Eskom claims bronze for customer service

first_img Generation BRICS AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Finance and Policy On Monday, Eskom claimed the SAP Advanced Centre of Expertise (CoE) Bronze Medal for excellence during an awards ceremony at the SAP head office in Johannesburg.Every year the leading global software solution provider SAP honours the best Customer Centre of Excellence (COE) with the ‘Customer COE of the year’ award.According to the utility, the award recognises excellence in four categories: Service Provision, IT, Business Innovation and Best Customer COE Overall including Business Collaboration.Eskom entered the category for overall Best Customer CoE and was short listed amongst the top three global companies, British American Tobacco and SHELL Global.Sean Maritz, Chief Information Officer and Group Executive of Group IT said: “This award further re-affirms Eskom’s commitment to quality, world class processes and customer experience. We are extremely proud to scoop a bronze medal in our first year of entering these global awards.”Eskom continues to reap rewardsLast year Eskom became the first organisation on African soil to achieve the prestigious Advanced Centre of Expertise certification from SAP.Maritz added: “The certification conveys a level of commitment to quality above all other activities, and highlights Eskom’s drive to do the right thing – not just for short-term gains, but also to ensure sustainability in the long term.“Through this process, we have challenged the silo thinking prevalent in the market today, fostering a deeper understanding of how every action impacts other areas of the business, the economy, and the people that live and work within South Africa.”SAP Advanced Centre of Expertise certificationThe SAP Advanced Centre of Expertise certification covers the full spectrum of SAP solution operations.Under the new certification, the Eskom team has integrated quality management in place, bringing transparency to the challenges and issues faced by the organisation as a whole.Visibility, alignment and a common understanding of the top issues affecting the organisation are enabled through the centre’s ability to maintain a single source of truth – one central area where everything is tracked and from which all information flows. Previous articleGhana’s GRIDCo invites bids for transmission projectNext articleBurkina Faso: gold mining company turns to solar energy Ashley TheronAshley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA last_img read more

St. Lucie cleans turbines with water-jetting technique

first_img Vietnam: scaling back coal-fired plans toward gas, renewables CoalGasNuclear Florida Power & Light Co.?s (FP&L) St. Lucie power plant, a two-unit, 1,700-MW nuclear electric generating facility, selected Applied Radiological Control Inc. (ARC) for its turbine component cleaning project in preparation for non-destructive examination. The decision was made after extensive evaluation of cleaning principles and methods, non-destructive examination of metal substrates and a full-scale demonstration of ARC?s ultra high pressure (UHP) water-jetting process. 4.1.1995 Facebook Twitter Previous articlePE Volume 99 Issue 4Next articlePE Volume 99 Issue 5 chloecox Linkedin By chloecox – Abrasive blasting creates large quantities of solid waste for disposal and can erode substrates or compromise the structural integrity of the material. The mixture of spent blast media and material usually requires special disposal or recycling procedures, as well as secondary cleaning. The UHP process uses high-velocity water jet streams at pressures up to 40,000 psi, with multi-orificed water jets positioned at various angles, rotating up to 3,000 rpm for maximum cleaning efficiency. For enhanced cleaning capability, a proprietary abrasive can be used in the water jet. Since there were no radiological concerns, ARC cleaned the components in the open, with welding curtains protecting other crews from back-spray and mist. No sizable containment was required. After non-destructive examination of the two LP rotors revealed indications of potential problem areas, a walnut shell blasting method was unsuccessfully used to remove a heavy layer of protective cosmoline from two spare LP rotors. Cosmoline, used to protect turbine rotors during long storage periods, was then removed using UHP before installation. OWith ARC?s help, Florida Power & Light was able to complete the outage in 35 days,O said B.R. Nichols, FP&L project supervisor. OI would recommend water blasting over standard grit blasting. It saves set-up time, transporting turbine components to a blast tent area and clean-up time after the work is complete.O Y Two original LP rotors were cleaned within 30 hours. Highlights of the project included: RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR OA key advantage of UHP cleaning is that the lower casing, fixed blades and seal areas can be cleaned in place, which results in significant time and labor savings,O said Ronnie Ball, St. Lucie mechanical maintenance department head. OAlso, the potential for component damage due to multiple lifts is mitigated by using the overhead crane exclusively for the initial disassembly and final reassembly lifts. We achieved even greater savings because the secondary clean-up of grit, dust and residual abrasive contamination was completely avoided.Ocenter_img St. Lucie cleans turbines with water-jetting technique TAGSFPLPE Volume 99 Issue 4 Twitter Y The project was performed within the schedule and budget, in less than 1,000 man-hours. St. Lucie cleans turbines with water-jetting technique Linkedin Y Cosmoline was removed from both replacement rotors within 28 hours. Facebook Y In-place cleaning of the lower casing, fixed blades and seal areas was successful. Y Component cleaning included horizontal joints, blade rings and stationary blading. Venture Global LNG adds Zachry to EPC team for Gulf export terminal construction Suitors for halted Bellefonte nuclear project ask TVA to consider climate in reviving sale No posts to displaylast_img read more

