June 25, 2006 – Verne C. David has asked that his renomination to the Public Services Commission be withdrawn. David has been a member of the PSC since November 2001.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull had submitted David's name to the Legislature for renomination in May; however, David said at a recent PSC meeting that it was taking too much time away from his family.
The seven-member commission has been fraught with difficulties over the last year. The governor did not renominate Valencio Jackson, who had served as chairman for the two and a half years on the commission. Turnbull sought to replace Jackson with former Sen. V. Anne Golden, who declined the offer. ( See "Governor Seeking to Replace PSC Chairman Jackson"). That was in July. In August, Commissioner Yvette Canegatta-Jones resigned.
In February, Jerris T. Browne was tapped to head the newly formed independent Motor Vehicle Bureau, and the governor's assistant, Alric Simmonds — who had served two terms and who the governor had sought to reappoint — withdrew his name after being rejected by the full Senate once and forwarded on to the full body a second time with an unfavorable recommendation.
That left the commission with Alecia Wells, who has been on the commission for more than seven years, and David.
Two of the governor's other nominees, Joseph Boschulte and Raymond Williams, were finally approved by the Legislature, leaving barely a quorum. Wells moved into the chairmanship after Simmonds left.
In May, Turnbull nominated former Sen. Donald "Ducks" Cole to replace Simmonds. Cole served as a nonvoting member of the PSC during his time as a senator. The commission includes two such senatorial members who are appointed by the Senate president.
The governor also nominated Sirri I. Hamad, president and general manager of Speedy Gas, to replace Canegatta-Jones, and Thomas Jackson, a retired police lieutenant, to replace Browne. (See "Turnbull Makes Nominations to PSC Commission, Various Other Boards").
Members serve three-year terms and may serve until a successor is sworn in.
In a release from his office Monday afternoon, Turnbull implored the Legislature to move swiftly on his latest nominations. "I am requesting that the members of the Legislature act expeditiously on three nominees for the PSC which I previously submitted," Turnbull said. "The lack of a quorum has seriously hampered the ability of the PSC to act upon important issues such as proposed increase in the utilities rate.
At a PSC meeting last week, the V.I. Water and Power Authority was granted a rate increase by default after David left, leaving only three commission members and no quorum.
It has been months since the commission has met on anything related to the territory's only phone company, Vitelco, also known as Innovative Telephone, despite several dockets that remain open.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.