Our Board Committee meeting is tomorrow (Tuesday, 9/12). This is our first month with our new meeting schedule. Here’s a quick recap of the schedule/process changes:

    • The five committees will no longer regularly meet each month
    • All discussions that previously took place in one of the five committee meetings will now occur at our Tuesday all-committee meeting, which starts at 8:30am (gonna be a long meeting!)
    • Board meeting will be on Thursday at 4:00pm.

    Committees include the following:

    • Finance, Insurance & Audit
    • Nuclear Oversight
    • Public Information
    • System Management
    • Governance

    These five committees will still exist, but they will meet on an ad-hoc basis. In most cases, they’ll be meeting in order to consider refinements to board policies. I’m currently on the Public Information and System Management committees.

    As it relates to our September board meeting, below is a brief summary of the major stuff we’ll be discussing. If you’re looking for all the details, take a look at the Committee Meeting Packet and Board Meeting Agenda.


    Strategic Initiative Updates

    We’ll hear updates on two strategic initiatives:

    Customer Experience: Be a trusted energy services partner that understands, cares for, enables and honors the diverse energy needs of our customers and communities.

    Financial Sustainability: Create a comprehensive financial management framework that enables management to make timely, informed business plans and decisions to ensure effective allocation of resources to enable business transformation.

    Board Policy Refinement Process

    An outcome of our July workshop was an improved process for refining our board policies. We’ll hear a presentation that summarizes the new process and will discuss as a board. As a reminder, there are four strategic directives that are likely to see revisions in the short-term. They are:

    • SD5: Customer Satisfaction
    • SD2: Competitive Rates
    • SD13: Stakeholder Outreach and Communication
    • SD7: Environmental Stewardship

    The strategic directives are the single most important thing that we do as board members (IMO). Refinements to all four of the aforementioned will go through the Public Information Committee before finding their way to the full board. I’m anxious and excited to see how they evolve.

    Approval of Third & Final Labor Union Contract
    The third OPPD labor union (Local No. 1483) reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract. Highlights of the agreement:

    • It’s a five-year agreement (they are normally three years)
    • Increases in health insurance deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums
    • Employee contributions to the pension plan gradually climb from 6.2% in 2018 to 9.0% in 2022
    • Increase in contribution OPPD makes to Health Savings Accounts
    • 3% per year increase in wages


    We’ll hear a variety of other reports and take action on a few things as well. Here’s the brief summary of a few (again, not all-inclusive):

    • Voting on whether or not OPPD is compliant with Strategic Directive 10: Ethics
    • Report on the Sarpy Transmission Project selected route
    • Quarterly Enterprise Risk Management update in closed session
    • Southwest Power Pool Services update

    There are a variety of matters we’ll hear related to finances, nuclear, and contracts.


    About CEO Burke's Pay Raise

    At our August 17 OPPD Board Meeting, we voted 6-1 to give CEO Tim Burke a 4% pay increase, taking his salary to $523,651, which is 62% of the midpoint for the CEO salary range. See resolution here. I was one of the six yes votes.

    Some may see such a high salary and experience a little sticker shock. That’s an understandable reaction. I was originally taken aback. However, his salary is well below what Tim’s peers are making at similar utilities. Furthermore, the majority of our peers have incentive programs that can be very lucrative. OPPD has no such program. In order to retain Mr. Burke, which is something I feel is important for us to do, we need to compensate him appropriately.

    Ultimately I think Tim is doing a good job leading the utility. He’s a strong, energetic leader that has led the organization through some pretty difficult decisions in the last year. Is he perfect? Of course not. Do Tim and I disagree on occasion? We certainly do. But, on the whole, I think he’s the right person for the job, and I think his compensation is reasonable and appropriate.

    August 17 Board Meeting: Agenda

    It’s the eve of our August board meeting, so I’ll be brief. Below are the highlights (not all-inclusive) of what’s on the docket for Thursday, August 17.  The final agendas with supplemental information can be found at the following links: Committee Meeting Packet and Board Meeting Packet.

