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Gleba lands Revenue PR job

Gleba lands Revenue PR job

June 2nd, 2013 in News

There's been no official announcement, yet, from the Missouri Revenue Department, but Michelle Gleba is the agency's new communications director.

A couple months after resigning as Jefferson City government's first "communications manager," Gleba updated her LinkedIn website profile to note she had taken the Revenue position.

And she is listed as communications director on Revenue's "news releases" page.

She succeeds Ted Farnen, who served as the department's spokesman for several years.

Farnen told a News Tribune reporter he left state government after "20 years of service ... to take on new challenges."

He stayed with the Department of Revenue until the legislative session ended May 17, and didn't announce his next "challenge."

Gleba joined the Jefferson City government staff in March 2010, after having been out of the workforce for five years.

Previously, she had been associate director of public relations and marketing for Columbia College.

She started at $54,000 a year and was earning $57,000 three years later.

She resigned the city job as council members and administrators wrestled this year with ways to handle a $1.7 million budget shortfall.

The city offered some employees and early retirement program, but Gleba noted in March she wasn't eligible.

Her resignation followed comments by then-Councilman Bryan Pope, questioning why city government had a communications manager, whose job seemed to Pope to be a manager of Facebook and Twitter accounts.

"We don't have the nerve to maybe look at some other line item employee categories that are certainly not as important as public safety," Pope told other council members at a March 12 meeting.

But when Gleba announced her departure, she said only that she was looking forward to focusing on new opportunities, and had "truly enjoyed working for the city."

Gleba's new position makes her spokeswoman for a department which has had three directors in the past year, and has been targeted by lawmakers - mostly Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and the Legislature's Republican leaders - for requiring Missourians seeking new or renewed driver's and vehicle licenses to show personal documents that have been scanned into computers and saved.

Farnen, a 1987 University of Missouri Journalism graduate, worked two years for the Sedalia Democrat, then later joined the state Senate's communications staff.

He served eight years in the state House of Representatives, as a Democrat from Mexico.

Then he was legislative director for the Missouri Laborer's Legislative Committee, before joining state Sen. Chuck Graham's staff as legislative director and chief of staff.

Graham lost his re-election bid in 2008 to current state Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia.

Although Farnen has been the Revenue spokesman during the record-saving controversy, he said it didn't cause or force his resignation.

"I left on my own accord and on extraordinarily good terms with the Department of Revenue and the (Nixon) administration," he told the News Tribune.