2 charged for allegedly smuggling 26 finches in hair curlers

first_imgUS Customs and Border Protection(NEW YORK CITY) — Two New York City men were arrested Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport and charged for illegally smuggling finches from Guyana, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said.Twenty-six of the little birds were found stuffed in hair curlers and placed in the socks of the defendants, identified as Victor Benjamin, 72, of Brooklyn and Insaf Ali, 57, of the Bronx, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York.“My investigation has revealed that individuals keep finches to enter them in singing contests,” said Gabriel Harper of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the complaint. “In such contests, often conducted in public areas like parks, two finches sing and a judge selects the bird determined to have the best voice.”Those who attend the singing contests wager on the birds. A finch who wins can sell for $5,000 or more, Harper said. “Although certain species of finch are available in the United States, species from Guyana are believed to sing better and are therefore more highly sought after,” Harper said in the complaint. “An individual willing to smuggle finches into the United States from Guyana can earn a large profit by selling these birds in the New York area.”Benjamin and Ali were stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after they landed at the airport on a flight from Guyana.The men made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn and were released on a $20,000 bond. They did not enter a plea.If convicted they face up to 20 years in prison.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Center for Student Involvement Assistant Program Director

first_imgCenter for Student Involvement Assistant ProgramDirectorJob no: 527257Work type: Officer of AdministrationLocation: Eugene, ORCategories: Administrative/Professional, StudentLife/ServicesDepartment: Erb Memorial UnionAppointment Type and Duration: Regular,OngoingSalary: $43,000 – $48,000 per yearCompensation Band: OS-OA05-Fiscal Year2020-2021FTE: 1.0Application Review BeginsApril 12, 2021; position open until filledSpecial Instructions to ApplicantsFor the complete position description and duties please email:[email protected] andreference Center for Student Involvement, Assistant ProgramDirector.For consideration, applicants should submit:Cover letter which expresses your interest in the position;describe how your skills, abilities, and experiences meet theminimum and preferred qualifications and professional competenciescontained within the job announcementCurrent resume, which includes dates of employmentAnswers to the following supplemental questions:1. Why are student activities and student organizations importantto a college campus and the student experience?2. Describe a program or event you managed, including size, budget,goals, and results. What best practices did you use to guide theprocess? How can you share this with or teach this to students atvarying levels of experience and knowledge? How would you changeyour approach for student organizations that you do not interactwith on a regular basis?3. The Division of Student Life is committed to creating amulticultural organization that actively respects, includes, andengages everyone. What does this mean to you and how, if you wereselected as the successful candidate, will you help us meet thisgoal? Further, how will you encourage and develop a commitment toinclusivity among the students with whom you will be working?As part of the application process applicants will be asked toprovide the name and contact information for at least threeprofessional references, one of which must be a current or mostrecent supervisor (if not currently employed). Candidates will benotified prior to references being contacted.Department SummaryThe Erb Memorial Union (EMU) is a department of the Division ofStudent Life. The EMU is a multifaceted auxiliary service thatemploys over 90 professional staff and 400 student staff, andserves over 15 thousand daily users during the academic year. TheEMU welcomes students, faculty, staff, the community and visitorsto campus, and its mission is to provide learning experiences andopportunities for personal growth in an open, inclusive, andresource-rich community where students and staff collaborate toinspire and sustain extraordinary programs and services thatpromote diversity and social interaction. The EMU is studentcentered and is operated in collaboration with a student Board, whoare actively involved in determining the character and scope of thedepartment and approve the budget recommendations of all EMUservices and programs.The Center for Student Involvement (CSI) focuses on two main areas:Resource Center and Student Activities BoardThe CSI Resource Center is a unique collaborative programbetween the EMU and ASUO. Both ASUO student organizations and otherUO student organizations will have access to advising, training,and resources in a space which