Flores appointed Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman

Date: 
01/04/2010
FloresPortrt

Governor Pat Quinn announced that 1st Ward Alderman Manuel Flores is his appointee for Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission. “Manny Flores is an experienced and highly-regarded public servant who will provide a fresh viewpoint at this very important Commission,” said Quinn. “He excelled in the Chicago City Council and will do so at the helm of the ICC.”

"We need somebody who has foresight, who has vision, who has energy, who has enthusiasm for the green way of thinking and a green way of acting in the state of Illinois," Quinn stated. Flores, now in his second term as 1st Ward Alderman, has been a major champion for promoting all things green including: LEED certification in new developments;  an online social networking platform to develop policy and promote a green marketplace www.GreenEconomyChicago.com; and the Chicago’s Green Exchange development, a green business mall that will be a premier destination for clean technology and energy companies.

While Flores needs to be confirmed by the state Senate, it is predicted that he will take office on the five person commission in time to vote at the ICC's Jan. 21 meeting when it is expected to vote on Peoples Gas' $122 million rate hike request. This is an important vote for Quinn who hopes to win the Democratic primary gubernatorial nomination a few weeks after the ICC vote that could increase voters gas bills in the mid of a very cold winter. To date, an administrative law judge for the commission recommended that the increase be $64 million while staff recommended only $53 million.

Reviewing rate hikes proposed by electric, phone and other utilities is only part of the ICC tasks awaiting the guiding hand of soon-to-be the former 1st Ward Alderman. According to the ICC website their mission is to pursue an appropriate balance between the interest of consumers and existing and emerging service providers to ensure the provision of adequate, efficient, reliable, safe and least-cost public utility services.

The Illinois Commerce Commission's work falls into three categories of consumer services, public utilities and transportation activities. Consumer services include education regarding utilities, development of utility rules, consumer protection and resolving consumer complaints. Work with public utilities focuses on financial and operational analysis; policy development; public safety; and enforcement activities related to electric, natural gas, water, sewer and telecommunications companies. Transportation activities includes insurance and registration for trucking, railroad safety, relocation towing, safety towing and household goods moving company enforcement activities.

In City Council, Flores sits on seven committees.  Prior to his aldermanic position, Flores, a graduate of Dominican University and George Washington University Law School, served as a prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and as an aide to  Congressman Luis Guiterrez, another former alderman from our community.  This appointment,  which increases his salary to $134,000, replaces Charles E. Box, a former Rockford mayor appointed by then Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2006.

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