POTSDAM The lifeless authority created to bring a municipal power grid to the north country might finally regain a pulse.
On Monday, village trustees unanimously approved the recommendation of Clarkson University professor and Potsdam resident Stephen D. Bird to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for appointment to the North Country Power Authority. If approved, Mr. Bird would become the boards fifth member, the number needed for a quorum to make decisions.
We are extremely fortunate to have Steve Bird serving as our NCPA representative, since he is one of the nations experts in local electrical energy networks, Trustee Steven W. Yurgartis said. Heres a clear example of how our community is taking advantage of the wonderful expertise the colleges bring to us.
The authority was left in limbo earlier this year when the resignation of Robert R. Burns left the board with only four members.
In February, the Alliance for Municipal power recommended its chairman, Robert C. Best Jr., Canton town Supervisor David T. Button, James T. Spencer, Norfolk, and Michael D. Perrigo, Gouverneur, to Mr. Cuomo for appointment.
In September, a prospective member met with Mr. Cuomos appointment committee, said Marie C. Regan, the Potsdam town supervisor and an NCPA board member.
And last week, she said, Mr. Perrigo was interviewed by the governors appointment committee.
Ms. Regan has said the board continues to work diligently to persuade Mr. Cuomo to fill the remaining positions, sending representatives to Albany to lobby for appointments.
Mr. Bird, 46, the authoritys newest candidate and a political science professor at Clarkson, has a long background in energy policy.
While earning his doctorate at Boston University, he completed his dissertation on energy policy, social networks and interest groups, according to his personal website. He also holds a masters degree from Harvard University in government and worked for Harvards Electricity Policy Group for nearly a decade.
He has consulted for the U.S. State Department, advising on electricity restructuring in the United States and Japan, and was president of the board of directors at Mass Energy, a consumer energy nonprofit, for five years.
According to Village Administrator David H. Fenton, the governors office may be closing in on additional candidates to fill the authoritys remaining five positions. At least one of the boards current members has been asked to help interview candidates, he said.