they can call home. Our Vision is tobe a hub of information and resources where student organizationscan create, build, and connect students through fun events,services, and traditions.The Student Activities Board, through multiple teams, createsevents that are desired by the UO student population and providestudents with opportunities for social and intellectualdevelopment. Event content will vary from themed parties tointimate concerts; they will include long standing traditions andadaptive new creations all to fill the needs of UO Students.Position SummaryThe Assistant Program Director is a staff member of the Center forStudent Involvement (CSI) and reports to the CSI Program Director.The purpose of this position is to advise student leaders on theStudent Activities Board in the creation of high-quality events,including late night and weekend events, primarily designed toengage University of Oregon students 24/7.Additionally, they will serve as a resource and active member ofthe larger Student Union Programs Staff. The position also servesas a creator of and an advocate for development of social, campusclimate and current event programming. In this role, the individualwill have a high level of decision making that has the potential toimpact campus-wide and community audiences. Contact with communityand media is anticipated to be significant and impactful. Theposition is responsible for oversight of budget, implementation ofcontracts, and supervision of GTFs, student employees, interns, andvolunteers. This position will hire, direct, schedule, evaluate,train, and manage the activities of student staff and volunteers.They will also assist in the selection process for studentscholarship positions.This position will require working occasional nights and/orweekends to fulfil special projects and events.Minimum RequirementsMaster’s degree in Student Affairs, Higher Education, orsimilar field (must be completed prior to start date) ORBachelor’s Degree and three years of experience managingprograms and services in a higher education settingANDOne year of experience of event planning andmanagementOne year of experience of advising students or studentorganizationsProfessional CompetenciesStrong interpersonal skillsStrong customer service skillsStrong presentation and public relation skills with the abilityto give public presentations and adjust communication toappropriate audiencesAbility to work with, guide, advise, and supervise students andstaffKnowledge of and experience with culturally entrenchedprograming as it relates to student experienceDemonstrated experience with and/or commitment to workingeffectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds, in supportof an inclusive and welcoming environmentSelf-motivated and detail-orientedDemonstrated ability with project managementPreferred QualificationsA proven record of budget management and revenue generationexperienceExperience creating or facilitating internships in eventmanagement, student affairs or leadership developmentOne year of supervision experience of student or professionalstaffFLSA Exempt: YesAll offers of employment are contingent upon successfulcompletion of a background inquiry.The University of Oregon is proud to offer a robust benefitspackage to eligible employees, including health insurance,retirement plans and paid time off. For more information aboutbenefits, visit http://hr.uoregon.edu/careers/about-benefits. To apply, visit https://careers.uoregon.edu/en-us/job/527257/center-for-student-involvement-assistant-program-director The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmativeaction institution committed to cultural diversity and compliancewith the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individualsto apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protectedstatus, including veteran and disability status. The University iscommitted to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants andemployees with disabilities. To request an accommodation inconnection with the application process, please contact us [email protected] or 541-346-5112.UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex,national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status,disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity,and gender expression in all programs, activities and employmentpractices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, andpolicies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may bereferred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Civil RightsCompliance, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information,related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on thestatement ofnon-discrimination.In compliance with federal law, the University of Oregon preparesan annual report on campus security and fire safety programs andservices. The Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report isavailable online at http://police.uoregon.edu/annual-report.center_img jeid-dff9d9b7ae492f46b87d42af19150399last_img read more

