Name and office sought: David Haley, Board of Public Utilities (BPU) – At-Large District 2
Occupation and experience:
Lawyer, developer, state senator.
B.A., Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia; J. D., Howard University Law School, Washington, D.C.
Organizations, clubs, groups to which you belong: civic; church; youth sports; political.
Reasons for running: As a native ‘Dotte who has lived in other cities around the U.S., I know for a fact (as do thousands of other Wyandotte Countians sincerely suspect), that our jewel of a monopoly, electric and water municipally “owned and operated” utility, is severely off kilter.
For the average residential and small business ratepayer-consumer, the BPU is expensive compared to other similarly situated electric and water consumers with other utilities (all “for-profit”) in the Kansas City metropolitan area; if indeed the midwestern United States.
Recognized for decades, many candidates have run for BPU as inquisitive, results-seeking “reformers.” Supported by and elected to serve by an equally inquisitive majority of the voting KCK public they have pledged to serve; after their election, as a new member of the board, some actually become accomplice to the carnage.
Whatever else happens, most Wyandotte Countians will sincerely attest that David Haley is as responsive after being elected as I am as a candidate for elected office. I will continue to do my best and to not let the BPU curse affect my established public service record.
What are the three most important issues facing this position and how would you handle them?
1) Better align municipal charges (Like the “P.I.L.O.T.,” water pollution and trash, etc.) on the BPU bill with state guidelines.
Did you know?
Current Kansas state law, as governed through the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC), limit the total percentage of municipal (or “city”) charges to no more than 16% of the consumption usage. So, for example, if BPU bills were governed like a for-profit utility susceptible to the KCC, a consumer’s bill charging for $100 of actual electric and water usage total bill could not exceed $116.
2) More equal representation
Let’s face it.
With 4 of the 6 board members all living in the northwestern quadrant of the city, it’s no wonder that average homeowners and small businesses have little equality in policy implementation while other “protected” special interests (like the T-Bones baseball team) can game the system with impunity; protected by that benefitting 4 member majority of the board. Living and responsibly representing KCK found east of I-435, if elected I will bring a different perspective and mindset to the 6 member panel; for the rest of the county, too.
3) Continuing the responsible goal of renewable “climate friendly” generation while reducing costs to the consumer
Our BPU is a leader in the strong (moving towards 50%) portfolio derived from renewable, climate responsible, sources. The additional research and implementation I will work towards is to stabilize these new technologies; increase their capacities and efficiencies; and reduce the stranded costs that impact average income ratepayers.
If you are not an incumbent, what would you change if elected?
As a challenger, if elected, I will press for greater transparency for the public of the policies and procedures of the BPU .
Although the pandemic-driven necessity to remove the bimonthly (1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month) board meetings to remote
(or Zoom) only, the public’s involvement has increased (by being able to attend and participate during the “public comments” section virtually) and decreased (by revoking practically all in-lobby and-or office administrative personal interactivity) at the same time.
Have you run for elected office previously? When, results?
State Senator. Elected (2000 – 2021) .
State Representative. Elected (1994 – 2000) .
Precinct Committeeman. Elected (1986 – Present).
Also : Mayor-CEO. Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas (UG). 3rd place, (2017). 2nd place, (1997).