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Tisdale to leave PRC

Dawn A. Tisdale, vice chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, will be leaving his position on November 22.

Tisdale, who was nominated to the position by President Bush in 2004, will not seek renomination. He said in a statement that he is leaving the Commission to spend quality time with his family in Austin, TX.

During Tisdale’s tenure with the PRC, the Commission decided two rate cases, including R2006-1, the first fully litigated case since 2001. The PRC was also reorganized under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which was enacted last December. Additionally, Tisdale presided over the Postal Service’s Evolutionary Network Development plans, N2006-1 and was involved in the issuance of proposed regulations for a new ratemaking process.

“Other than the rate cases, there is one thing that is ongoing that I was very happy to have participated in, and that was the reorganization,” said Tisdale of his time at the PRC. “There was a tremendous amount of work to do. We worked very hard to get a modern rate-making structure in place.”

He noted that, although the deadline for the ratemaking structure was June 2008, the PRC expects to have it in place by October of this year.

Tisdale admitted that the programs he worked on are not perfect. “Both the new ratemaking procedures and the new responsibilities around the complaint process – those things are going to necessarily evolve. They’re not the types of things you can get completely right the first time, but you address them and I’d expect that, as time goes by, there will be adjustments to both the ratemaking procedure and the complaint process.”

Before his nomination to the PRC, Tisdale served in various positions in the US Postal Service from 1966 to 2000, including serving as postmaster of a local post office in his home state of Texas.

Cary H. Baer, a direct marketing consultant and past chairman of the Association for Postal Commerce (Postcom), weighed in on the newly open position at the PRC: “I think this is a tremendous opportunity for the administration, the Senate and the mailing community to see somebody appointed to the postal regulatory commission who has some regulatory background, and I would personally be disappointed if the president appointed somebody who just had some political background.

“The new postal reform act gives the PRC some very broad responsibilities in terms of rates and service levels, and [also in the approval of] various reports that the postal service is going to produce,” Baer continued. “I’d love to see somebody who perhaps served as a regulator in some other industry – [someone] who’s familiar with the responsibilities of a regulator.

“The postal service is an $80 billion-a-year organization, and there are plenty of regulators in the US who regulate substantial industries – be it utility or telecommunications. Let’s get one of those people.”

Tisdale offered a different view on the skills required by the PRC. “I know there has never been anyone on the commission before that had previous postal management experience, and I think that experience [lent] itself to the mission of the PRC.”

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