    The Big Stuff

    Committee Meetings
    Committee meetings for the remainder of the year will move from Thursdays to Tuesday mornings at 8:30am. We are also going to forego holding closed pre-committee meetings. Instead, those discussions will be held with the full board at the Tuesday committee meetings. This is a good change. It will expand the amount of time the board (when we’re all together) will spend on each issue while eliminating duplicative presentations. Smaller committees will meet on an ad-hoc basis, primarily when there’s a need to consider refinements to any of our policies.

    CEO Compensation Adjustment
    We’ll be discussing President Tim Burke’s performance in closed session following our committee meeting, and then we’re scheduled to vote on a raise for Tim during the 4pm board meeting. I haven’t seen a summary of his performance review nor a proposed % increase yet.

    Approval of Two Labor Union Contracts
    Two of the three unions have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract. Highlights of the agreement:

    • It’s a five-year agreement (they are normally three years)
    • Increases in health insurance deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums (individuals only)
    • Employee contributions to the pension plan gradually climb from 6.7% in 2018 to 9.0% in 2022
    • OPPD increases the % contribution to pension cash balance plan for most age+yrs of service categories
    • 3% per year increase in wages

    Other Stuff

    We’ll hear a variety of other reports and take action on a few things as well. Here’s the brief summary of a few (again, not all-inclusive):

    • Update on employee engagement survey results
    • Voting on whether or not OPPD is compliant with Strategic Directive 5: Customer Satisfaction
    • Voting to allow management to forego closed bid proceedings for repair of a transmission line damaged during the June 16 tornados. (Bids will still be obtained.)
    • Voting to give management authority to exercise eminent domain if necessary on two upcoming new transmission projects.

    There are a variety of matters we’ll hear related to finances, retirement plan funding, legal fees, and claim settlements. And we’ll get our standard update on nuclear matters as well.

    Recap of July Policy Workshop

    On July 24, our board and several members of senior management retreated to UNO’s Community Engagement Center to revisit several aspects of our work during our board policy workshop. There was a ton of work that went into defining the purpose, flow and priorities for the day – minutia that I won’t bore you with here.

    I do, however, want to provide a quick update on what we discussed and what our next steps are likely to be. The tidbits below are not all-inclusive.

    Affirming & Tightening Governance

    The morning was primarily spent re-affirming our approach to board governance and considering tweaks and refinements to how we function, our roles as directors, the role of senior management, and so on. Generally speaking there wasn’t much to hash over and the discussion flowed pretty smoothly.  

    A few months ago, the board and 11 members of senior management completed a governance assessment. The results were compared to an identical assessment completed in 2015 (prior to the creation of our suite of policies). As you can see in the results of that assessment, there’s been some great progress made. It was particularly helpful for me (as a new board member) to review those results and listen to the discussion that unfolded.

    One of the most beneficial conversations was focused on our processes for reviewing and refining the Strategic Directive policies (SDs). We’re likely to make changes to this process soon, which will really help us determine when and how potential revisions to SDs will be considered.

    Revisions to Strategic Directives

    In the afternoon, we turned our attention to five (of the fifteen) Strategic Directives for in-depth discussions about whether or not changes are necessary. Taken individually, here’s the outcome:

    SD2: Competitive Rates

    The discussion largely focused on our target for rates to be 20% below the regional average. We discussed where that figure came from, who we are comparing ourselves to, and whether or not we should make the target time bound (e.g., by 2022).

    Decisions and Next Steps: No decisions were made. SD will go back to an ad hoc committee for further review. The ad hoc committee will make recommendations on changes for the full board to discuss, refine, and eventually approve.

