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Chairman Linda W. Cropp at the request of the Mayor
A PROPOSED RESOLUTION IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
To approve the appointment of Mr. Anthony M. Rachal, III to the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia.
RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this resolution may be cited as the "Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia Anthony M. Rachal, III Confirmation Resolution of 2002".
Sec. 2. The Council of the District of Columbia confirms the appointment of:
Anthony M. Rachal, III
as a member of the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia, established by paragraph (97) of section 8 of An Act Making appropriations to provide for the expenses of the government of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth nineteen hundred and fourteen, and for other purposes, approved March 4, 1913 (37 Stat. 995; D.C. Official Code § 34-801), replacing Edward M. Meyers, whose term ended June 30, 2002, for a term to end June 30, 2006.
Sec. 3. The Council of the District of Columbia shall transmit a copy of this resolution, upon its adoption, each to the nominee and to the Office of the Mayor.
Sec. 4. This resolution shall take effect immediately.
ANTHONY M. RACHAL III
Phone: (202) 393-7000 Fax: -7009
Associate with Mr. Harman at O'Connor and Hannan, 1981-1982.
Assistant Director, Office of Mass Transportation, D. C. Department of Transportation, 1979 -1981.
Chief Legislative Counsel and Staff Director to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment with the appointed D. C. City Council and the first elected Council of the District of Columbia. This Council Committee was responsible for the passage of all legislation regarding public transportation, highway and transit construction. As lead attorney was required to provided legal, legislative and administrative advice to the several government agencies and departments, including: D.C. DOT, WMATA (Metro), WMATC, D.C. Public Works (Highways and Traffic, Motor Vehicles, Department of Environmental Services) and other agencies. Developed the structure and directed the staff which provided legal and transportation policy guidance to assist D.C. Members on the WMATA (Metro) Board of Directors including the Mayor, Council Chairman, and Councilmembers in the review, evaluation and approval of transportation, budgets, legislation, regulations and operations including fares and service levels, from 1973-1979.
Member, D.C. Gasoline Station Advisory Board (GSAB) with oversight for conversion of full-service stations to gas only facilities throughout the District of Columbia.
TESTIMONY OF ANTHONY M. RACHAL III
THE COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS
MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2002
CONFIRMATION HEARING FOR THE D. C. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
Good afternoon, Chairperson Ambrose, Members and the Committee and the Council and staff, I am Anthony M. Rachal III. I am delighted to appear before you as Mayor Anthony Williams' nominee to the District of Columbia Public Service Commission.
For thirty plus years, I have resided in the District of Columbia.
I currently live at 5004 Cathedral Avenue, N. W. For more than 12 years, I have served the District of Columbia Government in various capacities. I began my professional legal career in this very building as the Legislative Counsel and Staff Director to the Committee on Transportation and Environmental Affairs of the Council of the District. My first term was in service to the Appointed Council and subsequent terms ran through the start of Home Rule Council. Following this Council assignment, I joined the Executive Branch of the District of Columbia Government serving all previous Mayors. I became the first Director of the Office of Mass Transportation under Mayor Walter Washington and Mayor Marion Barry. Later, I served as Mayor Sharon Pratt-Kelly's voting representative to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board of Directors. At this time, I am honored to be Mayor Anthony Williams' nominee to the District of Columbia Public Service Commission.
My government service has afforded me many opportunities to cross paths with the functions and regulatory oversight of the Public Service Commission. My Council experience presented me with the opportunity to review the budget and the legislative issues affecting the Commission. During the appointed council days, the Commission set fares and rate of returns on capital investment for the public bus transportation system and other vehicles-for-hire including taxicabs. I have worked with various Commissioners including William Stratton, Douglas Schneider, Hugh Mason, Elizabeth Patterson, Patricia Worthy, Ruth Hankins Nesbitt, among others. While in private practice, I have appeared before other Commissioners including Belva Newsome, Wesley Long, Edward Meyers and Agnes Alexander. My private clients of record involving Public Service Commission matters have included: Communication Workers of America AFL-CIO, various Taxicab Companies, and the American Petroleum Institute in rate cases and other regulatory matters.
