Kathy Klevorn, the director of management, planning, and budget at the Metro transit agency, is serving as interim chief financial officer following the retirement of longtime CFO John Noce.

Noce, 61, began his career at the Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District three decades ago in the budget office.

“I kept picking up more responsibilities along the way,” he said. In 2001, he was made CFO.

Noce intended to retire earlier this year, but agreed to stay on while the agency was focused on winning support for a sales tax increase on the April ballot.

The tax is intended to raise an additional $80 million annually to shore up Metro’s operating budget and to generate funds for future capital work. St. Louis County voters approved the half-cent increase, which was known as Prop. A.

Noce said he will start looking at returning to the job market in a year, likely still in the field of fiscal management.

He helped lead Metro through a transformation from what he describes as “a sleepy little bus company” to a major urban transit agency. Light rail was established in 1994.

The road at times has been financially and politically rocky, with critics charging mismanagement, especially after cost overruns drove up the price of a light-rail expansion by $150 million.

Metro’s finances have always tended to be challenging and the Great Recession only made things worse, forcing it to cut costs and service and to restructure its debt portfolio. The tax hike allowed Metro to restore services.

Noce said more public funds from stable revenue streams are needed to support public transportation both at the state and federal level.

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