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Advice for Newest Members of Public Service Commission

By Trimmel Gomes

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-916653.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Tuesday was the first meeting for the two newest members of Florida's Public Service Commission. It follows the big dust up in the Spring when lawmakers voted off their freshly appointed predecessors. Trimmel Gomes reports some advice was given to the newbies about making decisions on the politically charged regulatory panel.

Outgoing commissioner Nathan Skop said the best advice he could give to new members Ronald Brise' and Arthur Graham is that everyone is remembered by the decisions they make.

"Florida Public Service Commission makes billion dollar decisions that are subject to the appellate review by the Florida Supreme Court, and the importance of that aspect in terms of the quasi-judicial role that the commission plays is sometimes lost in the politics."

Skop is speaking from experience since he and Chairwoman Nancy Argenziano were rejected for reappointment, with their term ending in January. Governor Charlie Crist argued against the decision, saying it was payback for their opposition to rate increases sought by the state's two largest power companies.

Governor Crist appointed Ronald Brise' and Arthur Graham, both African-Americans, after he was criticized for passing over minorities. Graham is a former Jacksonville City Councilman and Brise' is a former state Representative from North Miami.