PUCO board members can be put out? I hope so....


April 05, 2007 13:28PM

State Rep. Bob Hagan says Gov. Ted Strickland should seize an opportunity to reshape the board of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

"For the first time in nearly a generation, we have the opportunity to appoint to the PUCO a majority of members who will put the needs of consumers ahead of big utility companies," said Hagan, a Youngstown Democrat, in a statement issued Thursday.

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann said earlier this week that the appointments of all five members of the PUCO are invalid because the nominating council that recommended them has been violating the state's open meeting law for as long as anyone can remember.

The statute of limitations has run out on challenging one board member's appointment, but Dann said that he would go to court to seek the removal of three members, including Chairman Alan Schriber. He asked those three to resign but said even if they did he would go to court in order to have a legal mechanism to enforce any agreement.

Dann also asked the nominating council to meet again to openly consider and act on recommendations that led Strickland to appoint economist Paul Centolella to the fifth seat, effective April 11.

Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey earlier this week said the governor intends to reappoint current board members if they are removed or required to resign.
My single experience with contacting the PUCO and watching the utility rates in Ohio leads me to think that this would be wonderful. To displace the board with people who would be interested in the publics interest and not in ever escalating utility costs.

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