MEET THE CANDIDATES: Truckee Donner Public Utility District (VIDEO) | SierraSun.com

MEET THE CANDIDATES: Truckee Donner Public Utility District (VIDEO)

Sierra Sun staff

In advance of the November general election, the Sierra Sun reached out to area candidates, asking each why they’re running for office, what’s the biggest challenge facing their district and how they would address it.

The following are responses from four candidates who seek one of two open seats on the Truckee Donner Public Utility District.

VOTING: Truckee Town Hall, east wing conference room, 10183 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee, becomes a vote center on Oct. 27,  open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Nov. 5, and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 6. A handful of additional vote centers across Nevada County will be also open Nov. 3, including the Truckee Family Resource Center, 11695 Donner Pass Road, Truckee. The vote centers are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 3 through Nov. 5. All are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 6

CANDIDATES FOR TRUCKEE DONNER PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT

Christa Finn

Age: 47

Hometown: Truckee

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Occupation: Owner/operator The Pour House

Website: http://www.finn4truckeepud.com

Why are you running for office?

I am running for a seat on the Truckee PUD because I want to help Truckee achieve its 100 percent renewables goal by 2030. I firmly believe that environmental problems can be solved from the bottom up, with communication, collaboration and our small, local institutions. Power systems are an obvious means to that end. I worked for a small wind energy startup here in Truckee called TenderLand Power. Later, I served on the Conservation Committee that was formed by our PUD after the community made its opinion on coal clear. I have followed local and national energy policy since then.

What is the most important issue your district faces and how would you address it?

The most urgent issue facing the PUD at this moment is going to be the implementation of California Senate Bill 100, which mandates that 100 percent of our energy must come from renewable, carbon-free sources by 2045. The energy landscape is changing, quickly and positively, both environmentally and economically. There are ways for a small town to become energy independent, using only clean, renewable options. We have many resources available to us, including ample sunshine, complimentary wind, and we are surrounded by biomass that can be used to either empower or incinerate us. We need to capture and use this bounty. Our transmission systems need attention, too. Distributed generation behaves differently than centralized generation. Renewables are by nature intermittent. We need to restructure our delivery systems to work with that instead of against it. I want to help implement those changes. I ask for your vote on Nov. 6.

Tony Laliotis

Age: 47

Hometown: Truckee

Occupation: Utility Manager

Website: http://www.tonylaliotis.com

Why are you running for office?

I am running for re-election to the TDPUD Board because I have a passion for public service, and I believe strongly in local government. I have over 25 years of experience in water resources and nearly 20 years of public service working as a supervisor and manager at the Tahoe City PUD. I am accountable to the public every day and manage over $4 million in public money annually. I believe I have the experience necessary to continue to effectively represent the community in its water and power needs and provide balance, leadership and expertise to the TDPUD Board.

What is the most important issue your district faces and how would you address it?

The most important issue facing TDPUD is balancing the State's new energy legislation with the local community's renewable energy goals, all while maintaining equitable rates and strong reliability. Truckee is extremely fortunate to have its electric service provided by a public agency, giving the community a voice into where its energy is purchased from. Today, TDPUD's energy portfolio sits at over 61 percent renewable, while rates have remained stable and affordable. An amazing accomplishment, precipitated by the community's voice and a reality due to the hard work of TDPUD staff and Board. I am committed to increasing our renewable and clean energy portfolio by seeking out and investing in new energy opportunities and continuing our strong energy and water conservation programs while maintaining equitable rates. I am also committed to working with our community and local stakeholders to provide them opportunities to meet their own energy goals.

Ali "Kaveh" Mansoor

Age: 39

Hometown: Campbell, CA

Occupation: Project Manager

Website: http://www.Kaveh4TDPUD2018.com

Why are you running for office?

My wife and I decided to raise our family here in Truckee, we love the community and are very fortunate that our daughter was born here and will grow up here. Our love and connection for Truckee runs deep. Coupled with my experience, where I have driven over $85 million in construction projects, I can ensure that the TDPUD will make pragmatic and prudent decisions with the community's interest solely in mind. With the evolving energy and utility sector, having an experienced and benevolent director to steward the TDPUD through the future is paramount to our community's environment and success.

What is the most important issue your district faces and how would you address it?

Cost of usage and source of electricity. Keeping a balance between keeping usage rates low for our community while sourcing green energy for our power is paramount for our environment, our people, and our planet. Rates must be kept low due to the ever-increasing cost of living in Truckee, however protecting our environment is not only the moral and ethical thing to do, it's also a linchpin to our local economy through tourism. Obtaining green energy does not have to be a choice of paying more for power, there are new technologies emerging that can be harnessed to obtain both goals: protecting our environment and keeping usage costs as low as possible.

Paul Warmerdam

Age: 65

Hometown: Truckee

Occupation: Financial Advisor – Investment Advisor Representative

Website: http://www.RaymondJames.com

Why are you running for office?

My name is Paul Warmerdam and I am running to be re-elected as director on the Truckee Donner Public Utility District Board of Directors. I am running to continue the work I have been doing in order to fulfill the district's mission statement. My accomplishments include: Created a balanced budget with no new debt and the refinancing of existing debt to reduce costs to the district. Delivered stable water and electric rates at or below the annual inflation rate. Achieved 68 percent of the district's energy purchases from renewable sources. Increased public's awareness and commitment to conservation.

What is the most important issue your district faces and how would you address it?

The most important issues facing the Truckee Donner Public Utility District Board are the ability to continue the oversight, accountability and progress that I have achieved with the help of the other board members, my general manager and staff over the past four years. In the fast-changing world of the internet with cyber attacks and identity theft a common occurrence, it is important to be able to commit staff time and resources to protecting our infrastructure, data collection, and delivery services, safe from compromise. I have advocated spending valuable time and resources to achieving this goal. Another concern facing the TDPUD is the commitment to our community to provide safe and renewable sources of power that will meet the needs of our customers for years to come, and to deliver clean and safe drinking water without damaging our environment. With your vote, I will continue to work on these issues.

2018 Candidate Forum 2 from TTCTV on Vimeo.