Gov. Gary Herbert selected Tennert for the seven-member board that oversees liquor sales and licensing for the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. A state Senate committee confirmed her Wednesday, and approval by the full Senate is a foregone conclusion.
Before joining the Institute, which is part of the Eccles School, Tennert served as the state budget director and chief economist for Herbert, chief economist for former Gov. Jon Huntsman and as a fiscal analyst for the state Legislature.
When asked the million-dollar drinking question during her confirmation hearing, Tennert replied, “I do have beer in my fridge. So, yes, I consume alcohol.”
That means drinkers remain the majority on the sometimes controversial state panel.
Membership on the state liquor commission has been divided along political lines, with Republicans holding the majority of seats and Democrats filling the remaining three spots.
Other commissioners who have said they are social drinkers include:
• Sophia M. DiCaro, a former Republican state representative and the chief compliance officer for the Cynosure Group, an investment advisory firm in Salt Lake City.
• Thomas Jacobson, a Park City attorney.
• Jacquelyn Orton, a Democrat and widow of former U.S. Rep. Bill Orton.
• Chairman John T. Nielsen, a former Salt Lake County prosecutor who directed the Public Safety Department from 1985 to 1989.
• Steven B. Bateman, the former chief executive officer of St. Mark’s Hospital and now a professor at Weber State University.
• Stanley B. Parrish, former Utah business leader.
Tennert replaces attorney Amanda Smith, who stepped down earlier this year, when she changed her party affiliation to Republican — presumably to vote for Huntsman for governor in the primary election.
Smith served as Huntsman’s legislative director and he later appointed her to be the executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.
Expanded liquor store hours
During November, state-run liquor stores are expected to return to their pre-pandemic business hours — which includes a 10 p.m. closing time for about two dozen outlets.
The phase-in will begin Nov. 2 and continue through Nov. 21, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday — typically the busiest sales week of the year.
In March, all state-run liquor stores shortened their business hours — from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. — to ensure pandemic safety rules were being met.
Niccoli’s to open in SLC’s mystery food hall
Owners Marco and Aubrey Niccoli have put up the sign, are looking for servers and, on Tuesday, received a liquor license from the state.
The restaurant has an impressive pedigree.
Marco Niccoli has been the culinary director for Traeger Grills and previously worked for Culinary Crafts Catering. He grew up in Los Angeles, where his family operated Bruno’s Old World Italian Deli.
Several years ago he met Aubrey, also a chef, who is passionate about health, fitness and eating in moderation.