In the current climate of deregulation, there are many major substantive issues before the Commission. This situation , offers exciting challenges in the assumption of this Commission seat. Given my extensive governmental background and broad private experiences, I am uniquely qualified to provide steady and responsible leadership in all facets of Commission oversight and regulatory responsibilities. I commit to do so with an unbiased and balanced approach to tough decision making. This will guarantee that all parties will have a fair and level playing field on all issues to come before the Commission.
With respect to a few of these future issues, I wish to make the following comments:
A. Natural Gas
Because there are pending natural gas cases, your timely confirmation process should now allow for my prompt participation which should mean minimal disruption of the regulatory process for the parties involved. This would include Formal Cases No. 989 and No. 999 as well as any other matter to be filed shortly.
B. Electricity The Commission must resolve Phase II of Formal Case No. 945 in order to finalize its consideration of electric retail competition. At this time, the consumer education component remains incomplete. The Commission must establish a Code of Conduct for the regulated utility company and its affiliates. The Commission has shown interest in Real-Time metering and Real-Time pricing. Hopefully these items will enable consumers to maximize the benefits of retail and wholesale electric competition. Also pending before the Commission is a consideration of other distributed divestiture sharing credits to residential and non-residential consumers. Evidentiary hearings were set for the end of this month.
Much work remains to be done in the area of deregulating electric supply. The imposed caps will be coming off in the future. In my view, the Commission needs to address this matter as soon as possible before its decision time becomes critical. There are no time extensions to be granted if the deadline is not met.
C. Telecommunications The Commission has pending evidentiary hearings under Formal Case No. 962 involving the implementation of both the D. C. Telecommunications Competition Act of 1996 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. These are matters of importance to the costs and availability of Unbundled Network Elements ("UNEs") and the established wholesale rates. My objective is to improve the availability of new services to consumers in the city as quickly as possible so that they are not disenfranchise by any delays caused by a lack of timely Commission decisions. In the past, telecom services have been available to neighboring consumers in other parts of our region that could not be offered to our residents.
D. Other Regulatory and Policy Items
1. Assessment Formula. As Chairman of Metro's Rail Capital Contributions Committee and Deputy Chairman of its Budget Committee, I have gained invaluable experience negotiating very complicated funding arrangements between multi-jurisdictional governments. An adopted formula shared Metrorail's construction costs and another local agreement allocated major annual Metrobus and Metrorail operating subsidies. Such local funding assistance is the most contentious of all local financing to resolve in our region. However, a balance was struck among the various interests of all parties involved for the public good. I am committed to attaining a similar achievement for a new Assessment formula for all the affected parties involved.
2. Regulatory Balance. I believe my career record reflects an ability to make tough judgments as are required for balancing the competing interests of the public good, consumer matters and industry concerns. As Mayor Kelly's Metro Delegate, I supported modest and level fares for both bus and rail service while maintaining strong maintenance and capital improvement programs.
As an attorney for industry, I have worked with your Committee for deregulation of commercial insurance lines for enhanced business and economic development in our the city.
3. Municipal Aggregation. Any Municipal Aggregation Program must develop a plan that provides effective choice to the consumer in an "electric retail competition" environment. I am committed to finding a reasonable approach for this important concept.
4. Working Groups. To produce more consensus reports, this Committee has my promise that I will make a concerted effort to take the initial care necessary in establishing Work Groups for many matters requiring implementation, consideration, or regulation before the Commission. If a consensus document is not possible in a reasonable time frame, I agree that there is no need for a Working Group.
5. Community Involvement with the Commission. I am supportive of the community outreach efforts of the Commission and will continue to improve these activities in the future.
Chairperson Ambrose that concludes my opening remarks, I am available for any questions that you or your fellow Members of the Committee or the Council may have. Thank you for expediting the scheduling of this hearing this afternoon.
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