Clark, Passidomo Seek Reappointment to PSC

Posted By: Garnie Holmes Industry , Legislative/Regulatory ,

Florida PSCFlorida Public Service Commission members Gary Clark and Gabriella Passidomo are seeking reappointment to the utility regulatory board, while at least five other applicants are angling for their seats.

With the current terms of Clark and Passidomo slated to expire in January, candidates for the $135,997-a-year jobs faced a 5 p.m. Wednesday deadline to submit applications.

The Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council will consider the applicants and send a list of finalists to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will make the appointments to the commission, which regulates and sets rates for such things as electric, natural-gas and water utilities.

Passidomo, a daughter of incoming Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, was named to the commission by DeSantis in May 2021.

As part of her application for reappointment, Passidomo wrote that “within my first year as a commissioner, I participated in two electric rate cases and a multitude of water and wastewater cases.”

Passidomo, who had worked as a PSC attorney, was appointed to the commission to complete the term of Julie Brown, who had become secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Brown has since been appointed by DeSantis to the Florida Gaming Control Commission.

Clark, who served as Public Service Commission chairman in 2020 and 2021, was first appointed to the panel in 2017 to complete the term of Jimmy Patronis, who was named by then-Gov. Rick Scott to serve as Florida chief financial officer. Scott reappointed Clark to a full term in 2018.

Clark previously was a deputy secretary at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
In his application, Clark said he is a shareholder in Subway sandwich shops in Chipley, where he is also owner of Northwest Holdings, a property-management company.

“If any of the positions I hold are deemed to be viewed in a manner as to cause any question to my ability to continue to fairly and impartially execute the duties of the office, I will resign immediately,” Clark said in the application.

Other applicants:

  • Belinda Little-Wood of Tallahassee. Little-Wood, who has been involved in the disaster-recovery industry for more than 15 years, was a finalist for the commission in 2021 when DeSantis reappointed commission members Art Graham and Andrew Fay.
  • Eileen Vargas of Jensen Beach. Vargas lists her employer as the financial institution Primerica and indicated that she is an “independent contractor.” In 2020, Vargas ran in the Republican primary in state House District 84 and was defeated by Rep. Dana Trabulsy, R-Fort Pierce.
  • Andrew Hoo of Davie. Hoo listed his occupation as executive director of the non-profit A New Start: Financial & Social Services Inc. in Davie.
  • Gary Adams of Fleming Island. Adams spent a decade as an associate pastor in Oswego, Ill., before moving to Northeast Florida as “my family and I wanted to relocate back to Florida.” Adams, in part, has also worked as a city and county manager in Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Minnesota.
  • Matilde De Haan of Lake Worth. De Haan listed her occupation as a senior technology strategist for Fort Lauderdale. She previously served in a similar role for New York City.

The nominating council is chaired by Sen. Ben Albritton, a Wauchula Republican who is expected to become Senate president in 2024.

The 11-member nominating council also includes Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton; Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville; Rep. Chuck Clemons, R-Newberry; Rep. David Silvers, D-Lake Clarke Shores; and Rep. Cyndi Stevenson, R-Saint Johns.

Article reposted with permission from The News Service of Florida.