Charles Box named head of Commerce Commission

CHICAGO—Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich appointed former Rockford Mayor Charles E. Box as chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), the state body responsible for regulating utilities and ensuring the citizens of Illinois safe, efficient, reliable and uninterrupted utility services at reasonable prices.

“Working families, senior citizens and individuals living on fixed incomes across Illinois are feeling the pressure from increasing energy costs,” Blagojevich said. “It’s critical that we have an Illinois Commerce Commission committed to making sure consumers are getting reliable service at fair, affordable and reasonable rates. Charles Box is a veteran public servant who has shown throughout his distinguished career that he can be fair-minded and make decisions in the best interest of the public.”

“I’m honored that Gov. Blagojevich has given me this opportunity to serve Illinois citizens as a member of the Commerce Commission,” Box said. “As a former mayor, I know what it means to make decisions taking into account the needs of citizens as well as the business community. It’s a constant balancing act. Whether it’s the allocation of funds or the delivery of services, you never forget that your decisions will have an impact on individuals.”

The Illinois Commerce Commission regulates public utilities, interstate motor carriers, and rail, bus and barge transportation; sets rates for privately-owned electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and sewer companies; regulates intrastate rates charged by property motor carriers; inspects railroad crossings and tracks, and railroad cars carrying hazardous materials.

A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Box brings to the ICC 25 years of experience in the public and private sector. Box was the mayor of Rockford from 1989 to 2001—the first African American ever elected as chief executive of what was at the time Illinois’ second largest city, having previously served in Rockford’s municipal administration as city administrator and legal director. He was also a trustee and member of the advisory board for the United States Conference of Mayors.

Box has served on several boards and commissions since 1977, including the Illinois Growth Enterprises, Rockford College, the Visiting Nurses Association Senior Protective Services, the Winnebago County Crime and Public Safety Commission, the Illinois Arts Council, the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, and the William S. Howard Charitable Trust, and has been recognized with a number of awards, including the 1991 Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Service and Leadership, the 2001 Rockford Area Arts Council’s Mayor’s Art Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts, and the 2002 Edward Potter Lathrop Medal, granted by the Winnebago County Bar Association for distinguished public and professional achievement.

From the Jan. 18-24, 2006, issue

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