    SD5: Customer Satisfaction

    There was much to discuss here. The current focus of this SD is its measurement on the J.D. Power annual customer satisfaction survey for residential customers. So it excludes commercial customers, which we learned was appropriate. We also spent time discussing how we might get more transactional information on how we’re doing with regard to our more intimate interactions with customer-owners (e.g., transmission projects, solar customer installation processes, shut offs, etc.).

    Decisions and Next Steps: No decisions were made. SD will go back to the Public Information Committee for further review. The Committee will make recommendations on changes for the full board to discuss, refine, and eventually approve.

    SD7: Environmental Stewardship

    Without any question, the board received far more customer-owner feedback on SD7 than we did on any of the other SDs. The board’s discussion largely focused on the current metric of a long-term goal of 30% of retail sales from renewable energy sources. A few directors offered perspectives on what a new goal might be. We also discussed whether or not other measurable indicators might be appropriate to include.

    Decisions and Next Steps: No decisions were made. SD will go back to the Public Information Committee for further review. The Public Information Committee will make recommendations on changes for the full board to discuss.

    SD9: Resource Planning

    We held a fairly technical conversation about how OPPD approaches resource planning, which, in short, includes but is not limited to an Integrated Resource Plan every five years and ongoing resource planning throughout the course of each year. I was particularly interested in how we incorporate planning for distributed energy resources (DER), and we held a robust and informative discussion about how that occurs. It included a discussion of our current Strategic Initiative focused on the Integrated Energy Marketplace. We also discussed the importance of and extent to which customer-owner input is considered when resource planning. 

    Decisions and Next Steps: We won’t be making any changes to SD9 in the short term (<6 months). It’s on our annual schedule for review and will come back to the board in May 2018. We’ll know much more about the Integrated Energy Marketplace work at that time (as well as all of the OPPD Strategic Initiatives) and will be in a better position to consider changes then.

    SD13: Stakeholder Outreach and Communication

    OPPD Management came in with a draft of revised language for this SD, which was really helpful. It’s being totally rewritten to more broadly consider OPPD’s efforts related to outreach and engagement across all business lines (rather than its current focus on using energy wisely, energy efficiency, and safety).

    Decisions and Next Steps: The new policy will be word-smithed and tightened up, and then it will come before the board for approval.

    An Overarching Theme

    One issue I haven’t mentioned yet but that was brought up in all of our aforementioned SD discussions was that of OPPD’s programs to help its customer-owners pursue energy efficiency. It’s currently mentioned in many SDs. I’m sure it will be part of the discussion as we consider changes to these and other SDs.


    An important takeaway for me and all OPPD customer-owners is that we will likely soon have a clearer process for refining SDs (and other board policies) in the future. Furthermore, there is much work to be done with respect to revisions to SDs 2, 5 and 7, and the public will be given ample opportunities to weigh in as we discuss all refinements in the coming months.

    Finally, I want to give a huge shout out to Kim Tracy (Corporate Secretary) and Scott Focht (Senior Director Business Strategy & Deployment), who did a great job pulling the workshop together and herding a heckuva lot of cats. They did a great job!

    June 15 Board Meeting Agenda

    Here’s a quick synopsis of the board meeting agenda for Thursday, June 15.

    The board meeting proper (where we actually vote on matters) is pretty straightforward. We have three action items.

    SD-15: Enterprise Risk Management Monitoring Report
    As a reminder, the board is asked to vote on whether OPPD is “sufficiently compliant” with each of its strategic directives on an annual basis. This month we're reviewing SD15. See relevant documents here.

    Retirement Plan Appointment of Investment Manager
    One of our most important roles as board members is that we hold fiduciary responsibility for the organization. Part of which means we vote on appointments of investment managers. In this case, we’re being asked to approve the appointment of Harrison Street Real Estate Capital and PGIM Real Estate as private real estate investment managers for OPPD’s retirement plan. See relevant documents here.

