Anchorage, AK - Commissioner Robert M. Pickett was unanimously elected as the new Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) during the public meeting held today, June 25, 2008.   Pickett will be responsible for the administrative functions of the RCA and presides over the commission for a one-year term at the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009. 

With great confidence and support, the commissioners welcomed Pickett in his new role with the commission.   Pickett followed the welcome remarks with the following statement:

“It has been a great privilege to serve as a commissioner of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and work with my fellow commissioners.  We have a great deal on our plate and many challenges ahead of us in the next year.  The true strength of an organization is found in its people.  For the RCA to effectively carry out its important mission, we must be able to attract and retain motivated and qualified commissioners and staff.  With the ever present pressure of the statutory deadlines, coupled with staff vacancies, we’re in a very frustrating situation.  At times it seems as though no one cares, and we’re on our own.  This commission has served the people of Alaska well.  As with many organizations, mistakes have been made in the past.  Maybe some things should have been done differently.  But overall, I believe the RCA is one of the unsung heroes of state government. 

In the short term, I will work with my fellow commissioners to effectively utilize the tools, resources and staff we currently have.   Going forward, I will, to the best of my abilities, advocate for the needs of the commission before the Administration, Legislature, general public, and those whom we regulate.  The RCA must have the tools and resources necessary to strike the right balance between the ratepayers and the regulated utilities and carriers.  This balance must be based on solid, well-developed records in our dockets, coupled with competent, thoughtful and fair decisions.  And again, all of this requires the RCA to be able to attract and retain motivated and qualified commissioners and staff.”

Commissioner Pickett has more than 30 years of statewide experience in Alaska’s housing industry, in both the private and public sectors. For twenty-one years, Commissioner Pickett worked for Alaska Housing Finance Corporation in a number of roles including Property Disposition Manager, Planner, and Program Manager.  He has a B.A. in Public Administration/Political Science from the University of Idaho, and has been married for more than 23 years to his wife Jane.

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Date Issued: 6/25/2008