Cable TV operators claim ‘must carry’ rule goes too far

first_imgThe warning on the requirement known as ‘must carry’ comes as MEPs prepare to vote on a draft directive covering the struggling sector at the start of their autumn session. ‘Must carry’ is seen as a way to guarantee that some public service broadcasts are offered to cable customers and to ensure they are not squeezed-out in a commercial frenzy.But Hendrik Abma, spokesman for the European Cable Communications Association, said the obligations sap cable networks of vital bandwidth – denying them potential revenue from fast Internet services. At the same time, operators seldom get a fair reward for actually carrying the services, he claimed. “Most European cable networks are in great need of investment to upgrade the networks to the required standard and in new interactive services. We can agree that some ‘must carry’ [channels] can be acceptable but some times it goes too far – for example we don’t want any commercial channels without a public remit getting ‘must carry’ status.”German cable operators are the most weighed down – more than 30 channels have ‘must carry’ status. In parts of Belgium, pay-TV Canal Plus services must also be offered. Abma said a recent common position reached by telecom ministers was too tough and urged MEPs to follow a more sympathetic report by UK Conservative Malcolm Harbour when they vote in September.Industry warns cable networks could be the forgotten victims of the struggling telecoms sector. While telecom firms have been able to secure funds to see them out of their current third-generation-mobile-induced cash crisis, cable companies are finding it harder going.last_img read more

‘Creem: America’s Only Rock N’ Roll Magazine’ Documentary To Chronicle Alternative Rock Rag [Watch]

first_imgCreem magazine is the subject of the forthcoming documentary, Creem: America’s Only Rock N’ Roll Magazine, the first trailer for which is available now. The film examines the rise and fall of the publication that presented an alternative to mainstream outlets and sounds.The magazine founded in 1969 by Barry Kramer and Tony Reay was published monthly until 1989 when it suspended production, only to receive a short reemergence in the 1990s. The youth culture publication gave rise to noted rock critic Lester Bangs, who later became an influential figure to Rolling Stone teenage writer Cameron Crowe as portrayed in Almost Famous.Related: 15 Best Music Films And Documentaries On The New HBO MaxFor those who don’t remember print media, let alone the 1970’s, Creem epitomized everything that Rolling Stone wasn’t. The San Francisco-based publication that had started as the voice of the counterculture had given way to the Laurel Canyon sound of the early 1970s and, to many, lost its edge. Thus entered Creem into the national conversation who, from its home base in Detroit, MI, represented the alternative voice of an ever-expanding rock scene. The magazine and its rowdy crew continued to embody the true spirit of rock n’ roll while other outlets jumped on the singer-songwriter bandwagon. This put Creem in the enviable situation of being the voice of the emerging punk and new wave scenes that would emerge toward the end of the 1970s.In the trailer, journalists, musicians, and actors define what Creem meant to their generation. As Jeff Daniels so eloquently puts it, “Buying Creem was a little bit like buying Playboy. You didn’t want your parents to see either one of them.” This sentiment is echoed by artists like Kirk Hammett, Michael Stipe, Chad Smith, and more. Featuring vintage footage and archival magazine covers, the trailer paints the portrait of a giant middle finger to the musical establishment that was Creem.Watch the trailer for Creem: America’s Only Rock N’ Roll Magazine, in theaters this summer.Creem: America’s Only Rock N’ Roll Magazine — Trailer[Video: Greenwich Entertainment]Visit the Creem magazine website, which hosts an archive of old issues, for more information.last_img read more

