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Let’s Set the Record Straight, Shall We?


Oct 24, 2022


The election is just a few weeks away! I’ve been busy knocking on doors and talking to voters, and the response has been really great. I so enjoy meeting, and seeing again, voters in Subdistrict 5. I appreciate the thoughtful questions people are asking; they are interested in the future of OPPD and are generally happy with the direction OPPD is headed.

Some of you may have received a piece of mail from my opponent that implies a few things that simply aren’t true. So I thought I’d address them here, one at a time.

Claim: I am not holding the line on rate increases

Reality: Rates were held flat 5 of the 6 years I’ve been on the board, and the one rate increase we had this year was modest (3.2%).

Claim: I’m giving “colossal pay raises for top bureaucrats”.

Reality: Javier Fernandez, OPPD’s CEO, did receive a moderate pay raise; however, he is significantly underpaid compared to his peers. CEO Fernandez’s salary is an investment in the success and future of the utility, and I stand by it. Losing him would be a huge blow to OPPD and to the community.

Claim: I am not keeping common-sense clean energy promises.

Reality: I suspect my opponent is talking about the Board’s recent decision to delay the refueling of two coal units at OPPD’s North Omaha Station. I wrote about this decision extensively in August. To summarize, there were really two options: delay the refueling or expect rolling regional blackouts. It was an incredibly difficult vote for a sustainability leader like myself, but rolling blackouts are not a viable option for OPPD customer-owners, and they are who I work for.

While I think my opponent's intent is to hit a few talking points that paint me and my board colleagues in a negative light, I think what he’s really doing is demonstrating a lack of knowledge regarding the role of an elected board member and the utility industry as a whole.

It is vital that OPPD Directors have thorough knowledge of the electric utility industry and experience in critical decision making at a board level. This work is extremely complex and the industry is changing fast; knowledge and experience are crucial to steadily lead OPPD toward a successful future.


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