Lisa Edgar, 22 others seek PSC post

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Lisa Edgar, the longest-serving member of the Florida Public Service Commission, is seeking another term — but will face competition from 20 other candidates who range from business-people and government officials to a former lawmaker, reports Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida.

With her current term ending Jan. 1, Edgar met a Thursday deadline to apply for reappointment to the $130,000-a-year job as one of the state’s top utility regulators. The applications by Edgar and the other candidates touch off a months-long process that will end with Gov. Rick Scott choosing one of them to serve on the five-member PSC.

Edgar, who joined the commission in 2005 after getting appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush, submitted a lengthy application that touted her experience dealing with issues such as electric and water rates.

“My technical knowledge, background and experience working on the issues that are before the commission will allow me to be an effective commissioner for the next term on behalf of the public interest and Florida’s consumers,” wrote Edgar, who was appointed to a second four-year term by former Gov. Charlie Crist.

Former state Rep. Ken Littlefield, who served in the House from 1999 to 2006, also is seeking to return to the PSC after an earlier appointment got scuttled. Bush appointed Littlefield for a term that started in January 2007, but Crist took office that month and replaced Littlefield.

Littlefield’s application lists references who are influential figures in Republican politics, including Bush, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, state Sen. John Thrasher, incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford and former House speakers Tom Feeney and Allan Bense.

The applicants for the job come from various parts of the state. Some also have worked for the PSC or for utilities that are subject to its regulation.

For example, applicant Mark Caruth worked from 1994 to 2001 as an audit manager and regulatory analyst for the PSC. Meanwhile, applicant Wendell Hines works as a right-of-way specialist for Progress Energy Florida, though he is a contract employee whose stint with the company is ending.

Also, applicant W. Brian Martin works for the Orlando economic-consulting firm Fishkind & Associates and said in his application that he has provided consulting services on power-plant projects, including Progress’ proposed nuclear-power plant in Levy County and Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point nuclear plant.

Here is a list of the candidates, with brief backgrounds culled from the application materials::

— Richard Adeline, of Pembroke Pines, a certified public accountant.
— Caruth, of Tallahassee, who also has worked as a college instructor.
— James Casey, of Royal Palm Beach, a retired sales and marketing contractor.
— James Coachman Jr., of Clearwater, an independent contractor with Horizon Transport.
— Joseph “Jose” Colon, of Kissimmee, a member of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and a retired assistant vice president for Manufacturers Hanover Trust.
— Andrew DeCandis, of Saint Johns, senior director of planning and governmental relations for the Orange County school district.
— Edgar, of Tallahassee, who served as a deputy secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection before getting appointed to the PSC.
— Glenn Forrest, of Orlando, senior professional engineer for the St. Johns River Water Management District.
— Thomas Gavin, of Titusville, chief executive officer of Kingdom Builders Group LLC.
— Hines, of Rockledge, whose background also includes 12 years in the U.S. Air Force.
— Littlefield, of Wesley Chapel, who lists his current job with Hodges Family Funeral Home in Dade City.
— Daniel Louis, of Jacksonville, a consultant and retired chief administrative law judge of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
— Martin, of Winter Park, who also has worked as a senior fiscal analyst for the Orange County Board of County Commissioners.
— W. David Outlaw, of Seminole, vice president of operations for Cavaform International LLC.
— Donald Polmann, of Dunedin, director of science and engineering for Tampa Bay Water.
— Jeffrey Raines, of Homestead, an emeritus professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
— Sridhar Rangaswamy, of Orlando, chief executive officer of SAI Super Software Solutions, Inc.
— Jean Rene, of Orlando, who is not employed but whose resume lists a background as a builder.
— George Rizk, of Ponte Vedra Beach, retired head of research and development for JEA, the municipal utility in Jacksonville.
— Jennifer Vigil, of Panama City, the city clerk in Callaway.
— Luz Weinberg, an Aventura city commissioner and director of communications for Bouygues Civil Works Florida.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.