NEW BRITAIN — A state utilities regulator from Beacon Falls has accepted a national-level leadership post and is next in line to become president of his professional fraternity.
Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Vice Chairman John “Jack” Betkoski III was elected second vice president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners at the association’s recent meeting in Texas.
With that selection, Betkoski stands to become NARUC’s president in 2017, PURA said Nov. 23 in a news release.
Betkoski, a Democrat, has served as a state regulator since 1997 after being named a commissioner of PURA’s predecessor, the Department of Public Utility Control, and was elected that body’s vice chairman in 2007. Gov. Dannel Malloy in 2011 appointed him to serve as a commissioner for the newly formed PURA, which elected him vice chairman.
Malloy reappointed Betkoski to a four-year term that began this year.
Betkoski, who has served on NARUC’s executive committee since 2012, is also chairman of the Connecticut Water Planning Council and a member of the American Water Works Association Research Foundation’s Public Council on Drinking Water Research. He previously served as a member of the EPA National Drinking Water Advisory Council’s Water Security Working Group, PURA said.
Betkoski said his future role as NARUC’s president will benefit the state because it will give him a broad overview of utility programs nationwide from which he will be able to bring best practices to Connecticut.
“As the president, I’ll be at the forefront and will be testifying at the Capitol in D.C. on issues,” he said. “This is the highlight of my career in the regulatory world.”
Betkoski said he will continue to serve as PURA vice chairman and maintain his numerous volunteer roles while fulfilling his new NARUC responsibilities. He said he gives much of his time to his home town and other local communities because that’s what his family does.
Peter Betkoski, his brother, is a Beacon Falls’ selectman, while Susan Cable, his sister, served as a Beacon Falls selectman and first selectman from 1991 to 2013. His father, the late John Betkoski, was a Beacon Falls selectman in the 1970s and his uncle, the late Edward Betkoski, served as a state representative for Beacon Falls in the 1960s.
“I feel it’s important,” Betkowski said. “You never get bored.”
Betkoski, a lifelong Beacon Falls resident, is also on the board of Waterbury Youth Services and VARCA Inc. of Derby, a private nonprofit agency that provides work opportunities to individuals with special needs. He is also a member of The Salvation Army of Waterbury’s advisory board and also serves as a commissioner on the Beacon Falls Economic Development Commission.
Betkoski also serves as chairman of the board of directors for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Connecticut Chapter. He is also a past president of the New England Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners and past chairman of the board of directors for Derby’s Griffin Hospital.
Betkoski was the Waterbury Salvation Army’s director of human services from 1989 to 1997, and held various administrative positions in human services agencies from 1974 to 1989. He served on Beacon Falls’ Board of Selectmen from 1981 to 1987 and Board of Finance from 1979 to 1981.
Betkoski served in the state legislature from 1987 to 1997, representing Ansonia, Beacon Falls and Seymour (105th District). He was co-chairman of the legislature’s Commerce Committee from 1993 to 1997.
“Jack Betkoski’s election to the NARUC executive team is good news both for NARUC and Connecticut,” PURA Chairman Arthur House said in a prepared statement. “NARUC will benefit from Jack’s leadership skills, impressive record in public utility regulation and experience in public policy.”
Betkoski’s election to the national body will better allow the state to “draw upon the considerable resources NARUC offers to all states,” House said.
“We are proud of Jack and wish him well as he assumes these new responsibilities,” he said.