Missouri state auditor told The Kansas City Star that the
head of the state’s highway department should resign, and the semiautonomous
Missouri Highway Commission, which oversees that department, should
week, The Star is publishing a series of stories on the Missouri
Department of Transportation and its handling of the state’s highways.
The series revealed that Missouri spends less per mile of roadway
than other states and that much of the state’s highway money is
siphoned off for other purposes.
has become extremely unpopular among citizens of the state. Chief
among the causes of the public’s growing dislike, the newspaper
reported, are the state’s crumbling roads, which are among the worst
in the United States, and a decision to abandon a 1992 highway improvement
plan because of a lack of funds, despite keeping the tax that supported
McCaskill, the state auditor, told the newspaper her department
would conduct an audit of the highway department’s surplus property. The Star’s series noted the highway department owned some
land without any plans to use it.
and the commission that operate it act autonomously from the rest
of the state government. The members of the commission are nominated
by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate, but the highway
department answers only to the commission, not to the state’s elected
uproar over MoDOT has even crossed party lines in the heavily partisan
state government. The Star reported that state Sen. Matt Bartle,
R-Lee's Summit, proposed shutting the commission down and putting
the department under the governor, despite the fact that the state’s
top post is now held by a Democrat, Bob Holden.
votes rejected a ballot measure last year that would have spent
more money for roads. Many political observers at the time blamed
the defeat on the public’s distrust of MoDOT.