Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District Board

Term: four years

Board Size: Eleven members represented by subdistricts. Five subdistricts are up for election this year.

Candidates: – District 1: Scott Japp, Chris J. Koenig
- District 3: Brandon Clark, Curt Frost
- District 5: Brad Dunbar, Rich Tesar
- District 7: Patrick Leahy, Jim Powers
- District 9: Patrick Bonnett

Why you should care

- The Papio-Missouri River Natural Resource District Board has a budget of around $87 million, $17 million of which is raised in property taxes.

- It is responsible for natural resource management in a 6 county area, including Douglas and Sarpy counties and counties to our north.

- The Board focuses on flood control, ground and surface water quality, soil erosion, public recreation including trails, and to some extent wildlife.

- It is the organization that often funds the construction of a dam, such as the newly approved 135-acre lake near 126th & Cornhusker Road in Sarpy County.

Subdistrict 1: Scott Japp

- Brings a rural perspective to this Board that guides work in 6 counties, along with experience in soil conservation and construction.

- Japp believes a combination of levees and low impact development (LIDs) should be used for flood protection and more natural stormwater management. He will not support the building of large dams because dams harm the stream environment and habitat.

- Japp says that NRD should not be be a funding source for developers, yet at the present time NRD board aids developers with financial support, engineering and planning.  He also believes more procedures for public input and information sharing are needed, as well as more control of the meeting agenda by individual Board members.

Who you should vote for:

Subdistrict 3 – No endorsement (no response from either candidate)

Subdistrict 5: Rich Tesar

- With twenty years of experience on the NRD Board, Tesar understands the issues the Board addresses.

- Tesar believes water is our most important natural resource in Nebraska and advocates for flood protection and water quality as well as recreational access and trails for the public. He wants to use the ‘newer’ concept of low impact development in some instances when it makes sense.

- Tesar was appointed by the Governor to serve on the state’s Riparian Vegetation Protection Task Force, which worked to clear invasive species from the Platte River.

- See http://richtesar.com/ for an extensive website on Tesar’s contributions as part of the NRD Board.

Subdistrict 7: Jim Powers

- Powers is motivated to improve the recreational trails system in the district, and specifically motivated to improve trail maintenance and the maintenance process.

- He has a good sense for environmental issues the NRD Board needs to address and brings support for more natural methods of stormwater management such as bioretention areas, to the Board.

- Powers brings nearly 30 years of professional experience as an attorney to the Board, along with a passion for making a positive impact on the NRD Board.  His ability to easily understand contracts and funding mechanisms will provide the Board with an important perspective.

- See http://jimpowersnrd.com/

Subdistrict 9:  No endorsement