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Nebraska NRD Board: Lower Platte South, Dist 4

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  • Gary R Aldridge
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    LeRoy Sievers
    (NP)

Biographical Information

What steps will you take to prepare for changes in climate trends that affect Natural Resource District management?

What educational actions will you advocate for your district's students and adults regarding the changing climate?

How do you address the concerns of citizens and developers who want access to NRD projects?

Has your district tested its water for nitrate levels? If its concentration is found higher than the federal limit of 10 ppm, how would you recommended remedying the situation?

If elected, what would be your first year priorities? Please detail.

Occupation CLASSROOM TEACHER ILLINOIS 10 YEARS. USDA, APHIS, PPQ 30 YEARS
Education M.A. U. ILLINOIS
Current Public Office, dates held DIRECTOR LOWER PLATTE SOUTH NRD SUB 4. CY 2017 - PRESENT
Address 7112 s. 45. LINCOLON, NE. 68516
MANY - MOST AGREE THERE IS SOMETHING WOBBLY GOING ON WITH CLIMATE. ALAS - AT THIS TIME CLIMATE CHANGE HAS BEEN SQUEEZED OUT OF THE IMMEDIATE LIFE OF MOST.

LPSNRD DIRECTORS HAVE DISCUSSED CLIMATE CHANGE ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS. A SOLUTION MAY INCLUDE A MOVE AWAY FROM FOSSIL FUELS. ANY NRD HAS ONLY LIMITED IMPACT IN THAT AREA.

IT IS DIFFICULT TO PREDICT WHICH WAY CHANGE WILL IMPACT A NRD - SINGLY OR COLLECTIVELY. I HEAR PREDICTION BOTH WAYS - CLIMATE CHANGE WILL PRODUCE MORE PRECIPITATION; OR LESS PRECIRITATION.

MORE PRECIPITATION SUGGESTS FLOODING. LESS PRECIRITATION SUGGESTS DIMINISHED SURFACE AND GROUND WATER.

HUMANS CAN NOT PREVENT FLOODING; HUMANS CAN ONLY WORK TO MITIGATE FLOODING. LPSNRD HAS COOPERATED W/ OTHER GOVERNMENT LEVELS ON FLOOD MITIGATION WITHIN LINCOLN. I SUPPORT THAT EFFORT.

LPSNRD IS EXPLORING OPTIONS TO PROVIDE, DURING DROUGHT, ADEQUATE SURFACE WATER. I SUPPOERT THAT EFFORT. A NRD HAS LIMITED ABILITY TO RESTRICT TAKING OF GROUND WATER.
EDUCATIONAL ACTIONS RE: CLIMATE CHANGE:

THE BULLY PULPIT COMES TO MIND. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

THE CHALLENGE OR ISSUE IS: CONVINCE PEOPLE THERE IS A PROBLEM. THE PATH TO SOLUTION MAY NOT BE TRANQUIL. BEHAVIOR OR ACTIONS NEED TO CHANGE. CHANGES ARE/WILL BE NECESSARY. CHANGE(S) IN ESTABLISHED PATTERNS ARE USUALLY NOT PAINLESS OR EASY. FOR ANYONE!!

LPSNRD STAFF HAS A SCHOOL OUTREACH PROGRAM. STAFF WILL THEN BE THE CONDUIT TO SHARE WITH SCHOOLS (PUBLIC AND PRIVATE) RESOURCES TO MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE.

SHERPA - I AM NOT. MY JOB IS NOT AS MUCH TO LEAD THE WAY BUT TO STAND BEHIND AND KINDA NUDGE PEOPLE IN A DIRECTION. I AM NEITHER CLAIRVOYANT OR OMNIPOTENT

LPSNRD NEED TO RELY ON THE 'EXPERTS' IN CLIMATOLOGY. OTHERS MAY HAVE A BEST EXTIMATE OF HOW TO MOVE FOREWARD. LPSNRD PERSONNEL MAY THEN NEED TO ADAPT AND MODIFY THESE 'BEST ESTIMATES' FOR OUR SLICE OF LIFE.