    Fort Calhoun Station Dry Cask Storage Campaign
    There are 944 fuel assemblies in “wet storage” at Fort Calhoun that will need to be transferred into dry storage. The Board is being asked to authorize management to negotiate and enter directly into a contract without bringing it back to the board for approval. Once the contract is signed, management will report back to the board as an information item. See relevant documents here.

    There are several other items that will be discussed during our 10am committee meeting. Here’s the committee meeting package. Here are the highlights:

    • Our standard nuclear oversight committee and decommissioning reports
    • Our standard monthly financial update
    • We’ll hear a state legislative update, which will mostly consist of a summary of the interim studies planned
    • Summary of four contracts over $500k that were issued in May. They include:
      • $2.5 million to Motorola for 2017 portable radios & repeaters upgrade
      • $600k to the NDEQ for Nebraska Air Emission 2017 Fees for Nebraska City Station
      • $1.2 million to Westinghouse for decommissioning fuel characterization services
      • $1.5 million to McKinsey for an integrated energy platform contract. I learned a bit about this scope of work, and it looks like it might be really interesting.
    • Report on severance agreements executed due to decommissioning at Fort Calhoun
    • We’ll receive another update on how the July 24 board retreat is shaping up. As a reminder, we will be revisiting and potentially refining some of our policies. If you have any comments or questions about OPPD's strategic directives, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate input and feedback.

    In closed session, we will receive updates on the following:

    • Union negotiations
    • Wind purchase power
    • Corporate officers compensation
    • Quarterly Enterprise Risk Management update

    May 11 Board Meeting: Agenda

    Here are the goods for May 11 board meeting. As always, this is a draft. I'll share the final agenda once it's firmed up. It will be here once available. 

    CFO Hire
    We'll be discussing Tim Burke's recommended hire for CFO in closed session and then voting on his/her compensation during the board meeting. I'm excited we're moving forward on what is undoubtedly a very critical hire. Here's a recent OWH story about the finalists

    Union Negotiations
    We'll be getting an update on the status of negotiations in closed session. The current contract expires on May 31, 2017.

    Strategic Directive 2: Competitive Rates
    As a reminder, the board is asked to vote on whether OPPD is 'sufficiently compliant' with each of its strategic directives on an annual basis. This month we're reviewing SD2: Competitive Rates. 

    Board Policy Workshop Session Framework
    The board will be spending a full day together on July 24 to review and refine our strategic directives. I've asked several questions the past few months to try and get a better understanding for how the day will be structured and informed, how it will flow, and what will occur afterwards. We'll learn more about the session framework at our May 11 committee meeting. 

    If you have any comments or questions about OPPD's strategic directives, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate input and feedback.   

    More Topics
    Other board action items include:

    • Approving a contract to purchase steel transmission structures for the Elkhorn River Valley Transmission Project (≈ $4.4million)
    • Approving a contract for the purchase of two substation autotransformers (≈ $4million)

    There are several reporting items (only discussed in committee (10am) meeting, not at the 4pm board meeting) to note. They include:

    • 1Q legal fees and expenses report (≈$318k)
    • 1Q report of retirement plan funds performance
    • Report of claims settlements in excess of $50,000 (there were two)
    • Our standard nuclear oversight committee and decommissioning reports
    • Legislative update
    • Contracts in excess of $500,000 (one to En Point Technologies Sales LLC for a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement)
    • Siting and routing update
    • Nebraska City 2 ash landfill update 

    Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments. I'd love to hear from you, both in advance of and following the meeting(s). or 402-681-9458

    April 13 Board Meeting: Agenda

    Update as of 4/12/17: Please note, the final committee meeting and board meeting agendas are now final and have changed slightly. You can find them at the links below:

    Committee meeting agenda

    Committee meeting package (all the good stuff)

    Board meeting agenda (looks pretty light)


    Here's a quick update on what we're expecting (agendas are not final) to cover at the April 13 committee and board meetings. This is not an all-inclusive list, and it may change between now and Thursday. Once all materials are final, they'll be posted here.  

