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Transportation Director under fire for hiring expensive new PR director

November 27, 2001
By: Sara Lane
State Capital Bureau

Missouri's transportation director got an earful from senators today. They're mad because he hired a public relations director at 96-thousand dollars a year. Sara Lane has more from Jefferson City.

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Transportation director Henry Hungerbeeler was in the hot seat today.

Senators on the transportation committee grilled him for paying a new public relations official 96-thousand dollars a year.

They say in a tight budget year the state can't afford such high salaries.

Hungerbeeler says he's paying what the market will bear.

Actuality: Hunger3
RunTime: :14
OutCue: "...like a business"
Contents: Hungerbeeler says the salary is market driven and most public officials are paid below the market level.

The new officer's salary is more than most high-ranking state officials, including the Lieutenant Governor.

Missouri's Transportation Department has a new employee, and Senators are not happy. Sara Lane has the story in Jefferson City.

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The new employee is a public relations officer who will make 96-thousand dollars a year.

Senators on the transportation committee grilled transportation director Henry Hungerbeeler during a committee hearing.

Hungerbeeler says the new person is important for the department.

Actuality: Hunger2
RunTime: :12
OutCue: "...help with that."
Contents: Hungerbeeler says the transportation department needs an additional one billion dollars in annual funding and he needs help getting the word out to the public.

Hungerbeeler says the high salary is simply what the market will bear.

In Jefferson City, Sara Lane, KMOX-news.

Missouri's Transportation Department may be in hot water with Senators. Sara Lane has more from Jefferson City.

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Senators on the transportation committee are boiling mad over a new hiring.

The Senators chastized transportation director Henry Hungerbeeler for hiring a new public relations official at 96-thousand dollars a year.

Hungerbeeler is not surprised at the backlash.

Actuality: Hunger4
RunTime: :13
OutCue: "...facts to them."
Contents: Hungerbeeler says he expected officials to say things that make them look good.

Committee chairman Morris Westfall says this hiring will not help in convincing the public to fund a better transportation system.

In Jefferson City, Sara Lane, KMOX-news.

The Transportation Department says it needs more money to improve Missouri roads. But, the department just hired a public relations officer at 96-thousand dollars a year. Sara Lane has more in Jefferson City.

Story:
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Department director Henry Hungerbeeler was under fire today at a senate transportation committee hearing.

Senators grilled him for making such an expensive hiring while asking for more money for roads.

But Hungerbeeler said the new position is important.

Actuality: Hunger1
RunTime: :11
OutCue: "...director to do."
Contents: Hungerbeeler says he needs someone to communicate transportation needs to the people of Missouri.

The new public relations officer will make more per year than most high-ranking state officials.

At the same time, Hungerbeeler is asking for one-billion extra dollars per year for transportation needs.

In Jefferson City, Sara Lane, KMOX-news.