By Stuart R. Wahlin
Jan. 4, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) appointed Chicago Ald. Manuel Flores (D-1) to replace Charles Box (D), a former Rockford mayor, as chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), which regulates the state’s utilities.
Box served as Rockford’s mayor from 1989 to 2001.
Flores, according to a press release by the governor’s office, “brings to his new position a deep understanding of public service, a record for advancing pro-environmental initiatives, and a commitment to expanding broadband Internet access throughout Illinois.”
Quinn’s choice of Flores has been applauded by consumer groups, including the Citizens Utility Board (CUB).
CUB Executive Director David Kolata responded: “Ald. Flores has proven to be a strong, independent and fair voice for consumers during a career of public service. He has made consumer issues a top priority, and has been a strong supporter of renewable energy and energy-efficiency initiatives that are key to controlling turbulent energy prices.”
Box, whose term was to expire in January 2009, has been chided by consumer groups for often siding with utilities. He has served as ICC chairman since 2006 after being appointed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D).
The appointment of Flores must be confirmed by the Illinois Senate before he can assume the new post.
From the Jan. 6-12, 2010 issue