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December 17, 2009

Management Contracts Awarded for Clayton, Gallatin, Hermann & Oakville License Offices

JEFFERSON CITY - After using a reformed competitive bidding system that emphasizes customer service and financial efficiencies, the Missouri Department of Revenue today announced the awarding of four local motor vehicle and license offices.  The new bidding process, which was implemented by Gov. Jay Nixon, has moved the awarding of license offices out of the patronage era and into a more accountable system.

"The new system is open and transparent," Gov. Nixon said.  "Any person or group can submit a proposal, and the Department of Revenue chooses the best bid in a professional manner.  The ultimate goal is to have better-run offices for the people of Missouri."

The four offices awarded today are in Clayton, Gallatin, Hermann and Oakville. Two of the offices will remain at their current locations, and two (Clayton and Oakville) will move to new locations.

Bidders have the option of returning a portion of the office's revenues to the state.  Three of this week's winning bidders will return some of their revenues.  The estimated amount of money that will be returned to the state in the first contract year from the 162 offices that have been awarded so far under the new bidding process is $861,878.

The Clayton License Office has been awarded to a new agent, License Management, LLC.  The company is associated with businessmen Brian Bruce and Jason Morgan of St. Louis, and the office's current manager, Matthew Carroll of Florissant.  The winning bid was one of five submitted.  The office will move in about two months from its current location of 32 N. Central Ave. to a new location at 8807 Ladue Rd.  An 8 percent ($29,518) return to the state was included in the bid. 

Julie Vyrostek of Gallatin has been selected to be the agent for the Gallatin License Office, which is located at 400 N. Main St., Suite 1.  Vyrostek has been the co-agent of the office with her mother, but she will be the sole agent of the office in the future.  The Vyrosteks have run the office since 2005.  Julie Vyrostek's bid was the only one submitted, and a 1 percent ($415) return to the state was included.

The Hermann License Office will continue to be operated by the incumbent agent, the Hermann Area Chamber of Commerce.  The chamber has run the office since 1973.  The winning bid for the office was the only one submitted.  The office is located at 312 Market St., and no return to the state was included in the bid.

Belle L. H. Schmidt of Imperial is the new agent of the Oakville License Office, located at 4226 Telegraph Rd.  Schmidt is the current manager of the Imperial License Office.  Schmidt's bid was one of seven submitted, and a 5 percent ($12,112) return to the state was included in the bid.  The Oakville office will move to a new location at 3164 Telegraph Rd.

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 162 offices awarded so far, 92 have gone to incumbents or groups associated with incumbent agents.  Seventy of the offices have been awarded to new agents.

Alana M. Barragán-Scott, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, noted that even offices awarded to incumbent agents undergo an evaluation process.

"The management of every single one of the 183 offices has been put up for scrutiny," she said.  "So even if an incumbent is the only one to bid for an office, that person or group has had to re-evaluate its office operations and think about ways to improve customer service."

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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