    Finance, Insurance and Audit
    We'll get our regular monthly financial report in committee meeting, discuss Board Linkage policy–3: Board-Internal Auditor Relationship and Governance Process policy–13: External Auditor Relationship, and in closed session will see the results of the Generation Portfolio Competitive Annual Assessment. 

    Public Information
    We will receive an update on state and federal legislation, and we will hear a monitoring report on SD-11: Economic Development and will be asked to vote on whether or not the district is sufficiently compliant. Note: timing of this review was set months in advance. In other words, it wasn't intentionally scheduled to align with last week's exciting Facebook announcement.

    Systems Management
    I joked last month about how the sexiest stuff is in the Systems Management committee, but this month that's actually true. In addition to the basic stuff (contracts over $500,000 and awarding a contract for Sarpy County Units 4 & 5 Control System Upgrade), we'll hear two updates in closed session. The first is on condemnation proceedings on the Midwest Transmission Project and the Elkhorn River Valley Transmission Project. Also in closed session will be an EPA update. Finally, we'll be asked to vote on changes to Board-Staff Linkage policy 12: Delegation to the President and Chief Executive Officer – Transmission, wholesale Electricity, fuel and Other Energy Transactions.    

    With respect to the update on condemnation proceedings, we heard some really compelling testimony at our March board meeting regarding this issue. I'm anxious to learn more about what happened, what's next, and how we're addressing any issues that have arisen. To see and hear that March testimony, fast forward to 1:25:15 in the video of the meeting. Actually, before you get there, take a pit stop at 1:18:25 - I think you'll find it worth your while. 

    In committee closed session, we'll get an update on how negotiations with the unions are progressing, and we will hear the background on corporate officer compensation adjustments. We'll be asked to approve the latter at the board meeting. We will receive monitoring reports on Governance Process policies 1 through 14 and Board-Staff Linkage policies 1 through 6, and we will be asked to vote on whether we're sufficiently in compliance. Six of eight board members completed a survey recently wherein we were asked on a policy-by-policy basis if the board is in compliance and if revisions should be made. Should be an interesting discussion.    

    Nuclear Oversight
    On the nuclear side, we'll receive our monthly update on decommissioning progress. 

    Committee meeting is from 10 - 2pm (we'll be in closed session over lunch). Board meeting starts at 4pm. Both meetings are live streamed if you can't make it down. 

    March 16 Board Meeting: Agenda

    Here's a quick update on what we're expecting (agendas are not final) to cover at the March 16 committee and board meetings. This is not an all-inclusive list. Once all materials are final, they'll be posted here.  

    Finance, Insurance and Audit
    We will hear and discuss 2016 annual reports for the retirement plan, 401(k) and 457 retirement savings plan, and other post-employment benefits trust. As board members, our fiduciary responsibility is extremely important, so I'll be anxious to see these reports. We'll take action the Strategic Directive (SD) 14 monitoring report. And we'll take action on appointing/approving a retirement plan investment manager. Finally, we'll receive an Enterprise Risk Management quarterly update.

    Public Information
    We will receive an update on state and federal legislation, and we will get our annual OPPD Collection & Energy Assistance Update. I'm very interested in the latter.

    Systems Management
    The sexiest agenda items always come from Systems Management...we'll get a heads up on contracts over $500,000 and will be asked to take action to award the 2017 power circuit breakers contract. 

    We'll hear a compensation and benefits review presentation from VP of Human Capital Mart Sedky. In committee closed session, we will get an update on union negotiations, and we will have a discussion about compensation adjustments for six Corporate Officers. 

    Nuclear Oversight
    On the nuclear side, we'll receive our monthly update on decommissioning progress. 

    Committee meeting is from 10 - 2pm on 10/16 (we'll be in closed session over lunch). Board meeting starts at 4pm. 

    We're off and running!

