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September 18, 2009

Agents Named for Gladstone, Jackson, Macon, Piedmont, Stockton & Vienna License Offices

JEFFERSON CITY - Six more local motor vehicle/license office agents were named Thursday using a new system that stresses open competition and an increased emphasis on office efficiency and improved customer service.  The reformed system has been in place since Gov. Jay Nixon implemented it in January.

"Unlike the old system - where politics was the main consideration in deciding who ran the license offices - the new process allows anyone to bid to run an office, and politics plays no part in the decision process," Gov. Nixon said.  "A professional, non-partisan staff from the Missouri Department of Revenue reviews all the bids, and selects the one that is the most financially sound and provides the best customer service for the citizens who use the services at that office."

The six offices awarded this week are in Gladstone, Jackson, Macon, Piedmont, Stockton and Vienna.

J. Ryan Williams of Kansas City has been awarded the Gladstone License Office.  Williams' bid was chosen from five that were submitted.  Mr. Williams was the contract agent for the Liberty License Office from 1993 to 2005.  He is the current contract manager for the Lee's Summit office, and he is also the current agent for the Liberty and North Kansas City offices.  The Gladstone office will stay at its present location of 6595 N. Oak Trafficway.  As part of their bids, some of the winning bidders chose to return some of the office's revenues to the state. Three percent ($13,905) of the Gladstone office's estimated first-year revenues will be returned to the state.

The Jackson License Office has been awarded to Deuce Enterprises, LC, which was one of four bids submitted.  The company is associated with Gerry Jones of Jackson, the incumbent office agent since 2005.  The office will continue to be at 125 E. Main St.  The office will return 5 percent ($8,887) of its first-year revenues.

James L. Willis of Bevier will continue to be the agent of the Macon License Office.  Willis' bid was the only one submitted.  He and his wife, Rowena M. Young, have run the office since 2005.  The office will remain at 210 N. Rubey St. One percent ($875) of the annual revenues will be returned to the state.

The Piedmont License Office will be run by a new agent, the Piedmont Area Chamber of Commerce.  There were three bids for the office.  The winning bid entails moving the license office from Greenville to Piedmont.  The bid proposal allowed interested individuals or groups to bid to operate a license office in either Greenville or Piedmont, both of which are in Wayne County.  The license office was located in Piedmont for many years before it moved to Greenville in 2005.  The new location of the office will be in Ralph's Supermarket at 323 Business Highway HH in Piedmont, and the Chamber of Commerce will announce the opening date for the new office at a later time. The office will return 1 percent ($637) of its annual revenues.

The Stockton License Office will continue to be run by Susie Bolen of Fair Play.  Bolen, who submitted the only bid for the office, has operated the office since 2005.  The office will stay at 534 West Street. No return to the state was included in the bid.

The Maries County Commission, having submitted the only bid, will remain as the agent for the Vienna License Office.  The commission has run the office since 1996, and the office will remain in the Maries County Courthouse at 211 4th St. No return to the state was included in the bid.

The cumulative amount of estimated funds that will be returned to the state in the first contract year from the 87 license offices that have been awarded so far is $514,183.

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 on his first day of office in January, it didn't become part of state law until legislation was signed by the Governor earlier this summer. The new law was overwhelmingly approved by both Republican and Democratic members of the Missouri General Assembly and was one of the most important bipartisan achievements of the past legislative session.

Alana M. Barragán-Scott, acting director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, stressed why the new competitive bidding process was so important.

"The Legislature recognized the need to make local license offices more efficient and to provide a mechanism to let bidders propose new ways to make the offices more customer friendly," she said.  "Under the old system there was no incentive to improve.  But now both incumbents and new bidders are encouraged to propose innovative ways to make the offices better."

Of the 183 license offices, 87 have been awarded and the bidding time has closed for another 83.  The remaining 13 offices are still open for bid.  For a list of winning bidders for license offices, please go to http://oa.mo.gov/purch/awardedfeeoffices.pdf.

All local license offices provide services that are overseen by the Missouri 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.

Additional information on the bids will be posted by the Missouri Office of Administration within the next few days.