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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, February 21, 2024


Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and Senate President Vargrave A. Richards can influence the direction of the Public Services Commission with their appointments of four new members to fill vacancies and an expired term.
The PSC, which was strongly criticized last year for rejecting an investigation into a telephone-rate reduction, is a nine-member commission consisting of seven voting members plus two senators who serve ex-officio without votes.
The PSC regulates public utilities, including the V.I. Telephone Corp., the Water and Power Authority and ferry rates.
The two senators who served during the 22nd Legislature — Holland Redfield II of St. Croix and Stephen "Smokey" Frett of St. Thomas-St. John — are not members of the 23rd Legislature and thus must be replaced.
Additionally, attorney Desmond Maynard's term expired in July and one seat remains vacant. Turnbull has the power to make appointments for those two seats.
Thus, four new members could be named almost immediately to the board. While that would not constitute a majority on the PSC, one of the remaining five — educator Luther Felix Renee of St. Croix — voted last year for the rejected investigation into Vitelco's rates and might do so again if the issue comes up, as it may.
Neither Turnbull nor Richards has given any indication when they will make appointments to the PSC.
Editor's note: For a complete list of the PSC board, see "Boards and Commissions" on the Data page in the Community section.

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