    At long last I am finally transitioning the website from campaign mode to a mechanism I plan to use to share information, solicit feedback and input, and generally keep folks up to date throughout my six years in office. It will be a work in progress for a few months as I navigate and test my way through what works and what doesn't so feel free to offer suggestions!

    I have two board meetings under my belt, but those meetings are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recent OPPD activities. Over the past three months I've attended several OPPD board member orientations (with my new colleague Rick Yoder), met with all of my other colleagues on the board at least once, been reading incessantly, held several meetings with OPPD management, staff, and union leaders, and met and/or talked with many members of the public about a variety of issues. I've learned much but still have a lot to learn. 

    If you have any thoughts, comments or questions regarding OPPD at any time, please don't hesitate to reach out. Email is probably best, but phone calls work as well. I'll do my best to respond in a timely manner, obtain whatever information you're after, and work with OPPD staff to get answers to questions. 

    So, off we go! I'm quite excited and honored about this opportunity, and I'll work hard to ensure OPPD is headed in the right direction. It's a fascinating time in the energy industry, and I'm looking forward to making a positive difference.

    Onward and upward! 


    [VIDEO] League of Women Voters Candidate Forum. Moody & Mulligan Only

    My competitor was sick and unable to attend the general election edition of the League of Women Voters' live, call-in show in August. I was really disappointed that we missed an opportunity to talk about OPPD and our respective qualifications. 

    In lieu of that, my team and I went back to the show aired in the primary and edited out the other four candidates. Just looking to make it easy on all of you!

    The links below only include responses from me and my competitor. If you're interested in seeing responses from all the primary candidates (in some cases we refer to responses from them), click here

    Here are your bite-sized excerpts from the April 4 Forum with just me and my competitor. Enjoy!

    Opening Statements

    Rate Restructuring

    Experience in the Energy Industry

    Climate Change

    Long-term Vision for Power (Fossil Fuels & Clean Power Plan)

    Net Metering

    Other Options for Revenue

    Privatization of Public Power

    Nuclear Power

    Burying Powerlines

    Closing Statements

    Opportunities for Nebraskans: Hearings Related to Solar Energy & PACE Financing

    Legislative Resolution 455 was passed in Nebraska's most recent legislative session. It called for, in part, the following:

    "the Executive Board of the Legislative Council to appoint a special committee to examine issues related to the impacts of climate change on the State of Nebraska and its residents, including assessments of vulnerability, risks, and economic impacts. The committee shall also examine opportunities, including methods of producing food, generating power, or protecting land and water that can be used to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change and that will provide jobs and economic benefits to Nebraskans."

    As part of the committee's efforts, two hearings related to solar energy and energy financing (primarily Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE) will be held next week. One in Broken Bow and the second in Lincoln on 9/28. Details for the Lincoln hearing are as follows:

    Location: Room 1525 of the State Capitol
    9:00 a.m.  solar energy development
    1:30 p.m.  energy financing, including PACE

    Below is an excerpt from a recent press release from Senator Ken Haar's office: 

    “These hearings are about opportunities,” said Senator Ken Haar. “We want Nebraskans to learn how they can reduce their energy bills through developing PACE programs or using other financing programs from the Nebraska Energy Office to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient. PACE and the Energy Office programs can also provide financing for renewable energy projects, including helping people put up solar panels.”

    “We also want to make people aware of the opportunities for solar development,” said Senator Tyson Larson. “We are just beginning to scratch the surface of the possibilities for solar energy in Nebraska. It is very exciting to hear about all the new renewable energy developments happening in our state.”

    PACE is a new program authorized by the 2016 Legislature. It authorizes municipalities to set up programs to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for businesses and homes in which the projects are paid off through an assessment on the property where the project is located. There are many attractive aspects of PACE programs, including the ability to finance projects that may have more upfront cost but provide more long-term benefits. In addition, PACE programs can provide one-stop service that encompasses financing, contracting and repayment through one program.

