Gov. Shumlin appoints Rep. Margaret Cheney to Public Service Board
September 16, 2013 - MONTPELIER - Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced that he has appointed state Rep. Margaret Cheney of Norwich to serve as a member of the Public Service Board. Cheney has been elected to the Legislature for four terms, and served as vice-chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee. She will resign from the Legislature in order to take her new post, and will begin hearing new matters before the Board starting Oct. 1.
“Margaret brings a critical combination of expertise in policy and public engagement. Her track record as a former journalist, school board chair, teacher, legislator, and vice-chair of a key energy committee is impressive," said the Governor. "Her commitment to civic involvement and her familiarity with Vermont energy policy make her a perfect addition to the Board. She also has a keen sense of fairness and is a pleasure to work with. I am very glad that she has agreed to join the Board and help guide Vermont’s energy and telecommunications future.”
The three-member Public Service Board is a quasi-judicial body that presides over a range of issues related to Vermont's utilities, in telecommunications, cable television, electric, gas, and water service. Cheney will join Board Chair Jim Volz, and member John Burke.
“The Public Service Board plays a critical role in matters of great importance to Vermonters – the cost of electricity, the provision of telecommunication service, and the siting of energy projects, among others,” said Cheney. “As a legislator, I have heard how strongly-felt many of these issues are to Vermonters, and I know how important it is for the Public Service Board to safeguard the public good. I am humbled to be joining the Board and I am honored to take on this responsibility.”
Cheney will replace Board member David Coen, whose term officially ended on Feb. 28.
"David has brought a fair and down-to-earth approach to the complex work of the Board,” Gov. Shumlin said. “I thank him for his many years of service to the Board and the State of Vermont."
Coen was first appointed to the Board by Gov. Howard Dean in 1995, and reappointed by Govs. Dean and Jim Douglas. His long years of service included a variety of key national leadership positions, including President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners from 2010-2011. By law, retiring members of the Board continue to work on existing cases in which they have substantially participated until they are resolved.
“It has been an honor and a privilege for me to have had the opportunity to serve Vermonters these past 18 years. I retire from the Public Service Board knowing that Vermont is well-equipped to chart its energy and telecommunications future,” Coen said. “I congratulate Representative Cheney on her appointment and am confident that she will serve with great distinction.”
Cheney was elected to the Vermont House in 2006 and has served as vice-chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee. As a legislator, she has studied energy policy both here and abroad. She previously worked as a journalist and was the managing editor of The Washingtonian magazine in Washington, D.C., for 11 years. More recently, she served as a faculty member at Sharon Academy, where she taught courses related to energy and the environment, as well as Spanish. She served as chair of the interstate Dresden School Board, and was a member of the Norwich School Board from 1998 to 2007. She is a graduate of Harvard University. She was born in Hanover, N.H., and lives in Norwich.
By statute, Cheney will receive a salary of $86,000. Her term will expire in 2019.