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Nixon names Stoll to Missouri Public Service Commission

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 14, 2011 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon just announced that he has appointed Steve Stoll, a former state legislator and county administrator from Festus, to the state's influential Public Service Commission, which oversees utilities.

The post has been hotly sought after by a number of fellow Democrats. Stoll's selection means that two of the five commissioners are from the St. Louis area, including chairman Kevin Gunn. All are men, and one -- Bob Kenney -- is African American.

The commission now will have three Democrats and two incumbent Republicans. Republican Jeff Davis' term expires next April.

Commissioners receive a salary of about $90,000 a year. They are appointed by the governor for six-year terms, but need Senate confirmation.

Stoll, 64, fills the vacancy created when Democrat Robert Clayton of Hannibal stepped down after being appointed to the Eastern District Court of Appeals.

Stoll also hails from Nixon's home county.

A former teacher, Stoll most recently has been the administration for Jefferson County since May 2009 and is president of the Jefferson County Municipal League. Earlier, he served four years as city administrator for Festus.

He served 12 years in the General Assembly, split almost evenly between the state House and Senate. He made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2004, as part of a crowd of Democrats who lost to current incumbent Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis.

Said Nixon in a statement: "Steve Stoll has devoted his career to serving his community and moving our state forward. He understands the importance of affordable, abundant and reliable utilities for families, businesses and communities, and he will help ensure that Missouri's utility markets remain competitive and fair in the years to come. Steve will bring tremendous experience in local, county and state government to the Public Service Commission, and I know he will be a responsible and effective regulator for Missouri."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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