The jokes flew Tuesday at the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting as the chairwoman, Kristie Fiegen, honored two people for 30 years of service to state government.
“Publicly I can do this,” commissioner Gary Hanson kidded, as he hugged lawyer Karen Cremer. Her three decades include 23 years with the commission. She’s now a staff advisor to the commission.
Hanson hugged Chris Nelson too. The third commissioner, Nelson spent 24 years in the secretary of state office. He now is in year six on the commission.
“This is something to look forward to, 30 years. Hang around,” Hanson told the staff and audience.
Hanson has. He served six years as a Republican state senator in the 1980s. He next spent one term on the Sioux Falls city commission, then won election as mayor of Sioux Falls for two terms. He captured a seat on the state regulatory commission in 2002 and won re-election in 2008 and 2014.
“I thought I was the old-timer here,” Hanson said.