Two prime slots just opened up in the Jay Nixon's administration. Department of Natural Resources Director Mark Templeton is heading to become Executive Director of a BP oil spill trust fund, and Mary Nelson is heading to the Administrative Hearing Commission.
We can't help but think that Templeton's departure is a throwback to the E.Coli-Gate scandal, in which Templeton was infamously suspended for his role in failing to report dangerous e.coli levels in Missouri lakes. As Jason Noble from the Star points out, his role and prominence in the DNR was greatly diminished after his return - it must be hard to bounce back from that sort of catastrophe, and Templeton probably knew his days were numbered.
We're not sad to see him go and we doubt many are. Despite Nixon's half-hearted platitudes about Templeton's departure, we have a very hard time believing that Nixon's performance review would be so positive if the press wasn't watching.
Here's hoping Templeton doesn't screw up as much at his new job, where a lot of people will be counting on him. Replacing Templeton (for now) is the Nixon Administration equivalent of a political temp agency, Kip Stetzler, who couldn't do any worse than Templeton even if he tried.
The other departure is Mary Nelson, Nixon's former director of boards and commissions. She's turning her stripes in for a cushy job in the Administrative Hearing Commission, the same position that the Senate wouldn't let DNR screw-up Joe Bindbeutel have. More interesting than where Nelson is going, however, is who is going to replace her.With rumors of John Watson's impending departure from the Governor's manse, we're left wondering if these departures are just coincidence or if they point to a bigger wave of staff turnover in the near future.