- Through resolutions sponsored by Legislator Ed Romaine
and co-sponsored by Legislators Bill Lindsay, Wayne Horsley, and John Kennedy, the Suffolk County Legislature last week named five of the six members to the newly constituted LIPA Oversight Committee.
The five members appointed on Tuesday include two experts in the operations of electric utility companies, Peter Schlussler and Matthew Cordaro; two energy experts, Irving Like and Sheldon Sackstein; and civic leader, Fred Gorman. The sixth and final member, a person with familiarity in operations of LIPA, will be named by the presiding officer separately.
Established late last year pursuant to Local Law No. 36-1999, the Long Island Power Authority Legislative Oversight Committee will look at LIPA's rates - specifically its standard rates, variable rates, and peak/off-peak rates - contracts, practices, and disaster and storm response policies to determine if the agency is working in the best interest of the Suffolk County rate-payers.
"Most Suffolk ratepayers are in the dark regarding the operation of LIPA and the historic lack of transparency and disclosure by LIPA is troubling," said Legislator Romaine.
• Dr. Matthew Cordaro of Shoreham is dean of the Townsend School of Business at Dowling College. He previously served as the first president and chief executive officer of the Midwest Independent System Operator based in Indianapolis, Indiana. For 22 years Dr. Cordaro was with the Long Island Lighting Company, serving as senior vice president of operations, engineering, and construction. He holds a Ph.D. in engineering and physics from Cooper Union and an M.E. in nuclear engineering from New York University.
• Sheldon R. Sackstein of Melville has written numerous articles and been a guest speaker at many organizations on energy and the environment. He is the managing partner of Sackstein & Company, L.L.P. and a principal of the Infinity Consulting Group, Inc. Sackstein is chairman of the board of Action Long Island and a member of New York State Long Island Committee for Jobs and Energy Independence. He previously served as a member of the Long Island Power Authority Board of Trustees.
• Peter G. Schlussler of Mount Sinai is the director of optical imaging for the Suffolk County Clerk. He previously worked for the Long Island Lighting Company/KeySpan Energy for nineteen years. Schlussler oversaw all material management and contract activities and was responsible for the divestiture of the former Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. Upon closure of Shoreham, he moved to central operations and later worked as lead engineer in the electric systems department and managed the computer systems for the electric transmission and distribution system.
• Frederick J. Gorman of Nesconset is the founder of the Nesconset-Sachem Civic Association, Sachem Community Watch, Long Islanders for Education Reform, and Long Island Energy Surveillance. He is a member of the Initiative of Competitive Energy and the New York State Education Alliance. Gorman is also president of Gorman Personnel Consultants. He once filed a lawsuit against LIPA, the governor and legislature in U.S. Supreme Court for violating a 1997 proposition that prohibited public corporations from buying private debt or stock, but was found to be without standing.
• Irving Like of Bay Shore is a former trustee of the Long Island Power Authority. He served as special counsel to Suffolk County in proceeding against the Long Island Lighting Company regarding the proposed nuclear power plant in Jamesport, electric rate cases in the 1978 and 1979, the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant construction permit and licensing proceedings, and the replacement of LILCO with LIPA. Mr. Like also lectures on environmental law at various colleges and universities, including CUNY, Columbia University, and Hofstra University.
"I am confident these five individuals have the experience and knowledge necessary to shed some light on LIPA," added Romaine.