Crist puts former editorial writer on utility reg panelby Dara Kam | October 22nd, 2009
Gov. Charlie Crist appointed former newspaperman David Klement to fill a vacancy on the Public Service Commission.
Klement fills a vacancy created when former Commissioner Katrina McMurrian quit after Crist passed her over for reappointment.
Klement’s getting a jump on the $133,000 a year job – Crist had already picked him and Pensacola accountant and bar owner/manager Benjamin “Steve” Stevens to the panel. Their terms are set to begin Jan. 1.
Klement will be on the five-member panel in time to vote next week on whether the PSC should postpone a vote on Florida Power & Light Co.’s proposed $1.2 billion rate hike and a similar $500 million increase sought by Progress Energy Florida.
Crist asked that the panel hold off on the hearings and the votes on the rate cases until his new regulators are ensconced next year. But the PSC resumed the FPL case yesterday and is slated to finish up with it late tomorrow.
Klement spent more than four decades as a newspaperman and now heads the Institute of Public Policy and Leadership at the University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee campus.
Klement, 69, worked for 32 years at The Bradenton Herald.
He said earlier this month that he would bring his broad knowledge base to the panel.
“While I’m not a specialist, as many of them are, you need a generalist who understands more than how to balance the books or how to wire a house for electricity,” Klement said.