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Pawlenty appoints public utility commissioner

Governor Tim Pawlenty announced the appointment of Betsy L. Wergin to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

Wergin replaces LeRoy Koppendrayer as a member of the Commission to complete a six-year term that expires on January 4, 2010.

The Governor has also designated current PUC member Dr. David Boyd to replace Koppendrayer as chair of the PUC.

"Betsy has a tremendous combination of small business and public policy experience as well as extensive community involvement," Governor Pawlenty said. "This perspective will be a great benefit to her on the PUC."

Wergin has been the owner and operator of a variety of small businesses, and has also held finance and accounting positions for multiple businesses over the course of her career.

She is currently a state Senator, serving Senate District 16, a position she has held since 2003.

Previously, she was a Sherburne County Commissioner from 1995 through 2002 and the Baldwin Township Clerk from 1989 to 1995.

Wergin is a member of Lions International; American Legion Auxiliary; Military Order of the Purple Heart Auxiliary; Elim Homes Corporation Board of Directors; Princeton, Big Lake, Becker and Zimmerman Chambers of Commerce; and is active in her church.

She has previously been a member of the Rotary as well as a foster parent for over 100 foster children, primarily teenaged girls.

Wergin, 56, was born in Mille Lacs County, and lives in Princeton with her husband, Richard. They have two adult children and one grandchild.

The Public Utilities Commission is comprised of five commissioners who serve in full-time, paid positions at an annual salary of $88,448.

The PUC regulates the rates and services of electric, natural gas and telephone companies. The Commission acts through public hearings, contested case hearings, rule-making hearings, and informal complaint resolutions.