In a letter emailed to his constituents Friday morning, District 2 Public Service Commissioner Jimmy Field, who would have faced fellow Republican Ed Roy of Lafayette in the primary Nov. 6, said he will retire after 16 years at the end of 2012. “The time required to continue to serve as a leader on the Commission, to run an effective campaign, to be a loving husband to Laura, my wife of 51 years, to be a father to four grown children and grandfather to 15 grandchildren, as well as continue my part-time law practice, has forced me to re-evaluate my plans,” Field writes.
Contacted last month by The Independent after Roy announced his campaign, Field’s office said he would definitely seek re-election.
The recently redrawn District 2 covers the parishes of Lafayette, St. Mary, St. Martin, Terrebonne, Lafourche, East Feliciana, West Feliciana and Point Coupee as well as parts of Iberia, East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville and Livingston parishes. Field, a Baton Rouge attorney, has served as a commissioner since December 1996.
An independent regulatory agency, the PSC manages public utilities and motor carriers in the state. It has five elected members chosen in single-member districts for staggered six-year terms.
Roy is founder and president of Global Data Fusion, an investigative and screening firm, and is the current president of the Louisiana Private Investigators Association. A meteorologist who worked as a TV and radio weatherman for two decades, Roy also served as a criminal intelligence detective for the Lafayette Parish sheriff’s office for 16 years, and is a certified fraud investigator. He was a member of the Lafayette Parish Council from 1992 to 1996.
Below is Field’s letter.
To the People I am Honored to Represent:
In 1996, you afforded me the privilege to represent you as one of five members of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. As is my practice in life, I sought God’s direction and believe I have faithfully discharged my duties as a member of the Commission for just over 15 years. At the end of this current term (Dec. 31, 2012), I will have served you for 16 years.
Because there are several critical decisions facing the Commission in the months and years ahead, many people have encouraged me to seek re-election for what would be my final term, and until now, I have proceeded on that path. However, the time required to continue to serve as a leader on the Commission, to run an effective campaign, to be a loving husband to Laura, my wife of 51 years, to be a father to four grown children and grandfather to 15 grandchildren, as well as continue my part-time law practice, has forced me to re-evaluate my plans.
Accordingly, I have concluded that I will not seek re-election for another term. This has been an extremely difficult decision because I believe that the people would have re-elected me based on my record as a dedicated commissioner, who has fairly balanced the interests of the consumers and the utilities. Among my achievements, I am especially proud that Louisiana’s residential electric rates are currently among the lowest in the nation and that, during my tenure, Louisiana’s electric consumers have received more than $2 billion in savings in the form of refunds, rate reductions, and the innovative use of securitization. I am equally proud of the Commission’s implementation of local telephone service rules, which have led to innovation and fierce competition, as well as the Commission’s introduction of the successful Do-Not-Call Program.
I especially want to thank my excellent Consumer Affairs Staff, headed by Peggy Lantrip, and including Annette Romero, Jane Rhodes, and Sharon Dungan for their courteous and efficient handling of more than 27,000 consumer issues during my tenure. I also want to offer a special note of thanks to my Chief of Staff, David Kantrow, for his able and insightful assistance on the very complex policy issues that come before the Commission, as well as my Assistant Chief of Staff Cynthia Thompson, who has headed up my Lafayette office for many years.
Finally, I thank Laura for supporting me throughout my career and agreeing to join with me as we offer our talents in giving back to a state and the people we truly love. I trust, in some small way, that God has been glorified by my service as a Commissioner and I long to continue in His service for the time I have remaining.
Stepping down is never easy, but I have always admired those who have left at the top of their game. By making the decision at this time, it will give others who wish to serve ample time to campaign for the position. My campaign will refund contributions made during this election cycle.
Thank you and may God continue to bless Louisiana and America.
MAY 23 Here's a story in the Picayune about some statistics that must come as a blow to folks who believe that any private school can do a better job of educating kids than any public school: Danielle Dreilinger reports that only 30 percent of the voucher kids are passing. That's less than half of the state wide average, she says. It's an interesting statistic because most of the schools (if not all) taking voucher kids have never had their students' standardized test scores released to the public before.
MAY 23 Stephen Sabludowsky blogs on Bayou Buzz about auditor requests here. Recently the state GOP started crowing about a request from the Legislative Auditor, claiming they were being targeted because of their anti-tax stance. (Uh, your what?) Denial and hyperbole aside, the state Democratic party blew holes in that theory with an email announcing they'd received the same request, Sabludowsky writes here.
MAY 23 Jim Brown blogs about the senate race in this post. He says that, given Bobby Jindal's "lack of traction" on the national stage, it might make more sense for the governor to consider running against Mary Landrieu for the senate seat. Since Tim Teeple left the Cassidy team, it makes sense he might land on a Jindal for Senate team, Brown opines.
MAY 23 In this Louisiana Voice post, blogger Tom Aswell writes of rumors that his nemesis, state Superintendent of Education John White, may be soon departing Louisiana for a federal post. It's hard to believe, given his performance, Aswell says, but stranger things have happened. An anti-White BESE member says that, if true, White is quitting before he can be fired.
MAY 23 In this post on American Zombie, blogger Jason Berry writes about the Mother's Day shooting. Mayor Landrieu said that "this is not who we are," but the fact is, this is New Orleans, Berry writes. The violence infused in the city is the result of a culture created by "sins of omission or sins of commission," Berry writes. It's not a problem that can be solved by legislating, policing, praying or publicizing, he says: Someone's got to understand what's happening first.
MAY 23 This post in the Westside Journal tells us what Port Allen Mayor Deedy has been up to lately: vetoing ordinances, apparently. This story is most interesting, however, when it delves into a petition that has been circulating around the city lately. It accuses the former mayor of a lot of nasty things; the former mayor says it is full of lies and "broken syntax" which may be a larger offense in his eyes.
MAY 23 This editorial posted in The Advocate is a bit confusing. The writing is poor - definitely not up to the usual editorial writing standard there - and the point is hard to grasp. Apparently, the writer is saying that privatization of state efforts is OK, as long as there is oversight and transparency, but Jindal's not good at that, and the legislature shouldn't over-react. Okey Dokey. Can't they get one of them Pulitzer-winning people to write an editorial?
MAY 23 This post on The Lens gives you links to a new Google Earth tool that allows you to see any spot on earth transform over the past 30 years. Bob Marshall, who covers the coast for the paper, says that in the case of Louisiana's coastline, it's possibly something you don't want to see, because it's not a pretty picture. There are several clips here, showing critical areas erode away. For Marshall, it was vindication for all those times he was met with eye-rolling when he talked about erosion.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.