League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha

2020 Primary Voters’ Guide: Omaha Public Power District, Subdivision 1

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate for office.

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Amanda Bogner (D):
Website: www.amandabogner.com
Occupation: Engineer
Current Public Office, dates held: OPPD Board of Directors, 2019 – 2020.
Past Public Office, dates held: N/A.
Education: B.S. Architectural Engineering, University of Kansas (2002).
Military experience: None.
Volunteer experience: UNL Architectural Engineering Industry Mentor Corp; The Big Garden; Lindenwood Homeowners Association; USGBC Flatwater Chapter; USGBC Energy and Atmosphere Technical Advisory Group; St. Vincent de Paul; Leadership Omaha Class #39.

Peter Sakaris (R):

Website: www.isssecuritysolutions.com
Occupation: Cyber Security Subject Matter Expert, Department of Defense
Current Public Office, dates held: None.
Past Public Office, dates held: None.
Education: MS Information Security-Graduated with Distinction/ BS Physics
Military experience: US Navy, Flight Deck Operations, Western Pacific deployments  US Army Advisor to the Commander 82nd Airborne Divison –Afghanistan Operations  Advisor to the US Army Mission Command Training Program FT Leavenworth, KS Member US Naval Institute.
Volunteer experience: Member- Downtown Omaha Rotary International Past Chairman- People with Disabilities Committee.

Mark E. Treinen (R):
Occupation: Retired
Current Public Office, dates held: none.
Past Public Office, dates held: OPPD director from November, 2017 through December, 2018.
Education: BSBA in accounting from Creighton University CPA.
Military experience: none.
Volunteer experience: served on boards of Catholic Charities (12 years), Marian High School (6 years), Youth Emergency Services (20 years), Sheltering Tree (1 year).

Candidate Responses

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

Amanda Bogner:  Yes. As a current board member, I have been an advocate for increasing the use of renewable energy. I supported the Power with Purpose proposal which included 600 megawatts of solar. I also supported the revision of Strategic Directive 7 which set a goal for OPPD to achieve zero-carbon in all its operations by 2050. If I am re-elected, I will continue to support this transition and ensure that OPPD continues to provide affordable, reliable electricity.

Peter Sakaris:  Increasing access to innovative renewable energy solutions and supporting technologies that will deliver reliable power to homes and businesses at a reasonable cost will help the Omaha Metropolitan area continue to grow economically while maintaining our exceptional quality of life. A careful blending of such technologies will dovetail with current plans to attract new businesses to the Omaha area and help our current business sector grow while maintaining and improving the quality of our enviro

Mark E. Treinen:  Until significant advances are made in renewable technologies to reduce the impact of their intermittency issue, and significant developments are made in battery and other storage technologies (both from a cost and capacity standpoint) some use of fossil fuels will be necessary. OPPD is a very responsible utility from an environmental standpoint and takes it very seriously. They are constantly monitoring new and developing technologies for future generation needs and grid management.

How would you work to ensure transparency at OPPD?

Amanda Bogner:  I support the work done by the LWV to get OPPD Board meetings live-streamed and believe that we need to continue to strive for greater public engagement in everything we do. OPPD will need public engagement as it seeks to adjust rate structures, implement the zero-carbon goal, and encourage more electrified transportation. The Board needs to ensure that the public is heard. This means that we need to hold public stakeholder meetings and gather input from customers before creating policy.

Peter Sakaris:  I would seek to ensure that the public is aware of the issues that the Board will consider through the widest possible dissemination of information regarding the particular issues that the Board will consider. Such dissemination of information should be via print and social media at least two to three weeks before an upcoming meeting with a request from the public for input prior to a Board meeting.

Mark E. Treinen:  I believe in transparency vis-à-vis the public so long as it does not cause the release of sensitive proprietary and/or competitive data, or information subject to non-disclosure agreements. OPPD conducts business in a competitive national marketplace, and certain information has the potential to harm their position.

If elected, what would be your first-year priorities?

Amanda Bogner:  I will continue to prioritize safe, affordable, reliable electricity. I am currently working on a plan that would reduce bills for 85% of customers. As a mechanical engineer and small business owner, I have spent my career helping companies make smart energy decisions that lower costs and improve business efficiency. As an OPPD Board Member, I will continue to advocate for increasing energy efficiency throughout the district to help people and businesses lower their electricity bills.

Peter Sakaris:  My first year priorities will be to ensure that we are transparent as possible and that the public is well informed of the issues that will be discussed by the board. I will seek to support the great men and women of OPPD in their initiative to provide reliable power to homes and business at a reasonable cost while seeking new and innovative ways that make technological and economic sense to deliver power to homes and businesses. I will research ways to increase rate payer assistance programs.

Mark E. Treinen:  Top 3 priorities are: 1. Safety of the employees and the public. 2. Reliable power delivery. 3. Electric rates below the Midwest average by at least 20%.  I will define success as a SAIDI measurement of 90 and no general rate increases until that 20% cheaper rate is achieved.

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The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN: 47-6025006). Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha does not endorse the contents of any web pages linked here.

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