Steve Mitnick is the Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly and the president of Lines Up, Inc.
The PUF team made its way to the North Carolina Utilities Commission in mid-February to bring you this cover story on the goings-on at this fascinating state agency. They received a warm welcome not only from the Commission but also from the independent and large Public Staff, which intervenes on behalf of the using and consuming public. That was a phrase heard often.
The large Public Staff wasn't the only surprise PUF encountered. You've seen our interviews in this magazine. But when was the last time you saw interviews with seven Commissioners? Yes, the North Carolina Utilities Commission has seven. If this were an article on wildlife, we would have an exotic name for such a rare type. Well, maybe we should invent one. Only their state compatriots to the south, the South Carolina Public Service Commission, has as many Commissioners. They must be on to something with the number seven. Think of the seven wonders of the world, or the world being created in seven days, or seven as a lucky number, or seven being a prime number, or seven days in a week, and yes, I could go on, but having seven Commissioners is somehow special.
You will enjoy hearing from these seven wise Commissioners at the North Carolina Utilities Commission. They bring varied backgrounds to the table. It is different than having three or five Commissioners. How? You be the judge.
Conversations for A Day at the North Carolina Utilities Commission:
- Chair Ed Finley
- Commissioners Charlotte Mitchell and ToNola Brown-Bland
- Commissioner Dan Clodfelter
- Commissioners James Patterson and Jerry Dockham
- Commissioner Lyons Gray
- Operations Director Bliss Kite, Deputy Directors George Sessoms, Bill Gilmore, and Bridget Paschal, and Fiscal Management Director Pat Jeter
- General Counsel Sam Watson, Senior Attorneys Kim Duffley and Len Green
- Director-Clerk’s Office and IT Services Kim Jones, Chief Clerk Lynn Jarvis, IT Manager Lisa Needham
- Executive Director Chris Ayers, Public Staff
- Public Staff Chief Counsel David Drooz, Director-Accounting Mike Maness, Director-Economic Research Bob Hinton, Director-Electric James McLawhorn, Director-Natural Gas Jan Larsen, Director-Transportation Rates Krishna Rajeev, Director-Water and Sewer Dave Furr, Director-Consumer Services Vickie Debnam, Electric Division’s Jay Lucas