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January 2008 Newsletter
Wednesday, 23 January 2008 09:53

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January 2008 Newsletter

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Dear Member:

As calendar year 2007 closes, I am pleased to report that the Arizona Investment Council has recorded a most remarkable and successful year. With your help and support, AIC has broadened its mission, expanded the scope of its activities, and carried-out a highly effective program of education and advocacy for investor interests. We are anticipating calendar year 2008 with great enthusiasm and optimism, and have set high goals to ensure that AIC will continue to provide enhanced value for its members.

Calendar year 2007 brought transition and transformation to AIC, as evidenced by the many new activities that AIC undertook to support investment in Arizona. For example, we worked to build new relationships with the Arizona business community and with our state and local policymakers, informing and educating them about AIC. Additionally, for the first time, AIC launched major research projects targeted at infrastructure investment, and co-sponsored a major conference on climate change, focusing on impacts to the business community. As part of our new focus on infrastructure generally, the AIC staff joined with members of the Governor’s Growth Cabinet to identify future infrastructure requirements and costs.

In 2007, AIC also added new members to the Board of Directors and to a newly-established Advisory Board, producing stronger ties and influence with communities throughout the State. To better communicate with our members and with the public, we revamped our Website, so that we can provide our grassroots members with up-to-date information on our activities as well as important news about utilities and investments from newspapers across the State. While expanding the breadth of our advocacy, we continued to participate in proceedings at the Arizona Corporation Commission. AIC was an active participant in major rate cases for utility companies, transmission line-siting cases, and various meetings and workshops sponsored by the ACC.

On the regulatory side, 2008 will be a busy year, as the ACC will take up rate cases filed by several large utility companies, and will also consider important policy issues, such as how to fund growth-related infrastructure. 2008 will also introduce changes to the regulatory environment, since it will bring the election of new Commissioners to the ACC. The ACC elections will be crucially important for investors and investment in infrastructure. Although the ACC is an obscure office to most of the voting public, it wields enormous power over investor-owned utility companies and investment. Comprised of five Commissioners who are elected on a statewide basis by the general public, the ACC has been called the “fourth branch” of state government because its power is established in the State’s Constitution. ACC decisions can only be challenged in court. Neither the state legislature nor the governor has the power to “veto” ACC decisions adverse to investment.

This year, three of the five commission seats – a majority of the Commission – are up for election. Each will be new to the ACC. All of the departing commissioners are term-limited. No other office up for election in 2008 is as important or significant to the health and well-being of Arizona’s economy than that of Corporation Commissioner.

Early this year, AIC will undertake its most aggressive education and communications effort ever to inform its members and the public about the importance of the ACC election. Determining who will be elected to the three ACC seats will be pivotal in how Arizona moves forward well into the next decade on critical issues affecting investment in utility infrastructure. AIC intends to be an active participant delivering information to voters. AIC will assist you, both as investor and voter, in understanding how the candidates view their role and responsibilities. We will also bring you information on exactly how candidates would balance the interests of investors and ratepayers to assure the infrastructure needs of our rapidly growing state are met.

Information about the ACC’s role and responsibilities, as well as positions of the candidates gathered through surveys will be posted on our Website at AIC will also be actively engaged in outreach to the business community and general public to inform on the ACC election, and will partner with other groups and associations to sponsor candidate debate and discussion forums.

Our goal is to raise the visibility of this office and highlight its importance to investment and to the State’s economy by educating voters about the critical role of the ACC.

Your continued support of and interest in AIC is the essential ingredient to our success – today and in the future. We look forward to strengthening this relationship and enhancing the value of our service to support investors and investment in Arizona.

Thank you and please check-out our website at www.ArizonaIC.orgfor new information and updates on all our activities. I wish you the very best in the New Year.

Very truly yours,


Gary Yaquinto - President