Call to Action Apr 21, 2010

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CALL TO ACTION

MEMORANDUM

To:
All FICPA Members

From:

Jose E. Valiente, CPA, 2009-2010 FICPA President
Kathryn B. Anderson, CAE, CEO-Executive Director



DATE:
April 21, 2010

RE: Call to Action – PSC Senate Confirmation of Commissioner Steve Stevens, CPA

REQUEST FOR ACTION

Your immediate help is needed. Please contact your Senator and tell him/her that CPAs do have the financial expertise required to serve on the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) and urge the Florida Senate to confirm Steve Stevens appointment to the PSC.

BACKGROUND

In Oct. 2009, FICPA member and past President Benjamin A. 'Steve' Stevens, CPA was appointed by the Governor to serve as one of the five members of the Florida PSC - an entity tasked to regulate all utilities and telecommunications in the state. Florida law not only outlines a rigorous selection process for PSC nominees but also requires confirmation by the Florida Senate.

On Tuesday, April 20, 2010, members of the Florida Senate abruptly adjourned the Ethics and Elections Committee and denied Commissioner Stevens the opportunity to testify during his Senate confirmation hearing. Instead, members of the Senate committee made public comments indicating that Commissioner Stevens was not qualified to serve on the PSC.

After the meeting, Ethics and Elections Committee Chairman, Sen. J.D. Alexander made several comments to reporters about the qualifications of the PSC commissioners who were up for confirmation (see video below).  Since Commissioner Stevens was never given the chance to speak to the Senate committee, we can only conclude that some Senators believe a CPA does not have the background or experience to serve as a member of the PSC.

These public comments include:

  • From the Palm Beach Post 4/21/10:
    Alexander, R-Lake Wales, said that Klement and Stevens, a Panhandle accountant, are not fit to regulate billions of dollars in utility rates because they lack financial expertise.

Without question, Steve Stevens is competent and knowledgeable in the fields of economics, accounting and finance as set forth in s. 350.031, Florida Statutes, which outlines PSC Commissioner requirements. We believe his two decades of experience in both public and governmental accounting, along with his exceptional service to the FICPA, more than qualifies him to serve on the PSC. We have no doubt Commissioner Stevens will bring the same level of professionalism and knowledge to the PSC, and we urge the Florida Senate to confirm his appointment to the PSC.

Please contact your Senator TODAY and let him/her know that CPAs do have the financial expertise required to serve on the Florida PSC, and urge the Florida Senate to confirm Steve Stevens appointment to the PSC. 

CONTACT INFORMATION