FOLLOW UP: Buses Still Might Not Be Safe, But Metro Makes Brilliant Choice For New CEO


Well Well Well

This just in from the St. Louis Post Dispatch and www.stltoday.com

Metro taps Chesterfield Mayor John Nations as new chief

BY DAVID HUNN > dhunn@post-dispatch.com > 314-436-2239 | Posted: Monday, August 23, 2010 6:59 pm

Chesterfield Mayor John Nations has been tapped to head Metro, the taxpayer-funded regional bus and light rail agency, according to several close to the decision.

He will be announced at a press conference tomorrow morning.

Nations is a partner at the law firm Armstrong Teasdale, with an expertise in city planning and land use regulations. But he also just finished leading the successful campaign to pass the half-cent transit sales tax in St. Louis County, which is expected to generate $75 million a year and restore services cut more than a year ago. Without the funding, the region may well have faced a transit meltdown.

Nations did not return a phone call seeking comment. It is not clear who else was a finalist.

This is not the first time Metro leaders have reached outside of the agency, or even outside of the field, to choose their chief.

Two-and-a-half years ago, Metro picked Robert Baer, a retired United Van Lines chairman, to turn the agency around.

 

I still have my issues with Metro, and the agency needs a lot of work.  But I’ve worked with John Nations and respect his understanding of the importance of mass transit to our region and its residents, his strong will to keep the St. Louis region vibrant and attractive to employers and workers alike, and his willingness to fight for what he believes in.

I said in my previous post that the new person in charge of Metro is in for a bumpy ride, and I stand by that comment.  Mayor Nations is a good man, and I wish him well in what will be a very challenging new job.

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