October 22, 2009
Competitive Process Used to Award License Offices in Boonville, California, Cameron, Chaffee, Florissant, Hartville & Milan
JEFFERSON CITY - Seven more local motor vehicle and license offices have been awarded to individuals and groups using a competitive bidding process that has been implemented and championed by Gov. Jay Nixon.
"The services provided by our local license offices are important to many Missouri citizens," Gov. Nixon said. "Therefore, it is vital that we try to get the most efficient agents to operate these offices. Having a non-political, open competition where the best proposal wins is a tremendous improvement compared to the old, secretive system where a person was appointed without regard for the ability to run an office."
The seven offices awarded today are in Boonville, California, Cameron, Chaffee, Florissant, Hartville and Milan. All of the offices will remain at their current locations. Bidders also have the option of returning a portion of the office's revenues to the state. Five of this week's winning bidders will return some of their revenues to the state. The cumulative amount of funds that will be returned to the state in the first contract year from the 120 offices that have been awarded so far under the new bidding process is $608,054.
Sherry Shelton, doing business as Boonville License Office, is the new agent for the Boonville License Office, which is at 408 Sixth St. Shelton's winning proposal was one of three bids for the office. As part of her bid, Shelton, of Boonville, will return 1 percent ($1,030) of the office's estimated first-year revenues to the state.
The California License Office has been awarded to Roberta Elliott of California. Elliott, who submitted the only bid, has been the office agent since 2005. A 2 percent ($1,398) return to the state was included in the bid. The office is located at 1021 W. Buchanan, Suite 15.
Rebecca Curtis of Cameron, doing business as Cameron License Office, will continue to be the agent for the office in Cameron. She has held this position since 2005. Curtis' bid was chosen from two that were submitted. The office is located at 217 N. Chestnut St., and a one-half of 1 percent ($394) return to the state was included in the bid.
The Chaffee License Office, located at 129 S. Main St., has been awarded to a new agent, Ernst & Sadler Licensing. The group is associated with Dena Ernst of Jackson and LaTanya Sadler of Chaffee. Sadler is the current office manager and Ernst is also an employee with the office. The winning bid was chosen from two that were submitted. A 5 percent ($4,786) return to the state was included in the bid.
The Florissant License Office will continue to be operated by the Florissant Rotary Club, which has run the office since 1995. The club's bid was one of three submitted. A 1 percent ($4,552) return to the state was included in the bid. The office is located at 620 N. Highway 67.
Freda Barr of Hartville, doing business as Hartville License Office, has been selected to be the agent for the Hartville License Office. Barr has been the agent for the office, which is located at 398 S. Main Ave., Suite B, since 2007. No return to the state was included in the bid, which was the only one submitted.
The Milan License Office, located at 825 N. Pearl St., Suite 2, will continue to be run by Heather L. Stephenson of Milan. She has been the office agent since 2005, and she submitted the only bid. No return to the state was included in the bid.
Details about any changes in office operations, if any, will be announced by the agents.
Although Gov. Nixon authorized the Missouri Department of Revenue to implement the new bidding system in January, it didn't become part of state law until legislation was signed by the Governor this past summer. The new law was overwhelmingly approved by both Republican and Democratic members of the Missouri Legislature.
Of the 120 offices awarded so far, 69 have gone to incumbents or been awarded to relatives or groups associated with incumbent agents. Fifty-one of the offices have been awarded to new agents. Of the 183 total offices, bidding has closed on 181, and two remain open. For a list of winning bidders for license offices, please go to http://oa.mo.gov/purch/awardedfeeoffices.pdf.
Alana M. Barragán-Scott, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, noted the positive aspects of the new and reformed process of selecting office agents.
"Having each office up for competition will undoubtedly improve office operations," she said. "Even when an incumbent agent is chosen to retain an office, he or she has had to justify the way the office is run, and possibly even develop new ways to improve operations in order to avoid losing the office to a competitor."
All local license offices provide services that are overseen by the Department of Revenue, but each office is operated by an independent contractor. Transactions that are conducted at these offices include the issuance and renewal of driver licenses, issuance of titles for motor vehicles, and the issuance and renewal of registration for motor vehicles, boats and outboard motors.
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