New SPSA board named

Published 10:14 am Friday, January 8, 2010

Gov. Tim Kaine has named the new board of directors of the Southeastern Public Service Authority.

The new board took office on Jan. 1, said Gordon Hickery, a spokesman for Kaine.

Everett Williams will represent Franklin and Roy Chesson of Zuni will represent Southampton County. Windsor resident Theodore Hardison will sit on the board for Isle of Wight County.

“I’ll do the best I can to see that the citizens of Franklin get a fair shake,” Williams said Thursday. “I’ll strive to see that SPSA is operated in such a fashion that they can avoid any more debt.”

Williams said that he has been keeping up with the actions of the prior board, including the plan to sell the waste-to-energy plant to Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc. for $150 million.

“It sounds good, ” Williams said, but he isn’t completely convinced that selling the plant will allow SPSA to operate as efficiently as possible.

Hardison said he didn’t want to talk about specific issues in the agency until he had a chance to study them first.

“I’m going to go to the table with an open mind and expect the table to be open to every issues,” he said. “I will serve the board to the best of my abilities, always keeping the present and future of our citizens first.”

Hardison recently retired as a business consultant and before that he spend 43 years working with Northrop Grumman and spent several of those years devoted to innovative processes and cost reduction.

Williams is a retired engineer with Ford Motor Co.

Chesson, who works for the City of Newport News as a management analyst with the city’s public works department, said he is looking forward to being “brought up to speed” on the dealings of SPSA, and in particular, the authority’s financial situation.

“I don’t forsee there being any quick fixes,” he said. Chesson said that he hopes that “cooler heads will prevail” among board members to look for long-term solutions to the authority’s problems.

Other representatives include James C. Adams for Suffolk, G. Timothy Oksman for Portsmouth, Marley Woodall for Chesapeake and Joseph Leafe for Norfolk.

A new law required all eight of the communities served by SPSA, including Southampton, Franklin and Isle of Wight, to find three people willing to serve as prospective board members, Nominees selected by the governor will serve four-year terms and can serve for no more than two consecutive terms. The law also stipulates that nominees must “possess general business knowledge, and shall not be elected officials.”

SPSA’s member localities are also required to select an “ex officio” member for the board. An ex officio member must be a locality employee. A provision in state code will grant the ex officio members of the board voting privileges, essentially creating a 16-member board that will govern SPSA. City Manager June Fleming was named as “ex officio” member for Franklin. County Administrator Mike Johnson will represent Southampton County and County Administrator Doug Caskey will represent Isle of Wight.