The mix of regulators on the five-member Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) will change with the new year following the election of three new commissioners to replace members whose terms expire at the end of this year.
After several years of an entirely Republican ACC there now will be two Democrats on the regulatory panel. The ACC is nonpartisan but the commissioners run for election under their party affiliation.
All three of the new members have been elected state or local officials in the past. They are Sandra Kennedy, Paul Newman and Bob Stump, replacing outgoing Commissioners Mike Gleason, the current ACC chairman, Bill Mundell and Jeff Hatch-Miller, both of whom had served as chairman of the regulatory panel.
Commissioners Kris Mayes and Gary Pierce continue on the ACC.
In a statewide ballot measure in 2000, Arizona adopted a five-member regulatory commission with a limit of two four-year terms for each commissioner. They serve staggered terms.
Kennedy, one of the two Democrats elected in November, has indicated that she will work with Arizona lawmakers to change the commission to a four-day workweek as a means of saving energy and money. She and a fellow Democrat, Newman, had hoped to get a third ACC member from the Democratic party elected, but that effort fell short when Stump won.
“The election is over and we have to move on,” said Mayes in local news media reports. “There is a lot this commission can accomplish on renewable energy, water conservation and other issues (that are) so important that party politics have no place in them.”
Mayes and her remaining colleague Pierce praised the three outgoing commissioners Friday during the conclusion of an open meeting of the ACC. They both noted the longevity of Mundell, whose service goes back to 1999.
“With the departure of the [three commissioners], we are losing most of the ACC’s institutional memory,” Pierce said. “Commissioner Mundell especially has served to connect today’s commission to its historical roots.”
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