    For more information contact Ken Winston, Legislative Aide to Senator Ken Haar, 402-471-2673 or

    I'm hoping to sneak away from work for the day on 9/28 to attend the hearings, and I'm anxious to hear what information is offered and what the public input will be. 

    Scheduling OPPD Board Meetings

    I attended the OPPD's Board Committee meeting this morning and was pleased to learn more about the district's financial state for the year, how things are progressing at Fort Calhoun, and several other matters of importance. 

    Director Anne McGuire sparked a discussion about shifting around the Tuesday morning Committee meeting and the Thursday morning Board meeting so that they both occur on the same day. I was really intrigued by the conversation. 

    On the bright side, Director Tom Barrett clearly articulated his desire for regular Board meetings to be held in the evenings. I agree. For years many of our public entities (OPPD is not alone here) have held their public meetings in the middle of a work day when it's very difficult for most people to leave work to attend. While he did a good job of making his case, the rest of the Board wasn't interested in going beyond the one evening meeting they hold each year.

    After a long discussion (it was pleasing to hear a good, rigorous debate on this topic) the Board appeared to agree that they would conduct a 3-month pilot wherein Committee meetings would be held at 9am Thursday, and Board meetings at noon on Thursday. The rationale being 1) it would be easier for the public to attend one day of meetings rather than two, and 2) holding the Board meeting over the lunch hour would give more people an opportunity to attend (or watch) over their lunch break. 

    It was a good and important step in the right direction. The Board seems to be genuinely interested in expanding opportunities for more people to attend, which is great to hear. 

    Were it a meeting wherein public comment was welcome, I would have offered two main suggestions: 

    1. It is vitally important to do a better job of communicating the changes to meeting schedules. It's not enough to post an announcement in the Daily Record or on OPPD's website. The district should explore other ways to push information to its customer owners, rather than asking customer owners to pull information in. 
    2. Pilots are intended to test out new ways of doing things so as to determine what the right permanent course of action should be. How will the Board measure the effectiveness of the pilot so as to make a determination as to meeting schedules going forward?

    I've previously written about making OPPD's public meetings more accessible, and I'm happy to see the Board taking meaningful strides forward on this front. I hope that we can continue to push for greater openness, accessibility and transparency - it's the right direction for all of us.   

    Knock-a-Palooza 2016!

    We’re super excited to announce one of the biggest events Omaha has ever seen: Knock-a-Palooza 2016! During a 9-day stretch from September 10 - 18, we’re going to contact as many voters as we can via door knocks, calls, and literature drops. Many volunteers will be needed!

    Here’s the quick summary of volunteer opportunities:

    • Door knockers
    • Lit droppers (leaving a pamphlet at a residence without knocking on the door)
    • Drivers
    • Callers
    • Scribblers to write quick blurbs on walk cards

    We’ll be knocking on doors and/or leaving literature behind both weekends, and we’ll have a calling party on Thursday, 9/15. The current schedule is as follows:

    • September 10: Knocking 1 - 6pm
    • September 11: Knocking 12 - 5pm
    • September 15: Calling party 6 - 9pm
    • September 17: Knocking 10am - 2pm
    • September 18: Knocking 12 - 5pm

    Lit drops can generally occur anytime 9am - 7pm, weekday or weekend. We’ll also need volunteers to prep materials prior to and during Knock-a-Palooza. We can flex to meet your schedule in both cases.  

    Any bit of time you’re able to offer makes a huge difference. Many hands make light work, right? And as we always say, quit when it’s not fun anymore!

    September 11 is my 41st birthday, and all I really want is for our campaign to reach a few thousand people during Knock-a-Palooza 2016. Won’t you help make my birthday dream come true?

    Everyone that participates will receive a Moody for OPPD t-shirt and a #GetintheMoody poster (below) created by the immensely talented Watie White with help from designer Justin Kemerling. And you’ll be invited to a campaign dinner on Sunday, September 18 (details forthcoming). Click here to volunteer!