ALBANY—There was some immediate resistance from at least one good-government group over David Paterson's reappointment of two people to the body that regulates utilities in the state.
Paterson announced the reappointment of Pat Acampora and Garry Brown to their seats – including Brown's position as chair – on the Public Service Commission. The entity has authority to regulate utilities from cell phones to electricity throughout the state.
"This is the path of least resistance," said Chris Keeley, associate director of Common Cause. "The governor is not willing to think creatively about ways that the PSC can positively help New York's families during this economically difficult times."
Common Cause joined with other groups to ask Paterson to make this appointment process open, and to re-cast the PSC in a more activist light. Keeley said this appointment – which was announced by the governor's office just at the close of business – "punted responsibility" to the State Senate, which must confirm the appointments.
Here's the full release from the governor's office:
GOVERNOR PATERSON ANNOUNCES REAPPOINTMENTS OF COMMISSIONERS TO THE NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
Governor David A. Paterson today announced the reappointments of Garry A. Brown and Patricia L. Acampora as Commissioners of the New York State Public Service Commission. Governor Paterson also designated Mr. Brown to continue to serve as Chair of the Commission.
"I am pleased to select Chairman Brown and Commissioner Acampora to continue to serve as Commissioners of the Public Service Commission," said Governor Paterson. "Chairman Brown is a recognized national regulatory leader, known for his promotion of renewable energy initiatives and efficiency standards. Commissioner Acampora has demonstrated her commitment to consumer rights, working to hold public meetings and ensure a transparent discourse during the Commission's proceedings. Together, they will continue to provide the Commission with the kind of experience and leadership that is necessary to help our State achieve its clean environment, energy conservation and renewable energy goals."
Garry A. Brown has served as Chair of the Public Service Commission since his prior confirmation by the New York State Senate on December 13, 2007. Previously, Chairman Brown worked at the New York Independent System Operator, serving as Vice President of External Affairs from 2005 to 2007, and Vice President for Strategic Planning from 2003 to 2005. Chairman Brown worked for Sithe Energies, Inc., from 1995 to 2002. At Sithe, he served in several capacities including Manager of Government and Market Relations; he also served on the Board of Directors of the Independent Power Producers of New York. Previously, Chairman Brown served as Senior Policy Analyst for the New York State Energy Office from 1978 to 1995.
Chairman Brown received a B.A. from SUNY Plattsburgh and an M.P.A. from the Rockefeller School of Public Affairs at SUNY Albany. He was born and raised in Williamsville, New York.
As Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission, Mr. Brown's salary will be $127,000. This appointment requires Senate confirmation. Chairman Brown's term as Commissioner will expire on February 1, 2015.
Patricia L. Acampora has served as Commissioner of the Public Service Commission since her prior confirmation by the New York State Senate on June 16, 2005. Previously, Commissioner Acampora served for 12 years in the New York State Assembly representing the 1st Assembly District on Long Island. As an Assemblywoman, she was a Ranking Member of the Labor Committee, a member of the Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee, the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee, the Banking Committee, and the Governmental Employees Committee.
Prior to her service as an Assemblywoman, Commissioner Acampora worked as an assistant to the Suffolk County Executive from 1990 to 1993. From 1989 to 1993, Commissioner Acampora worked as an assistant to former Assemblyman Joseph Sawicki. She is a past member of the Nassau-Suffolk Juvenile Diabetes Board, and is currently an active member of the East End Women's Network and the Capital Network Women's Group. As Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission, Ms. Acampora's salary will be $109,800. This appointment requires Senate confirmation. Ms. Acampora's term as Commissioner will expire on February 1, 2015.