ACC to expand to five members
The Arizona Corporation Commission will expand from three to five members following the 2002 general election.
Arizona voters in 2000 approved Proposition103 with the addition of two seats.
Each commissioner will serve a four-year term rather than the previous six-year term.
Under term limits, a commissioner will be eligible for re-election to a second four years.
The two new commissioners will serve two-year terms to begin a rotation that will have election of a portion of the commission each two-year election cycle.
A third commission seat, now held by Jim Irvin, is up for election this year.
Irwin is running for re-election to a four-year term and will face Roberta Voss in the September Republican primary.
The winner will compete with Democrat James P.
Walsh in the November general election.
Two seats for two-year terms will that will end in January 2005 will be filled from five candidates.
Democrats George Cunningham and Roland James are unopposed in the primary.
The two Republican candidates in November will be the two leading vote primary getters among Jim Buster, Mike Gleason and Jeff Hatch-Miller.
Arizona is one of seven states that have a constitutionally formed corporation commission.
The commission seats are constitutional offices reflecting the interest in utility and corporation regulation when Arizona became a state in 1912.
Thirteen states have elected commissioners.
In most states the commission is known as the public service or public utilities commission.
In Arizona, the commission has regulatory responsibility for incorporation, securities, railroad and pipeline safety and utilities.
By powers delegated in the Arizona constitution, commissioners operate in an executive capacity.
They adopt rules and regulations in a legislative capacity and act in a judicial capacity as a tribunal deciding contested matters.
Ultimate responsibility for granting or denying rate adjustments, enforcing safety and public service requirements and approving securities matters rests with the commissioners.
The siting of the proposed Big Sandy generating plant neat Wickieup, the proposed Citizens Arizona Electric pass-through rate increase, water rates for private water companies in Mohave County and gas pipeline regulation are some issues that concern local residents that are decided by the Arizona Corporation Commission.