One of the most important centers of power in state government is one of the lesser known: the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. The Missouri Department of Transportation, with its ubiquitous trucks, signs, and engineer spokesmen, has a much higher profile, but the six members of the MHTC have statutory authority over all state transportation programs and facilities, and they set and track the state's policies for highways, railroads, ports, aviation, bridges, and public transportation. They are appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by the state senate.
I sat down this week with Ken Suelthaus, a lawyer (albeit one with a degree in engineering) who was named to the commission by Gov. Jay Nixon over the summer. Ken lives in St. Louis county and works in the City. I found him to be an informed and articulate partisan of urban issues, including public transportation.
I am delighted at his appointment and wanted to say so here.