PSC interviews director finalists

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The Florida Public Service Commission could choose a new executive director Thursday, after interviewing what one commissioner described as “three very different candidates” for the job, reports the News Service of Florida. Commissioners spent Wednesday afternoon meeting with finalists Aster Adams, director of analytical services for the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel; Braulio Baez, an attorney and former PSC chairman; and Charles “Chris” Hart, a former Hillsborough County commissioner who has worked as a banker and a consultant. Adams, a native Rwandan who has a doctorate in economics, said during his interview that regulators need to strike a “balance” between the interests of consumers, utilities and state policymakers. At times, he said that can include pulling back from regulations. “In some circumstances, competition provides you the best outcome,” Adams said. Baez, who also worked in the 1990s as a PSC staff member, said regulators have to deal with changing industries. For example, the Legislature recently stripped many of the regulations from the telecommunications industry, which affects the work of the PSC. Also, Baez pointed to rising costs in the electric and water industries. Hart, meanwhile, offered a background in business, the military and public offices in the Tampa area. The PSC has been embroiled in a number of controversies in recent years, and Hart said a top priority would be improving the agency’s internal and external communications. The PSC has been searching for a new executive director since the forced resignation of Tim Devlin in May.

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