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Public Service Commissioner Prepared For Run-Off  





    By Clarence Thomas  


David L. Burgess believes he was born to do what he does. His list of accomplishments supports his claims. And if the voters of Georgia agree with him come December 5, Burgess will again be given the opportunity to do what he feels he does best…serve the public.


The Atlanta native is in a runoff with Republican candidate Chuck Eaton – an Atlanta Realtor with aspirations of unseating Burgess, a veteran member of the Public Service Commission. Eaton has his work cut for himself. Burgess has seventeen years of experience under his belt, a host of history making accolades that he can claim, as well as an unparallel passion for service.


Burgess is the only African-American statewide elected Public Service Commissioner in the country. Since graduating from Georgia Tech in 1981, he has worked with the commission as a public utilities engineer, the Director of Rates and Tariffs and served additionally as the Director of the Commission’s Telecommunications Unit. Burgess has worked on various electric, gas and telecommunications issues during his tenure and continues to lead the Commission’s efforts to establish a consumer education initiative. All in a days work he says. “I do believe I’ve been a good servant. This is a calling for me,” Burgess adamantly expressed. “God has entrusted me with a great responsibility so I try to leave the work place better each day than the previous day.”


By 1999 Burgess had caught the attention of former Governor Roy Barnes. His efforts earned him a gubernatorial appointment and a place in history as Georgia’s first African American Public Service Commissioner. Six years later he finds himself in a heated race on the heels of a close finish on November 7 in which a Libertarian opponent bit the dust leaving the Georgia Tech Engineering Hall of Fame member and Eaton to do battle at the polls.


Burgess feels he is destined to prevail and continue the work he begun in 2000. Since elected he has provided over $35 million in assistance to senior citizens and others on a fixed income to help pay their natural gas bills. Burgess was instrumental in getting the Telecommunications Act of 1996 implemented. Georgians have seen a reduction in natural gas prices and job retention and creation as a result reflects Burgess. He sited a Valdosta plant that was recently assisted with their electrical cost which allowed them to continue producing a bleaching agent that would have should down Georgia Pacific’s operations otherwise as a by-product of his efforts. He looks forward to assisting Macon with the extension of natural gas services and vows to vote for an extension when the opportunity arises soon.


The commission’s job is to exercise its authority and influence to ensure that consumers receive safe, reliable and reasonably priced telecommunications, transportation and natural gas services according to its website. Burgess says the criterion for a good Public Service Commissioner is simple. A member should love people, possess a passion for the citizen’s well being and must be knowledgeable. Members should ensure that services are affordable, reliable, innovative and high in quality. If given six more years, Burgess promises to continue working in this respect. “I want to make sure that consumers have access to new products and services,” states the former Atlanta public housing resident. “When I’m a part of these kinds of endeavors, at the end of the day it’s very pleasing to me.” 

You are Visitor #  Hit Counter   Updated Wednesday April 05, 2006 12:40:42



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