Senate committee moves appointments to chamber floor

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – “How long did you serve as a colonel?” Sen. Ed Emery asked Sandra Karsten, the former superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Gov. Mike Parson’s pick to head the Department of Public Safety.

“19 months,” Karsten replied.

“Have you always had trouble keeping a job?” Emery asked, with the Senate Lounge erupting in laughter.

“Senator, you’re surrounded,” Sen. Gina Walsh warned President Pro Tem Ron Richard as members of the Highway Patrol joined Karsten and Richard for a photo.

“Sandy, you know you have made us proud,” Sen. Kiki Curls said, echoing the sentiments of her colleagues.

Richard said he “didn’t even bring her resume”, and that her qualifications spoke volumes about her commitment to the state and public safety of the state.

More than two dozen of Gov. Mike Parson’s appointments to various board and commissions have received the approval of the Senate’s Administrative Committee on Thursday, much of the process carrying on in such a manner amidst a packed Senate Lounge.

Each of the candidates appeared before the Senate committee, some fielding questions from the senators, while others simply received congratulations on the appointment. The picks for the State Board of Education received some questions from Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, concerning the St. Louis Board of Education, but the appointment process fared quite differently – more relaxed and at ease – than it had in the previous legislative session with the picks from now-former-Gov. Eric Greitens.

The work lasted more than two-and-a-half hours before the senators voted unanimously approved to pass the appointments out of committee in a single vote, excepting the following, on which they took separate votes:

  • Patricia N. Thomas, Republican, as a member of the Clean Water Commission of the State of Missouri (10-1, Cierpiot votes no)
  • Allen J. Rowland, Republican, as a member of the Clean Water Commission of the State of Missouri (10-1, Cierpiot votes no)
  • Peter Herschend, Republican, as a member of the State Board of Education (10-1, Nasheed votes no)
  • Rose A. Windmiller, as a member of the Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District (11-0, Riddle votes yes, but says she has major concerns)
  • Amy Robins, as a member of the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board (10-1, Nasheed votes no)
  • Monica Walker, as a member to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board (10-1, Nasheed votes no)

After the committee had voted, members of the committee raised concerns and questions about the process, many of whom were unsure on the procedures, stating that their concerns were probably more to do with the process and not the individuals.

They also noted that they had not seen the resumes of the appointments until a short frame of a window, some of which they first saw that morning.

President Pro Tem and committee chairman Ron Richard told them to remember that this was all being done in a short window, due to the short tenure of now-Gov. Mike Parson, and that they did not have the full schedule allowed when typically dealt with in session.

The appointments now will head to the floor on Friday, where the Senate will get the opportunity to vote on the appointments unless withdrawn by Gov. Parson. If the members are voted on by the Senate and the motion fails, that appointee is barred for life from serving in that position. (If the committee had voted down any appointee, they could still return with another appointment to that board or commission, according to Sen. Richard.

Below is the full list of appointments as well as re-appointments approved by the committee.

APPOINTMENTS:

  • Sandra K. Karsten, as Director of the Department of Public Safety (Richard)
  • Gary Nodler, Republican, as a member of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education (Richard)
  • Thomas Mark Elliott, Republican, as a member of the Missouri Southern State University Board of Governors (Richard)
  • Casey J. Short, as a student representative to the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors (Richard)
  • Donald M. Claycomb, Independent, as a member of the State Board of Education (Richard)
  • Cindy Fox, as a member of the Missouri Real Estate Commission (Onder)
  • Amy Robins, as a member of the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board (Onder)
  • Robert W. Cornejo, Republican, as a member of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission (Eigel)
  • Stephen L. Abney, Republican, as a member of the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors (Hoskins)
  • Jennifer N. Foster, as a member of the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board (Hoskins)
  • Chassity S. Nevels, as a member of the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board (Hoskins)
  • Steven K. Archer, as a member of the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board (Schaaf)
  • Kimberly R. Bailey, Republican, as a member of the State Board of Education (Emery)
  • John F. Moore, Independent, as a member of the Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents (Emery)
  • Lisa A. Elmore, as a member of the Missouri Board of Examiners for Hearing Instrument Specialists (Wasson)
  • Sherry Lynn Farrell, as a member of the Missouri Real Estate Commission (Brown)
  • Paul N. Granberry, as a student representative to the Missouri Western State University Board of Governors (Walsh)
  • Gwendolyn Grant, Democrat, as a member of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education (Curls)
  • Carol M. Hallquist, Democrat, as a member of the State Board of Education (Holsman)
  • Alyssa M. Mayer, Republican, as a member of the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners (Holsman)
  • Peter Herschend, Republican, as a member of the State Board of Education (Sater)
  • Crissy L. Mayberry, as a member of the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board (Wallingford)
  • Avery J. Welker, as a student representative to the University of Missouri Board of Curators (Wallingford)
  • Tiffany M. Middlemas, as a student Representative to the Truman State University Board of Governors (Munzlinger)
  • Janet Rogers, as a member of the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board (Hegeman)
  • Monica Walker, as a member to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board (Hegeman)
  • Allen J. Rowland, Republican, as a member of the Clean Water Commission of the State of Missouri (Libla)
  • Vernon E. Scoville, III, Democrat, as a member of the Jackson County Board of Election Commissioners (Cierpiot)
  • Donna Washburn, as a member to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board (Dixon)
  • Rose A. Windmiller, as a member of the Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District (Sifton)
  • Melanie McDole, as a member of the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board (Rizzo)

REAPPOINTMENT:

  • Emily C. Hymer, as a member of the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board (Richard)
  • Patricia N. Thomas, Republican, as a member of the Clean Water Commission of the State of Missouri (Richard)
  • Gus S. Wetzel, II, Republican, as a member of the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors (Emery)
  • Karen J. Anderson, as a member of the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board (Rowden)
  • Nanci Bobrow, as a member of the Children’s Trust Fund Board (Hummel)
  • Gary L. Carver, as a member of the Missouri State Board of Chiropractic Examiners (Rizzo)
  • Linda Hosman, as a member of the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board (Rizzo)
  • Thomas J. Frawley, as a member of the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board (Hummel)
  • Mary A. Long, Democrat, as a member of the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors (Holsman)
  • Dana Lopez, as a member of the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board (Wasson)
  • John M. Miles, Democrat, as a member of the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority (Curls)
  • Colleen Scott, Republican, as a member of the Jackson County Board of Election Commissioners (Cierpiot)
  • Michael D. Thomson, Republican, as a member of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education (Hegeman)

Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.