Dance with Them! Smokey Joe’s Cafe Opens Off-Broadway

Leiber & Stoller’s Tony-nominated musical revue Smokey Joe’s Cafe has officially returned to New York. The tuner’s new revival opened at Stage 42 on July 22, marking the show’s first return since its history-breaking original Broadway run. Smokey Joe’s features 40 pop songs including rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues tunes composed by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The cast is led by Jelani Remy, Dionne D. Figgins, Dwayne Cooper, Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, Mike Sangerman, Emma Degerstedt, John Edwards, Alysha Umphress and Kyle Taylor Parker, bringing numbers like “Hound Dog,” “Kansas City” and “Don Juan” to life eight times a week. Check out the photos to feel the excitement from opening night! Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller View Comments Smokey Joe’s Cafe cast members Jelani Remy, Dionne D. Figgins, Dwayne Cooper, Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, Mike Sangerman, Emma Degerstedt, John Edwards, Alysha Umphress and Kyle Taylor Parker get together. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 4, 2018 read more

International jazz acts coming back home to KC for Prairie Village Jazz Festival

first_imgDeborah Brown rarely plays in Kansas City, but is well-known on the international jazz circuit.Next Saturday, Kansas City native and vocalist Deborah Brown will take the stage as the headliner at the 2014 Prairie Village Jazz Festival, accompanied by saxophonist Joe Lovano.Earlier this summer, Brown was among the featured performers at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Vienne Jazz Festival in France. In April, Lovano was playing gigs in Paris and Austria. A week after his Prairie Village performance, Lovano will be playing a gig in Bogota, Colombia.Showcasing such internationally recognized talent was the goal of organizers putting together the lineup of this year’s festival, the fifth since its debut in 2010.“Scheduling begins with the headliners, and I knew where I wanted to start,” wrote Larry Kopitnik, the jazz expert who helped assemble this year’s lineup. “Anyone who has heard Deborah Brown knows her voice is one of the most magnificent in jazz today. But she rarely plays Kansas City, her hometown. Her extraordinary talent is better known in Europe, Asia and Russia, where she performs much of the year.”It’s a similar story with Kevin Mahogany, who will be playing the set before Brown and Lovano (who will be joined by Terell Stafford on trumpet). Mahogany, who will be accompanied by the Joe Cartwright Trio, is an Kansas City native perhaps better know on the international jazz scene than in his hometown. Earlier this summer, he was playing gigs and teaching in Italy.“The thing is, we think there’s a good chance there’s not going to be a lot of jazz played in the rest of Kansas City next Saturday night,” said Jazz Fest organizer Jack Shearer. “All the musicians are going to be in Prairie Village. They don’t get a chance to hear these musicians around here, and jazz fans know how good they are.”last_img read more

