Robert Cicero is Vice Chair of the Kentucky Public Service Commission.
It was a bright, crisp winter day when Public Utilities Fortnightly went to Kentucky's capital to meet with the Kentucky Public Service Commission. Despite the snow on the ground, we had a warm welcome inside. PUF met with the PSC's three commissioners and its staff.
PUF: There have been a lot of changes in how the Commissioners work and what they do relative to what Staff does and how they interact with utilities. Talk about that.
Vice Chair Cicero: The Commissioners are trying to implement a different approach as to how the agency views their responsibilities and in how we interact with the utilities. By that, I mean our experiences and background are all private-sector based. We're now trying to apply that perspective to agency operations.
For Staff, that sometimes has been a difficult transition because many have never been exposed to anything other than the public sector. Most of them are career public employees.
However, we have a good Staff and we're encouraging them to think outside their comfort zone and to approach their responsibilities from a different perspective. Sometimes that may mean to more thoroughly analyze utility-provided cost data for reasonableness or to request additional information that could support a utility's position.
PUF: You and Chair Schmitt were appointed around the same time but didn't know each other?