PSC commissioner nomination list down to 11

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Two sitting members of the Florida Public Service Commission and a one-time member removed by former Gov. Charlie Crist were among 11 names advanced Wednesday to the next stage of the commission selection process, reports Jim Turner of the News Service of Florida.

The Public Service Commission Nominating Council included commissioners Ronald Brise and Art Graham, whose terms expire in January, among the candidates deemed “most qualified.” The 11 will be interviewed by the council on Aug. 28 in Orlando.

The council, meeting Wednesday at the Tampa Airport Marriott, had 23 names to consider for the two pending vacancies on the utility regulatory board.

The shortened list for the $130,036-a-year positions includes a former vice president for Con Edison in New York, a former chief financial officer at First Bank of Jacksonville, the former head of hospital operations at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, and former lawmaker and PSC commissioner Ken Littlefield.

Littlefield, who spent eight years in the state House, was appointed to the PSC by former Gov. Jeb Bush in September 2006 but was replaced by Crist in January 2007 shortly after being sworn in. Crist contended Littlefield was not consumer-friendly enough.

Several tea-party groups unsuccessfully urged Gov. Rick Scott to return Littlefield to the commission last year, imploring the governor to replace Commissioner Lisa Edgar, who faced criticism that she did not adequately represent ratepayers. Scott reappointed Edgar.

Brise and Graham were both appointed to the commission by Crist in July 2010 and reappointed by Scott. 

After the council interviews, the list will be shortened to six candidates. Scott is expected to make an appointment from that list.

The appointments require Senate confirmation.

The “most qualified” list includes:

— James Baumstark, of Crystal River, a former vice president of central engineering for Con Edison in New York

— Brise, of Tallahassee, a former state House member who has served on the PSC since 2010 and been its chairman since 2012.

— Dennis Clarke, of St. Johns, a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation resolutions specialist and former CFO at both First Bank of Jacksonville and Independent Bancshares, Inc., Ocala. 

— Graham, of Jacksonville Beach, a former Jacksonville City Council member and PSC member since 2010. 

— Keith Jones, of Port St. Joe, a self-employed certified public accountant.

— Littlefield, of Wesley Chapel, a former state House member, a PSC member in January 2007 and funeral home medical liaison.

— Albert Martin, of Fleming Island, a professional engineer.

— Julian Dan McCarthy, of Ponte Vedra Beach, former chief assistant state attorney, 4th Judicial Circuit, and former Jacksonville director of Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services.

— Donald Polmann, of Dunedin, director of science and engineering for Tampa Bay Water.

— Israel Rodriguez-Soto, of Pembroke Pines, an engineering and safety consultant.

— Frank Stubbs, of Fleming Island, former deputy chief of staff for operations at Navy Medicine Support Command and former head of hospital operations at Naval Hospital Jacksonville.