Open revolt has broken out at the Georgia Public Service Commission.
We told you this morning that a Senate committee at 4 p.m. this afternoon will take up SB 483, which would allow the five-member PSC to return to its former practice of choosing its own chairman, rather than rotating the position. It’s very likely that Echols would be ousted on passage.
At first glance, language in the bill would permit the current PSC chairman, Tim Echols, to serve out his year-long rotation in the position. But then his four colleagues – and let us use the term very loosely – sent a letter to members of the state Senate that says this:
We believe the time has come to renew discussions of how the Georgia Public Service Commission elects its leadership. Last year a bill to amend the current procedure was introduced but did not receive approval.
However, clearly we at the Public Service Commission need leadership continuity and accountability. In the business world, no company changes its Chief Executive Officer every year as the current law requires the Commission to do. To ask a new Commissioner after one year on this panel to assume leadership of a critical constitutional state agency is clearly not the most prudent management of state resources nor in the best interest of the ratepayers and taxpayers of this state.
In the past this proposal has not been targeted at any individual person or Commissioner. However, recent events both inside and outside the Commission have [led] us to the conclusion that a change in leadership is needed. We are supporting a change in the current legislation to allow the Commission to elect its chairman by majority vote effective July 1, 2012.
The letter is signed by commissioners Chuck Eaton, Doug Everett, Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr., and Stan Wise.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider