A former professional football player, three state legislators and several current and former Public Service Commission employees are among 61 people who have applied for two open seats on the PSC, which regulates Florida utilities.
The PSC Nominating Council — made up of six legislators and five other business and community leaders — will vet the candidates who applied by Monday's deadline and recommend at least three nominees per seat.
will make the appointments, which must be confirmed by the state Senate.
The five commissioners, who are paid an annual salary of $130,036, are responsible for ensuring utilities provide safe, affordable and reliable service.
Anyone can apply for the seats, which opened up after the Senate recently refused to confirm Crist's PSC appointments, David Klement and Steve Stevens. In October, Crist said he chose the candidates, who are PSC and utility outsiders, to bring "new blood" amid criticism the agency was cozy with the utilities it regulates.
Some senators said they thought Klement and Stevens weren't qualified and others said the appointments would leave the 5-member commission without a person of color.
Consumer advocates said the legislators' decision was motivated in part by hefty campaign contributions they receive from utilities and by the newly constituted commission's rejection of record rate increase requests from the Florida Power & Light Co. and
The new applicants include several notable current and former state government officials:
Rep. Ronald A. Brisé
, D-North Miami, a Haitian-born executive at IPIP Corp. in Miami, a telecommunication company that sells calling cards and phone-through-Internet services.
, R-Altamonte Springs, was on the PSC nominating council until resigning Monday. He is chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight, which was criticized earlier this year for opening up the job of Public Counsel — the state's advocate for utility customers — to someone other than J.R. Kelly, who is credited for helping defeat the
and Progress rate increase requests.
, PSC general counsel since December, who is a former House majority leader and state senator who was on the PSC nominating council for 17 years. He sponsored legislation to create the Office of Public Counsel and to require PSC members to wait two years after the leaving the commission before working for utilities.
Gary E. Huff
, a former senior associate director of athletics at
who is now a tax researcher for the school. Huff played professional football for the
Among the other applicants who have worked in government: state Rep.
Robert C. Schenck
of Spring Hill;
Mary A. Bane
, a former executive director of the PSC;
Ennis Leon Jacobs Jr.,
a former PSC member;
Felicia B. West,
a former PSC attorney;
Eduardo E. Balbis
, assistant city administrator of West Palm Beach;
Gerardo B. Fernandez
, an environmental consultant in Miami who was on the South Florida Water Management District board;
Julie I. Brown
, a former assistant city attorney in Tampa;
Jeffrey D. Wells
, city planning director of Greensboro, N.C.;
Adam S. Cummings
, a Charlotte County commissioner in Punta Gorda;
Brian S. Hammons
, Putnam County's planning director;
Reginald D. Hicks,
who has been an attorney for Broward County;
a City Council member in Jacksonville; and
Bobby A. Cooley
of Pensacola, who is a former district manager for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
PSC applicants with utility-related experience:
James S. Baumstark
of Crystal River, a former executive of what's now Progress Energy Florida;
Billie C. Greenlief
, of Jacksonville, a former
George F. Resch
, who works for a group in Tampa that provides training services to utilities;
Jason M. Fischer
of Jacksonville who manages energy policy and utility infrastructure modernization for the U.S. Navy; and
John J. Ustica
, an accountant and former water utility owner in Fort Myers.
Seventeen applicants live in Tallahassee, including
Jeffrey G. Porter
Darryl D. Garland
Anthony J. Spalla,
Stuart W. Pollins
Regina M. Keenan, Kevin R. Neal, Mark M. Caruth, Charles R. Ranson, Peter H. Williams, Alton "Rip" L. Colvin Jr., Adriene B. Wright, Dean F. Stoddart, Patrick K. Wiggings, Kevin L. Wiehle
Kenrick J. Pierre
of Pembroke Pines;
Cheryl S. Atkins
Melinda J. Brown;
Terry W. Wallace
of Dothan, Ala.;
Angel M. Cartagena Jr
., of Catonsville, Md.;
of Sun City Center;
William B. Martin
of Winter Park;
James A. Goese
, a Sarasota retired accountant and business owner;
Brian E. Tellier
, of Fleming Island;
Keith A. Fell
, an engineer in Pace;
Emilio Bruna II
of Mount Dora;
James G. Delfs
, of Ponte Vedra Beach;
Christopher L. Rizer
of Fleming Island;
George C. Goller
Thomas J. Lane
Oma R. Minton Jr.
of Fort Pierce;
of St. Petersburg;
Robert L. Nelson
, of The Villages;
David E. Allen
Luis A. Aguirre
of Palmetto Bay;
Michael C. Green
Jolie J. Davis
of Cedar Key.
Julie Patel can be reached at 954-356-4667 and