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PSC may try again for new process to pick chairman


The Georgia Public Service Commission, which could not get legislative approval this year for a new method of selecting its chairman, may try to do it another way today.

Doug Everett, who took over Jan. 1 as chairman of the utility-regulating agency, sent this note out Monday:

I plan to resign my Chairmanship effective July 1, 2009.  The next Commissioner in line to be Chairman is Commissioner McDonald, but since he has not been in office but for six (6) months (beginning July 1, 2009) he cannot be elected chairman since he must be a Commissioner for at least a year that would make Commissioner Wise the next Commissioner in line to be Chairman.

Pursuant to the Georgia Constitution, Article IV, Section 1, Paragraph 1(a), which provides: “A Chairman shall be selected by the members of the commission from its membership,” I hereby MOVE that Commissioner Wise be elected Chairman of the Commission commencing July 1, 2009 and continuing for 2 years from that date.  I further move that Commissioner McDonald be elected Vice-Chairman commencing July 1, 2009 and continuing for 2 years from that date.

This has caught the attention of some PSC watchers, who believe it would set up McDonald to be named chairman in 2011.

They also question whether this process would violate state law, which says the PSC will rotate the chairman’s job every year, based on a seniority system.

The Legislature considered a bill this year to allow the PSC to choose its own chairman, regardless of seniority, and make it a three-year position. It failed.

The bill was widely known as the “Bubba bill,” because of the perception that the PSC wanted to name Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr. as its next chairman.

Everett said he planned to place his motion on the agenda for today’s administrative session of the PSC, which begins at 10 a.m. The online version of the agenda does not include the matter at this moment (8 a.m.)

Stay tuned.





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