28 to be interviewed for two PSC posts
The Public Service Commission Nominating Council today selected 28 people to interview next week for two open positions on the PSC.
The council chose the 28 from a list of 60 applicants to replace sitting commissioners David Klement and and Benjamin "Steve" Stevens, who were ousted by the Florida Senate.
Applicants former state Sen. Curt Kiser and Kevin Wiehle received 11 votes each, the most of any other candidates. James Baumstark and state Senator Lee Constantine received 10 votes each.
Council chairman Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, started the meeting by telling the 12 members of the council to be very careful to follow Sunshine Law rules because the PSC has been under such scrutiny in recent months.
"There’s a lot of concern that too many people have too much influence on the selection committee," he told the group.After a round of voting, Bennett suggested offering interviews only to the 21 candidates who received at least six votes.
But Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, convinced the group to add to the list seven people who received at least five votes. That would only add two hours worth of interviews to the day, she said.
"Once you see these people and hear them then all of this good stuff goes away," she said, motioning to a stack of paper applications. "Different opinions form."
Joyner said the last time she took part in the PSC nominating council, interviews with some candidates changed her mind.
"They showed up and spoke and all of what I read went out the window because they were so much better than they were on paper," she said. "We’ve got a responsibility to be more inclusive."
Here is the list of candidates to be interviewed by the PSC nominating council next week:
-- Janet Zink