C.L. "BUTCH" OTTER
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2011
CONTACT: Jon Hanian
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENTS TO ADMINISTRATION, PUC, TAX COMMISSION
(BOISE) – Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter announced key appointments today to the Department of Administration, Idaho Public Utilities Commission and the State Tax Commission.
At the Department of Administration, Governor Otter appointed Teresa Luna as director. She has been interim director since Mike Gwartney retired from his position as director of the agency last spring. Luna previously was Gwartney's chief of staff.
"Teresa has proven herself through some very tough times, advancing the priorities and initiatives that she and Mike set together during his tenure and continuing to focus the Department of Administration's efforts on finding smarter, more efficient ways of managing everything from information systems to purchasing," the Governor said.
"It's a privilege to work for a Governor who gives his agency directors the flexibility and freedom to be innovative in our management in order to be more effective in our use of taxpayers' dollars," Luna said.
At the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Governor Otter named Paul Kjellander to succeed retiring Commissioner Jim Kempton. Kjellander, who has been administrator of the Governor's Office of Energy Resources since October 2007, returns to a position he held for nine years – including seven as the PUC's president. The former three-term member of the Idaho House of Representatives will serve a six-year term.
"It has been an honor to articulate Governor Otter's vision for energy during my service at OER," Kjellander said. "I welcome the opportunity to rejoin my colleagues at the IPUC as we work through the difficult regulatory issues that will impact every Idahoan's pocketbook."
John Chatburn, currently program services manager for the Office of Energy Resources, will serve as interim administrator with Kjellander's departure.
"Paul has done yeoman's work at OER, establishing its well-deserved reputation as one of the most effective and influential agencies of its type in the nation," Governor Otter said. "His knowledge of energy issues and his ability to bring so many diverse stakeholders together in the interest of improving Idaho's energy independence is a legacy that will stand him in good stead as he resumes his regulatory work."
And at the State Tax Commission, the Governor reappointed Tom Katsilometes to a new six-year term. He oversees property tax-related issues for the four-member Tax Commission.
"My mission is to help build the public confidence and trust that is so important to the Tax Commission successfully doing its job of collecting the revenue that supports essential State programs and services," Katsilometes said. "As a former county commissioner, I understand that taxes are almost nobody's favorite issue – and that makes it all the more important for us to maintain a high level of integrity and fairness."
"It's been a tough year at the Tax Commission, and I appreciate Tom's professionalism and hard work throughout his tenure," Governor Otter said. "His willingness to continue serving the people of Idaho speaks well not only of his dedication but also of the importance of the work he and his fellow commissioners are doing. They have my sincere thanks."