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BPU Board Member 1

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Robert Milan (N) Incumbent Board of Directors BPU

Biographical Information

Personal Biography Retired Federal Representative Department of Labor. Retired in 1986
Campaign Phone (913) 645-1402
Campaign Email rmilan@bpu.com
Education KCK Community College, Donnelly College, Univ. of Colorado, KU Ext., Temple Univ., and Pioneer College
Community/Public Service Past President AFGE Local 1748 Gov. Employee's Union, Optimist Club 46 years, AARP Past President, President Northeast Economic Dev. Corp., VP Turner House, Inc.; Past Secretary KCK Port Authority, 2010 Designate Who's Who in the Utility Industry
Address 2304 North 64th Street
CampaignPhone 913-645-1402
Champaign Phone 913-645-1402
Campaign phone 913-230-0873

Why are you running for this position, and what particular experience, skills or resources will you be able to bring to it if elected?

As a current member of BPU, I along with other Board Members, have been involved in promoting programs to ensure that we meet the needs of the customers and citizens served by the Board of utilities in all of Wyandotte County. My primary passion is to ensure that my experience and education will provide leadership to serve and not be served. It is essentially important that my experience and core values will impact my re-election. As a former entrepreneur, I have used the skills attained as a former business owner to bring innovation and creative ideas for problem solving and consensus.

What is the most pressing need that the BPU Board should be addressing?

BPU is currently undertaking a comprehensive customer satisfaction survey to identify areas for expanded or improved service across the entire utility. The initial phase includes an online survey, of both residential, commercial and industrial customers. The survey asks about customer service practices, billing processes, product offerings, community involvement efforts, etc. It also seeks to identify preferred customer communication methods, such as social media vs. direct mail and email vs. telephone. Later this month we will be conducting focus groups with all our customer classes (residential, small commercials, large commercial and industrial) which will also help us dig deeper into customer perceptions and their opinions and needs with regard to BPU and services offered to our customers. Once finalized later this year, the results of the survey will be utilized to help BPU further improve the utility’s overall customer experience, identify areas for improvement and expansion.

What steps should the BPU board take to appear more accountable and transparent to customers?

As a result of this survey, BPU will be able to provide more transparency to our customers which will include, public input and recommendations for improvement. As a municipal governmental entity, BPU records are open to public review. Moreover, its board meetings and its rate hearings are also open to the public, where there are numerous opportunities for comment and input. We currently use social media share information with the public from both our work sessions and regular Board meetings by using Twitter to report on meeting activities. We are working on a refresh of our current web site which will include added information in a user-friendly format. Improvements will include adding our policies, meeting minutes and also a Chat Bot feature which will assist customers in getting answers to their questions without having to call BPU.

The state of Kansas will be doing a study of retail electric rates in 2020. How do you think BPU will be rated in that study?

I believe BPU’s electric rates are comparable and even lower than most other local utilities and no electric rate increase is proposed for 2020. The average residential rate is *13.3 cents/kWh (BASE PLUS RIDERS) (NOT INCLUDING PILOT/TAXES)*This will vary based on usage. (high user verse low user). We currently have 65,000 electric service customers and 51,000 water customers. I believe we will compare favorably, as now with other utilities in other service territories.

It is reported that about 45% of BPU’s power is generated through renewable sources. In your opinion, is that adequate? What else should BPU do to expand its use of renewables?

The BPU expects on average that renewable sources will make up approximately 45% of our total generation. In 2018, 48% of our generation came from green sources. The state of Kansas has a renewable goal of 20% by 2020 and therefore we currently exceed the established state goal. The BPU looks at a number of criteria when determining when to add generation and what type of generation to add. Price, risk management, and need are the primary determinants used when choosing the generation portfolio. Each type of generation has a different profile and presents different opportunities and challenges. Renewables have become much more price competitive over the past few years and have lower overall potential risk factors associated with political, environmental, and fuel price volatility than do many of the thermal style resources but they do still have challenges in terms of land use, location availability, and timing of generation. BPU will expand its use of renewables going forward.

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LaRon Thompson (N)

Biographical Information

Why are you running for this position, and what particular experience, skills or resources will you be able to bring to it if elected?

Candidate has not yet responded.

What is the most pressing need that the BPU Board should be addressing?

Candidate has not yet responded.

What steps should the BPU board take to appear more accountable and transparent to customers?

Candidate has not yet responded.

The state of Kansas will be doing a study of retail electric rates in 2020. How do you think BPU will be rated in that study?

Candidate has not yet responded.

It is reported that about 45% of BPU’s power is generated through renewable sources. In your opinion, is that adequate? What else should BPU do to expand its use of renewables?

Candidate has not yet responded.