New Republican Missouri Governor Mike Parson will take time out of his first week in office to meet with local elected officials from the St. Louis area.
In a press conference held in North St. Louis County Tuesday, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said he is set to meet with Parson and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson in Jefferson City Wednesday.
“We’ve already had some communications with his office and we’re going to be meeting with him soon and I look forward to talking with him about issues that are going to be important to the region,” Stenger said. “He seems to be a governor that we will as a region be able to have significant access with and to and I think that that’s a good thing. Communication is going to be really important and we have a lot of issues in St. Louis County that require a lot of attention from the state. So it’ll be nice to have a governor that’s fully focused on the job and appears to be very collaborative.”
On his first official business day in office, Parson chose to get the ball rolling quickly, meeting with members of the Cabinet and the press Monday. The newly sworn-in governor said he wanted to know what the issues are for each city in Missouri, and wanted to use a coalition of mayors to identify issues from both rural and urban areas to find ways to work together to better the state.
Parson met with the Mayor of Kansas City, Sly James, Tuesday, as well as members of Missouri Mayors United for Progress (Kathy Rose, Riverside; Brian Treece, Columbia; Len Pagano, St. Peters; Karen Best, Branson; Tom Schneider, Florissant; and Carrie Tergin, Jefferson City.)
Stenger said one of the top items on the agenda he would be discussing with Parson and Krewson is MetroLink security. The main concern regarding MetroLink is the increase of crime over the last few years. Krewson and Stenger have stated in the past that a “reset” is needed regarding the Bi-State Development board, which oversees the Metro system.
“I don’t want to speak for (Krewson), but I think we both look very much forward to that meeting and she and I have discussed what we’re going to talk with him about,” Stenger said. “One of those key issues, at least from the county and the city together, is going to be Metro security.”
The announcement of a meeting with Parson came just hours after John Nations announced his departure as President and CEO with Bi-State Development.
Krewson and Stenger sent a letter to then Governor Eric Greitens in April requesting that he fill a long-vacant position on the Bi-State Development Agency board. Greitens never filled that position.
When asked how Nations’ departure would impact the security situation, Stenger said he’s looking forward to having a fresh perspective on it.
“When we talk about board members, the potential to have new board members for a fresh perspective, and a new director for a fresh perspective, I think that that will be a good day,” Stenger said.