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Pawlenty appoints Spicer man to Independent Living Council

ST. PAUL -- A Spicer man has been appointed to the Statewide Independent Living Council.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Monday the appointment of five people, including Mark E. Mertens of Spicer, to serve on the council which advises state agencies on issues related to independent living for persons with disabilities.

According to a news release from the governor's office, Mertens is a career rehabilitation counselor with the state of Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitation Services office in Willmar. He is a member of the Kandiyohi County Arc Board, Minnesota Rehabilitation Association, Kandiyohi Area Transit Committee, is an officer with the Sons of the American Legion, and is a New London Township Board supervisor. Mertens replaces Sharon Johnson as a representative of a disability organization.

Pawlenty on Monday also appointed Heidi B. Johnson of Bemidji, Michele "Mickey" Kyler of Crookston, William F. Negaard of Vernon Center and Suzanne M. Renfroe of Bloomington.

The Statewide Independent Living Council consists of 21 members, including 16 appointed by the governor.

The five new members are appointed to three-year terms that will expire in January 2013.