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Omaha PPD - Dist 3

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    Mary Spurgeon

Biographical Information

Is increasing the use of renewable energy a priority for you? If so, what is your plan for this increase? If not, why not?

How would you work to ensure transparency?

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

Occupation Retired - Music Teacher, Bellevue Public Schools
Education Bachelors Degree in Music- University of Wyoming; Masters Degree in Community Counseling – University of Nebraska - Omaha
Current Public Office, dates held None
Past Public Office, dates held None
Military experience None
Volunteer experience Citizens Climate Lobby, Bellevue Chapter - Call Congress Coordinator; Omaha Together One Community - Issue Team Co-Leader; Bellevue Education Association - Retired: Education Advocacy; Group and project leader within my faith institution;
Address Mary Spurgeon for OPPD 505 Cornhusker Rd. Suite 105, #168 Bellevue, NE 68005
Marital Status Single
Age 67
Yes, increasing the use of renewable energy is a priority for me.

Electricity is an essential service. The full transition to renewable energy generation cannot compromise reliability in the process. Additionally, cost containment of rates and fees must continue to be a priority. The transition will proceed as swiftly as technological advances in battery storage and other refinements in renewable generation occur. An added factor is the speed at which OPPD's customer/stakeholders, and their communities, accept the implementation of wind and solar energy generation. To that end, education about renewable electricity generation is important. Also important is striving for respectful and cooperative relationships with the cities and towns that OPPD serves. In every way possible, OPPD must be in position to move into more renewable generation when the opportunity arises.
OPPD's current Board has adopted Corporate Governance Guidelines, Board Governance Policies, and a Directors Code of Ethics and Business Conduct. Combined, they clarify roles and responsibilities of senior management and board members, and describe the behaviors that are expected of all who occupy those positions of trust. The policies are available to the public, allowing them to evaluate the performance of board members. These are strong policies in providing transparency which I support.

Also, when the Board is engaged in decision-making around a possibly controversial issue, it is important that it ensure that a thorough discussion of the issue take place in a meeting at which the public may comment. This should occur before the final vote on the issue. Additionally, the utility may need to follow up with continued communication and education about the issue with customer/stakeholders. Two-way communication with the public well in advance will enhance transparency, too.
If elected, in addition to keeping OPPD positioned for adopting more renewable electricity generation, as described earlier, I will work to ensure OPPD's rate and fee structure is fair and affordable for all. The current fee structure places a disproportionate burden on low volume electricity users.