The chairman of the state highways and transportation commission has quit only four months into his chairmanship. Jefferson City car dealer Mike Kehoe is leaving the commission a year and a half early. He became chairman only last March. But he’s been talked about as a candidate for the state senate and business pressures in today’s auto sales industry have been factors in his decision.
He says he has seen a remarkable turnaround in the state’s highway system that has taken the system from one of the nation’s worst to one of the nation’s best. But future funding for that system remains a concern. Kehoe thinks one word is the key to gaining voter support for additional funding: "Value."
Kehoe says "value" eans several things to Missouri voters, one being safety. He says the department has made "huge" advances in highway safety. He also thinks the department’s ability to upgrade highways and get projects done on time also has increased public confidence.
He thinks voter confidence will continue to grow as they see how well the department is performing. Eventually, he says, voters will be asked to approve the next step for the department.
Kehoe says one of the things voters need to understand is that funding increases are needed not only for roads and bridges but for airports, river ports, and mass transit in various forms.