Nixon names Simmons OA director

Governor-elect Jay Nixon has tapped a former PSC chairman and economic development director to manage the new administration.

Nixon has named Kelvin Simmons as the next Commissioner of Administration. That office handles personnel, accounting, facilities management and computer services for state government.

"I think, in his past public service, he's really seen as someone who works on the policy and management issues," Nixon told reporters at a Monday morning news conference.

As Public Service Commission chairman under Mel Carnahan, Simmons was challenged by increasing utility costs and experiments in deregulation.

As economic development director under Bob Holden, he was challenged by a bleak employment picture.

But Simmons focus was one something else.

"We look forward to having and administration that is open...transparent," he told reporters at the news conference

Under Matt Blunt, the Office of Administration got caught up in the e-mail rentention controversy.

Is that what Simmons referred to?

"No, you should not read that into that," Simmons insisted.

Nixon and Simmons must now pick someone to manage the state budget. Some analysts say the bleak revenue picture will forestall Nixon's plan to restore Medicaid cuts.

Nixon last week named former State Senator and budget wonk Wayne Goode as his transition budget advisor.

"He has been given a tight timeline to put together accurate numbers and help us with this first budget," the governor-elect explained.

Nixon said he does not expect Goode to take the budget post on a permanent basis.