April 1, 2017 On the Move

first_img On the Move Raymond (Ray) L. Schumann has joined the Rice Law Firm as the partner in charge of the real estate and business transactional sections. Garrett P. LaBorde has joined Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer as a partner in Pensacola focusing on intellectual property law, internet and technology law, and corporate and commercial law. Jason Breth has been elected a shareholder of Bryant Miller Olive in Tallahassee. He focuses on financing transactions. Gary Birnberg has joined JAMS in Miami and will serve as a mediator and arbitrator in a variety of disputes including business/commercial, class action/mass tort, construction, employment, financial markets, intellectual property, professional liability, and real property. Daniel Fleming and Philip Mokris have joined GrayRobinson in Tampa as shareholder and of counsel, respectively. Fleming is board certified in civil trial law. Mokris focuses on insurance defense and estate planning matters. Marc E. Brown has opened Attorney at Law Marc Brown, P.A., in Ft. Lauderdale and has acquired and is now president of All Florida Title Company. Douglas Stein has joined ALG in Miami as a senior partner and will head the firm’s appellate litigation practice. Jeffrey R. Cooperman has become a partner with Solomon, Furshman & Cooperman in Miami. Cooperman focuses on developer representation, with a niche focus on HOA and condominium matters. Seth Alhadeff has joined Lewis Brisbois in Miami and Noel Johnson, Stefanie Phillips, Brian Goldenberg, and Ravika Rameshwar joined as associates. Alhadeff focuses on insurance, construction, securities, and criminal law. Johnson, Phillips, Goldenberg, and Rameshwar are members of the general liability practice with focuses ranging from complex commercial litigation to insurance coverage. Aleas Koos has joined Broad and Cassel in Orlando as an associate in the real estate practice group. Heather A. DeGrave and Thomas C. Valentine have become partners of Walters Levine & Lozano. DeGrave focuses on construction, collections, and business litigation. Valentine practices in the areas of commercial and construction litigation and insurance disputes. Jennifer Powers has joined Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger in North Palm Beach focusing on real estate and finance transactions. Luis Santos of Tampa and Amy Turci of Jacksonville have been named partners with FordHarrison. Santos focuses on the representation of employers in matters related to labor and employment law. Turci concentrates on litigating employment cases in state and federal courts. Brinkley Morgan has relocated its downtown Ft. Lauderdale office to 100 SE Third Ave. The new offices will occupy the 23rd floor of the One Financial Plaza building. Jameson Rice of Holland & Knight has transferred from the firm’s Washington, D.C., office to the Tampa office. Rice focuses on matters pertaining to the transportation industry. The Law Offices of Keith A. Seldin, P.A., has relocated to 270 South Central Blvd., Suite 203, in Jupiter. The firm focuses on real estate law, title insurance, corporation and business law, wills, probate, guardianships and trusts, first-party insurance claims and insurance law, and commercial litigation. Linda Worton Jackson is merging her Miami bankruptcy and corporate practice into Pardo Gainsburg’s real estate and construction law firm. The new firm will be known as Pardo Jackson Gainsburg, PL, with specialties in real estate, corporate, construction law, bankruptcy, commercial litigation, and hotel/hospitality law. Joseph A. Cafaro and Roger C. Simmons have joined Kelley Kronenberg in Ft. Lauderdale. Cafaro focuses on third-party insurance defense and general liability. Simmons focuses on workers’ compensation defense. Allison M. Stevenson joined Hill Ward Henderson in Tampa as an associate focusing on health litigation. Ralph P. Douglas and David R. Terry have joined McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope, Weaver & Stern. Douglas focuses on workers’ compensation defense and health- care reimbursement disputes. Terry focuses on insurance defense, with an emphasis on employment law, general liability, and appellate Law. Scharome R. Wolfe has become managing partner of ROIG Lawyers’ Orlando office. Wolfe focuses on commercial litigation, real property litigation (premises liability, construction defects, fraud, and general liability arenas), and bad faith defense litigation. Ryan B. Cappy has opened The Law Offices of Ryan Cappy in Tampa focusing on plaintiff personal injury. Luis Salazar has launched Salazar Law, LLP, in Coral Gables. Formerly known as Salazar Jackson, the firm will continue to focus on complex commercial and business matters. Salazar also launched Sword & Quill Consultants, which focuses on providing law firms with guidance on cybersecurity compliance, harnessing artificial intelligence, and adopting project management techniques. Kalpesh “Kal” Mehta and Aaron D. Silvers have joined Gutterman Trial Group in Ft. Lauderdale as associates focusing on the representation of insurers and their insureds in all aspects of first- and third-party insurance matters. Laurie A. Thompson has joined Fowler White Burnett in West Palm Beach as a shareholder in the commercial litigation practice group. Michael P. Sampson of Orlando has established Sampson Collaborative Law and will be handling exclusively collaborative family law cases. C. Hunter Rawls has joined Fisher & Sauls in St. Petersburg as a member of its wills, trusts, and estates team. Hunter also focuses on probate and trust litigation matters. Wifredo A. Ferrer has joined Holland & Knight in Miami as a partner and will lead the firm’s global compliance and investigations team, which focuses on corporate compliance and government investigations within the firm’s white collar defense practice. April 1, 2017 On the Move April 1, 2017 On the Movelast_img read more

