Powder Springs Man Running for Service Commission
David Staples, a libertarian, said that if elected, he will take a 10 percent pay cut and encourage trimming of the commission's budget.
Cobb businessman and Powder Springs resident David Staples intends to run for the fifth district seat for Georgia's Public Service Commission.
Since he's running as a libertarian, he won't appear on the July 31 primary ballot, which will feature no Democrats and two Republicans: incumbent Stan Wise, a former Cobb County commissioner who has been on the Public Service Commission since 1995, and challenger Pam Davidson, an energy consultant from Douglasville.
Staples, 31, said he plans to officially qualify the day after the primaries.
There are five Public Service Commission districts in Georgia. Cobb's is included in the central west district, which stretches south to Peach and Taylor counties, and stops at Cobb, Paulding and Polk in the north. The full map is attached.
The commission oversees pricing for public utilities like electricity and natural gas.
Staples is a native Georgian and was raised in Lilburn. He has worked in the telecommunications and information technology fields in a variety of roles including Web technologies, research and development, and management.
He currently is a Web technologies architect for an equipment manufacturer, where he designs and implements web-based solutions.
Staples has been married five years to a LEED certified mechanical engineer, and they lived on a farm in Powder Springs. The couple has a one-year-old.
Here is a release from the campaign:
As a libertarian, David believes in the natural ability of one company or technology to freely compete against another company or technology. For example, currently making news is the ability to enter into third party power purchase agreements—allowing third party companies to install solar panels (or other electrical generation methods) on private property and sell the generated power to the property owner directly—a process which is currently not legal in Georgia.
In this arrangement, the property owner doesn't have any upfront costs, but they still receive the clean and renewable energy that they desire. Georgia is one of only four states that do not allow these types of agreements.
David believes the answer to our ever-growing energy needs is not based on just one or two types of electrical generation methods or sources, but in a portfolio of methods all competing against each other on their own merits.
As well, when looking at the long term solutions, we must find ways to generate power without polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink. People shouldn't have to trade their health for more reliable and safe electricity.
This same logic of letting free markets work also applies to the other industries that are regulated and overseen by the Public Service Commission, and David will use the same logic when determining policies in those industries.
David also believes it is extremely important that the government be fiscally responsible with the tax dollars that it receives from its citizens. As such, David has pledged that if elected, he will immediately ask for a 10 percent reduction in his salary as Public Service Commissioner.
Teachers and other public servants in Georgia have taken pay cuts and been furloughed in recent years. The Public Service Commission should not be exempt from the same types of cuts that other departments have faced through these tough economic times.
David would also encourage cutting other PSC expenditures such as trimming down the $150,000 in the 2011 budget for new vehicles as one example. When it comes to government expenditures, we must ask ourselves whether it is better to take the money from taxpayers for various expenses than to let the taxpayer keep it for themselves.