I AM NOT SURE OF THE QUESTION.

BOTH CITIZENS AND DEVELOPERS HAVE, THROUGH LAW, RULE, OR REGULATION, ACCESS TO NRD PROJECTS. BOTH HAVE ACCESS TO PUBLIC DOLLARS.

IS LPSNRD, FOR SOME REASON, REQUIRED TO FAVOR ONE OVER ANOTHER. UNLESS STIPULATED IN LAW OR REGULATION, IT SEEMS TO ME LPSNRD SHOULD NOT FAVOR ONE ABOVE ANOTHER.

COULD THERE BE COMPETITION BETWEEN CITIZENS AND DEVELPOERS FOR LPSNRD RESOURCES. POSSIBLY.

SOME PROGRAMS (COMMUNITY FORESTRY) ARE PROVIDED ON A FIRST COME BASIS. WHEN THE BUDGET DOLLARS ARE EXHAUSTED THE PROGRAM BENEFIT IS NO LONGER PROVIDED. UNTIL THE NEXT BUDGET YEAR. THE PROGRAM BROCHURE (AVAILABLE ONLINE) NORMALLY ADVISES.

ONE OR MORE NRD CURRENTLY W/BONDING AUTHORITY HAS PRIORITIZED CERTAIN PROJECTS FOR DEVELOPERS. I AM NOT (NOT) A HUGH FAN OF THIS TYPE OF TAX DOLLAR ALLOCATION. I AM TOLD THESE TYPE PROJECTS BENEFIT A SMALL SLICE AT THE EXPENSE OF EVERYONE.

BOND PROJECTS DO NOT OCCUR, AT THIS TIME, IN LPSNRD.

YES. MY UNDERSTANDING - WIDE AREA WATER QUALITY TESTING IS DONE AT THE STATE OR FEDERAL LEVEL.

WORKING WITH STATE AND FEDERAL COOPERATORS LPSNRD - BOARD AND STAFF - PROVIDE, ON A YEARLY BASIS, INFORMATION OF GROUND WATER QUALITY. THIS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE TO THE OWNERS (CITIZENS TAXPAYERS).

LPSNRD STAFF WILL OFFER - FROM TIME TO TIME - AN OPPORTUNITY FOR LANDOWNERS (OTHER THAN LINCOLN) TO HAVE SIMPLE TESTING DONE ON WATER SAMPLES, SUCH AS POTABLE WELLS. THE ANALYSIS RESULTS ARE PROVIDED.

STAFF WILL WORK WITH ANY HIGH NITRATE AREA OR PROPERTY TO DEVELOPE A MITIGATION PLAN. A MITIGATION PLAN MAY REQUIRE AN EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC MONEY. THE BOARD APPROVES THE MITIGATION PLAN.

I SUPPORT SUCH ACTION TO MITIGATE EXCESSIVE NITRATE LEVELS.
MY LIST - ONGOING OR CONTINUING:

1. ENSURE THAT TAX DOLLARS ARE WELL AND WISELY SPENT. I SEE SILLINESS IN BUDGETS. SUCH THAT I VOTED AGAINST THE LPSNRD BUDGET IN BOTH FY 2019 AND FY 2020.

2. HAVE BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEETINGS BROADCAST (REALTIME OR DELAYED) ON LOCAL ACCESS TV. THIS ALLOWS THE OWNERS (CITIZENS, TAXPAYERS) TO SEE LPSNRD DEBATE AND ACTION. THE MEETINGS, NOW, ARE PROVIDED AS A POD CAST ONLY ON LPSNRD WEBSITE. I INCLUDED, IN ONE ANNUAL BUDGET, MONEY TO TAPE AND BROADCAST. THIS WAS FRUSTRATED BY A BOARD MEMBER.

3. I VISIT ANNUALLY HICKMAN, HALLAM, ROCA, SPRAGUE. IN LPSNRD SUB 4 EACH FUNCTION WITH AN ELECTED BODY. I HAVE VISITED EACH ONCE/ANNUM FOR THREE YEARS. MY PURPOSE (INITIALLY) WAS A INTRODUCTION. SINCE THEN, MY VISIT IS TO SAY: CAN LPSNRD HELP YOU; YOU ARE NOT FORFGOTTEN.