Judicial term limits clear the full House

first_imgJudicial term limits clear the full House April 15, 2017 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Judicial term limits clear the full House Senior Editor With one vote to spare, the Florida House has approved a proposed constitutional amendment to set term limits for the state’s appellate judiciary, and Senate President Joe Negron announced the amendment will be taken up in the upper chamber’s Judiciary Committee. The March 29 debate in the House followed the arguments that had been made in committees as the proposed amendment moved through the legislative process. Supporters said it would impose accountability on district court of appeal judges and Supreme Court justices and set service limits similar to those that already apply to the executive and legislative branches, while opponents said it was an attack on the independence of the judiciary and would add time and expense to litigation. HJR 1 passed 73-46, or one more vote than the 60 percent required to send a constitutional amendment to voters. It was also a near party-line vote as six Republicans joined Democrats in casting the no votes. Speaking at a press availability shortly after the House action, Negron said the issue would be heard in committee, although he voiced some reservations. “Some senators have raised concerns that it may inadvertently create a situation where you would have appellate court judges having in the back of their minds that eventually they will need to get back into private practice, and I think we obviously want all of our judges at all levels of the courts focused entirely on the work before her or before him,” Negron said. Asked if he personally supported the measure, Negron said, “I’m going to let it move through the Senate process first — through our committees — and see what the final form is and then I’ll decide.” The amendment had not been placed on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda — its first committee stop — as this Bar News went to press. If the amendment does pass the Legislature, it would go to voters on the November 2018 general election ballot. The House bill limits DCA judges and Supreme Court justices to two appearances on the merit retention ballot. The Senate version limits DCA judges to three merit retention elections and Supreme Court justices to two, sets a minimum age for both courts of 50, and also requires that Supreme Court justices have served a year as a judge before their appointment. The Senate versions would apply to sitting judges and justices. The House measure applies prospectively. Rep. Sean Shaw, D-Tampa, said the reduction in experience on the appellate bench would lead to more uncertainty in the law and reduce efficiency in disposing cases. “You don’t want a whole lot of new judges circulating in and out of the appellate bench,” he said. “No other state does this. This is not a good idea. This is something we’re going to regret if we do this.” “Last year I called this the worst bill moving through the process,” said Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs. “Not much has changed; it’s still the worst bill moving through the process.” He proposed a series of amendments changing the maximum number of terms, but they were all either rejected or withdrawn. Moskowitz noted that Nevada, Mississippi, and Colorado have all considered judicial term limits only to have voters reject the idea. “The founders made the judiciary special, they made them unaccountable because if we made them accountable, then they can be influenced,” he said. “If a Democrat brought this bill forward, I would still be against it, and I would vote against it. . . . It’s messing with a third of the government with little thought going into that before we just pass a bill.” Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Hollywood, said lawmakers were trying to punish the courts for decisions they didn’t like. He called the proposed amendment “an assault on a co-equal branch of government and the only sin of that co-equal branch is providing a check and balance when this branch runs afoul of the Constitution. It is short-sighted, and it is punitive. . . all because they actually had the gall to do their job.” But Rep. Larry Metz, R-Groveland, said term limits are appropriate because of overreaching by some judges. “The appellate bench, whether we like it or not, whether we admit it or not, consists of some individuals who make policy for the state of Florida,” he said. “Many times they go way beyond the case or controversy in question and they offer policy solutions.” He added he supports a legislative memorial, filed but not yet heard in committee, that calls on Congress to consider a constitutional amendment for term limits on the federal judiciary. Rep. Cord Byrd, R-Jacksonville Beach, said the amendment would not have that much of an impact because the average time of service for DCA judges is less than 12 years and less than 10 years for Supreme Court justices. “The government is responsible to the people. We are responsible to the people, the courts should also be responsible to the people,” he said. “This isn’t about going against the third branch, this is about serving the will of the people,” said Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, R-Eustis, the prime sponsor of HJR 1. Noting that no justice or DCA judge has lost a retention race (although some Supreme Court retentions have been hotly contested), she added, “An accountability system that does not hold people accountable is not an accountability system.”last_img read more