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Scott weighs decision to return veteran to PSC or appoint fresh blood

Gov. Rick Scott has until Sunday to decide whether to reappoint the longest serving member of the powerful state utility board, eight-year veteran Lisa Edgar, or go in a new direction.

Scott interviewed Edgar and three other candidates on Tuesday, including Aventura city commissioner Luz Urbaez-Weinberg, Tampa Bay Water official David Polmann and a Ken Littlefield, a former Wesley Chapel state legislator.

"I want somebody that’s going to … make a good decision,’’ Scott told reporters Tuesday before conducting the interviews, which were left off his publicly-released schedule. “We want to keep utility rates as low as possible, but we want to make sure the utilities have the capital to be able to provide the service we all need.”

Edgar, who was first appointed to the post by former Gov. Jeb Bush in 2004 and reappointed four years later, is seeking a rare third term after eight years of rapid turnover and 16 different commissioners on the panel.

The five-member PSC is in the midst of a controversial $690 million rate case with Florida Power & Light, as the utility has proposed a $1 billion settlement to extend the rate increase over four years. In the coming months, the panel also must decide how much customers will be required to pay to repair of the damaged Crystal River nuclear power plant and make critical decisions relating to energy conservation and investor-own water utilities. Story here.

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