4. REDUCE THE NUMBER OF ELECTED DIRECTORS ON LPSNRD. IT SEEMS TO ME 21 DIRECTORS IS EXCESSIVE. A TOUGH NUT TO CRACK.
Occupation Of counsel with the law firm of Knudsen, Berkheimer, Richardson & Endacott LLP
Education BA (Math) Doane University, MS (Management in Computer Science) The American University, JD UNL College of Law
Military experience US Army 1970-73
Volunteer experience Past Board member & President of Lancaster County Red Cross, Cornhusker Council Boy Scouts, Lincoln Bar Association and currently member of board of the Capital Humane Society.
Address 716 Driftwood Drive, Lincoln, NE
Marital Status Married
Age 72
Current projections relating to climate change include higher or more intense precipitation events in the future. Such events would result in increased flooding potential. Consequently it is important to examine the current physical structures such as levees and dams to assure that they are being adequately maintained. Additionally there is a need to coordinate with other entities such as cities, counties and the Corps of Engineers to determine what protective measures need to be increased or implemented. Currently some of the dams and reservoirs are being rehabilitated. The levees on Salt Creek came close to over-topping in prior years. Although a review of them occurred then, a re-evaluation now may be warranted in light of more recent study results. Also both urban and rural land practices can be supported which reduce the initial runoff during storm events.
As the science evolves regarding anticipated climate changes, I would focus on the anticipated effects the changes would have on areas over which the NRD has jurisdiction, such as flood mitigation. Also as the effects become better understood, they can be highlighted through coordinated efforts with other impacted jurisdictions such as cities and counties, which will need to expend money on protective measures. The public will need to be informed on not only what local entities are doing but what individuals can do to create solutions. The NRD is currently engaged in these activities through efforts in a number of grade schools and I would continue to support those efforts. Additionally the NRD publishes a newsletter, which is inserted into the newspaper, and is an excellent means of educating the public.
Public access to projects such as reservoirs is currently provided through recreation areas developed in cooperation with the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission &/or the City of Lincoln &/or the US Army COE. Public access is also provided to trails including trailheads and parking lots at various locations. Some access must be prohibited for safety reasons, such as inlets for water passage through dams. Concerns of the public for additional access would need to be evaluated based on the access sought and any needs for safety. However public access should be allowed whenever possible. Concerns of developers wanting access to NRD projects will need to be carefully considered. Using taxpayer money to develop projects should not be used to subsidize private developers without adequate offsetting benefits to the public &/or reimbursement for the public expenditures.
Yes. The NRD has adopted a Ground Water Management Plan. It specifies that ground water from wells will be tested annually. The plan is reviewed and updated annually. The meeting that the NRD had scheduled for March 19, 2020 was to receive the Report on the 2019 Ground Water Management Plan Review, which details the ground water sampling for nitrates and other pollutants conducted over a period of years at various locations. The plan itself outlines the steps that are taken if sampling shows elevated nitrates. The Report explains what the testing has shown and the areas that are included in the various “phases” of controls. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the plan for remedying elevated levels could be undertaken as well as evaluating its effectiveness for preventing reaching such levels.
My priorities include property tax relief, enhanced flood mitigation efforts, support for trails, increasing soil and water conservation efforts and increasing planting of trees. Space limitations prevent a detailed explanation of what each of these involve. Thus I will address those that I can within the limitations. Property taxes rise when property valuations rise. The NRD needs to recognize that simply maintaining the current mill levy is effectively a tax increase for those whose valuations increased. I would advocate for not increasing revenue from property taxes. I would also seek to review the current flood mitigation efforts to determine in which ways they can be enhanced in the most cost effective ways. Coordination with other jurisdictions, such as cities, will be critical so that resources can be utilized in such a way as to leverage additional funding from the federal government such as the Corps of Engineers and Department of Agriculture.