From the News Service of Florida
Two sitting members of the Florida Public Service Commission and a former lawmaker who had a short tenure on the commission are among six finalists who will be considered by Gov. Rick Scott for two upcoming openings on the utility regulatory board.
Commissioners Ronald Brise and Art Graham, whose terms expire in January, are seeking re-appointment to the seats. They made the short list after the Public Service Commission Nominating Council interviewed candidatesWednesday in Orlando.
The two positions attracted 23 applicants, with the list whittled to 11 last month. Along with Brise and Graham, the finalists for the $130,036-a-year positions are:
--- Kenneth W. Littlefield, of Wesley Chapel, a former state House member who briefly served on the PSC in 2007 and works as a funeral-home medical liaison.
--- James Baumstark, of Crystal River, a former vice president of central engineering for Con Edison in New York. A U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Baumstark started at Con Edison's Indian Point 2 nuclear-power plant and later oversaw 400 engineers responsible for New York City's transmission and distribution system.
--- Donald Polmann, of Dunedin, a former director of science and engineering for Tampa Bay Water. He earned a master's degree in engineering from the University of Florida and a doctorate in civil engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
--- Frank Stubbs, of Fleming Island, a University of Richmond School of Law graduate who was deputy chief of staff for operations at Navy Medicine Support Command. He also was head of hospital operations at Naval Hospital Jacksonville. He is now an adjunct professor, teaching health-care human resources management and health-care marketing at the University of North Florida.
Scott has 30 days to make the appointments once the recommendations reach his desk.
Brise, a former state House member, and Graham, a former Jacksonville City Council member, were both appointed to the commission by former Gov. Charlie Crist in July 2010 and reappointed by Scott. Brise is the current the commission chairman.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time Scott will be asked to consider Littlefield.
Littlefield, who spent nearly eight years in the state House, was appointed to the PSC by former Gov. Jeb Bush in September 2006 but was replaced by Crist in January 2007 shortly after being sworn in. Crist contended Littlefield was not consumer-friendly enough.
Several tea-party groups unsuccessfully urged Scott to return Littlefield to the commission last year, imploring the governor to replace Commissioner Lisa Edgar, who faced criticism that she did not adequately represent ratepayers. Scott reappointed Edgar.