Governor-elect Peter Shumlin today announced the appointments of Vermont’s next Tax Commissioner, Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and Commissioner of Human Resources. Mary Peterson will be Tax Commissioner, Kate Duffy will be Commissioner of Human Resources and Robert Ide will remain as Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.‘Mary has the skills and experience to ensure that we implement a tax system that grows wealth and grows jobs,’ said Shumlin. ‘I am grateful that she has agreed to take on this important challenge.’YouTube Video courtesy of vtdigger.org (story and more videos)Mary Peterson served six years (2002-2008) in the Vermont House of Representatives. She was Clerk of the Ways & Means Committee for all three terms, involved in numerous major tax bills in that time. Prior to serving in the House, she was Chair of the Williston Selectboard, and also served on the Board of Directors of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. She returned to private legal practice in 2008 with the Burlington firm of Spink & Miller, having worked previously as an attorney with the Department of Public Service and a Boston, Massachusetts, law firm. As commissioner, Mary’s salary will be approximately $85,000.‘I am honored that Rob has agreed to stay on as Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles,’ said Shumlin. ‘Rob is a 7th generation Vermonter and long time small business owner who has successfully brought his business skills to state government.’Robert Ide is currently the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles. He is a graduate of Danville High School, Vermont Technical College, and the University of Vermont. He was employed in his family’s feed and grain business in St. Johnsbury, where he was President of the corporation during the divestiture of the Ide family feed stores. In 1992, Rob was elected to the Vermont State Senate, a position he held until March of 2003 when he resigned his Senate seat in order to accept the appointment as Vermont’s Director of Energy Efficiency in the administration of Governor Douglas. In June 2008, Rob transferred from the Department of Public Service to head the Rail Division of the Vermont Agency of Transportation. And, on August 18, 2009, he started his tenure as Vermont’s Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. As Commissioner of the DMV, Rob’s salary will be approximately $91,000.‘As Deputy Commissioner of Human Resources, Kate has done a fantastic job and I am thrilled that she will now be taking on the role of Commissioner,’ said Shumlin. ‘Kate’s expertise and knowledge of state government will be critical in this difficult economic time as we work to boost the morale of state workers and ensure they can fulfill their duties to Vermonters.’Kate is currently the Deputy Commissioner of Human Resources. Prior to this, she was Vermont’s Assistant Attorney General from 2004 until 2010. Kate attended George Washington Law School and resides in Williston. As Commissioner of Human Resources, Kate’s salary will be approximately $82,000.
The former heavyweight champion, who pretty much just up and left the company after beating Cheick Kongo in April 2014, returns this Saturday in the co-main event of Bellator 216 in a rematch with Kongo, who has won seven straight and nine of 10 appearances since their first meeting.Join DAZN and watch Paul Daley vs. Michael Page at Bellator 216 on Feb. 16The expectation is that the winner of this fight will become the No. 1 contender and earn the first crack at new heavyweight titleholder Ryan Bader, and while it has been a circuitous five-year journey, the prospects of having a still unbeaten Minakov fight for a title he never lost in competition against the biggest star in the company would be a massive main event opportunity for the organization and a very, very intriguing matchup for both parties.While there are reasons to be skeptical of Minakov returning to compete in the Bellator cage after a nearly five-year absence and having faced overmatched competition during his sabbatical in Russia, there are plenty of reasons to be excited too.On the skeptical front, it’s truly difficult to ascertain where he fits in the divisional picture at the moment because stopping Tony Johnson, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and DJ Linderman don’t exactly register as quality wins and going 14 months without a fight is always a concern.At the same time, Minakov remains undefeated and has only gone the distance twice in his career, including his first bout with Kongo, and if those dominant wins abroad are more a function of his enduring skills and less about his middling opponents, than the Bellator heavyweight ranks have a familiar threat amongst their ranks going forward.That’s why running it back with Kongo is the right call for Minakov’s return.Just as he was the gatekeeper to the upper reaches of the heavyweight division during his lengthy run in the UFC, the French veteran is the guy you have to beat in order to be considered a contender in Bellator’s big boy ranks. Although he still has a penchant for grinding out wins and producing hard-to-watch, protracted fights, Kongo has earned first-round finishes in each of his two outings and will enter this one looking to draw level with Minakov after coming out on the wrong side of the cards in their first encounter.It’s kind of fitting that Minakov is returning this weekend and the overall lack of noticeable excitement about his re-emergence in the Bellator MMA cage because the following evening, former UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez will end his own 31-month hiatus in a headlining bout against Francis Ngannou on ESPN that has everyone buzzing. While expecting the same amount of fanfare for Minakov’s return as Velasquez is generating would be asking too much, he’s still an undefeated former champion taking on an established, streaking veteran with a title fight opportunity hanging in the balance, so a little more excitement feels warranted.Minakov is a legit talent — you don’t get to 21-0 by accident, regardless of whom you’re facing — and with a victory on Saturday at Bellator 216, he’ll put himself in a position to challenge for the belt he never lost in the cage later this year.Call me crazy, but that feels like someone worth paying close attention to this weekend. Prior to every event, Under the Radar will cast the spotlight on an up-and-coming talent who shows the potential for growth in their division and isn’t getting enough attention as they head into battle.Name: Vitaly MinakovRecord: 21-0 overall; 5-0 Bellator MMADivision: HeavyweightTeam: Fight Nights TeamMaybe this is bending the rules a little bit, but the fact that Vitaly Minakov is returning to the Bellator cage this weekend should be a much bigger deal.