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Blunt deputizes overhaul leaders

Tuesday, January 25, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:47 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt introduced Monday the two men he has charged with leading his promised overhaul of Missouri government.

Warren Erdman of Kansas City and Stephen Bradford of Cape Girardeau will head a commission that Blunt has created to analyze the structure of state government and to recommend changes to improve efficiency.

“There are no sacred cows,” Blunt said. “Every element of our government structure is on the table.”

The 20-person board, formally titled the State Government Review Commission, will lead the reorganization that Blunt promised during his campaign, saying change is long overdue.

“We have a typewriter government in an Internet age,” Blunt said during a news conference at the governor’s office. “The state government that we have today is, in ways, an antiquated entity.”

The last broad reorganization of government in Missouri was in 1974 under the administration of Gov. Kit Bond. More than 100 state departments were consolidated into just more than a dozen.

Bradford was a staffer with the last reorganization. He and Erdman, a vice president at Kansas City Southern who once served as chief of staff for Bond when Bond was a U.S. senator, will help Blunt fill out the rest of the commission in coming weeks.

Bradford has worked under both Democratic and Republican governors. He is a member of the Missouri Conservation Commission, which oversees the Missouri Department of Conservation and is chief executive officer of the Pyramid Group, Inc., which provides nursing services and in-home care for the elderly.

“I don’t think any business could go 30 years without any change,” Bradford said.

Blunt expects the commission to submit an outline of its methods in 60 days and to produce final recommendations in about one year.

Blunt has asked the panel to go beyond a search for fraud and waste in state government, a responsibility normally held by the state auditor, and to instead focus on finding the best ways and the best agencies to run state government programs.

He said all ideas will be considered.


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