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October 08, 2009

License Office Management Contracts Awarded in Carrollton, Excelsior Springs, Montgomery City, Monticello, Raytown & Willow Springs

JEFFERSON CITY - Six more local motor vehicle and license office management contracts were awarded today using a reformed competitive bidding process that has been implemented by Gov. Jay Nixon and supported by bipartisan majorities in the Legislature.  

"This new system of open competition is a big improvement compared to the old way that offices were awarded without consideration of merit or customer service," Gov. Nixon said.  "Even when an incumbent agent is awarded an office, that person or group has an incentive to improve their operations in order to retain the office."

The six offices awarded today are in Carrollton, Excelsior Springs, Montgomery City, Monticello, Raytown and Willow Springs. 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.  Four of this week's winning bidders chose to 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 107 offices that have been awarded so far under the reformed bidding process is $581,265.

The Carrollton Area Chamber of Commerce will continue to be the agent for the Carrollton License Office, which is at 111 N. Mason St.  The chamber has operated the office since 1948.  The chamber's winning proposal was one of three bids for the office. As part of its bid, the chamber will return one-tenth of 1 percent ($63) of the office's estimated first-year revenues to the state.

The Excelsior Springs License Office has been awarded to Tipton Tigers, a not-for-profit group designed to support youth athletics, which is associated with the incumbent agent, Ben Wierzbicki of Excelsior Springs.  Wierzbicki, who has been the agent of the Excelsior Springs office since 2005, will be the contract manager of the office, and he is also the former agent of the Richmond License Office.  Timothy and Joy Tipton of Lawson are other officers associated with the group.  Two bids were submitted for the Excelsior Springs office, which is located at 115 Crown Hill Rd., Suite 1.  One-half of 1 percent ($771) of the office's first-year revenues will be returned to the state.

The Montgomery County Farm Bureau will continue to be the agent for the Montgomery City License Office.  The group, which submitted the only bid, has operated the office since 1981.  The office is located at 652-B S. Sturgeon St., and no return to the state was included in the bid.

The Monticello License Office contract has been awarded to Brenda Redmon of Canton.  Mrs. Redmon is the current manager and her husband, Craig Redmon, is the current agent.  The couple has been involved in running the office since 2005.  Mrs. Redmons' bid was the only one submitted for the office, which is at 204 E. Lafayette St.  No return to the state was included in the bid.

Sharp Services has been awarded the contract for the Raytown License Office, which is located at 6138 Raytown Trafficway.  The company is associated with Lee's Summit businessman and businesswoman, Bennie and Betty Sharp.  A 10 percent ($54,642) return to the state was included in the bid, which was one of five offered for the office.

The Willow Springs License Office will continue to be operated by the Willow Springs Chamber of Commerce.  The chamber has run the office, which is located at 112 E. Main St., since 1975.  The city's bid was the only one offered, and a return to the state of one-fourth of 1 percent ($83) 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 107 offices awarded so far, 59 have gone to incumbents or been awarded to family members of incumbent agents.  Forty-eight 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, acting director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, noted the openness of the news system.

"Once the evaluation teams from the Department of Revenue have chosen a winning bid and all the paperwork is checked by the Office of Administration, the bid documents are open for everyone to see," she said.  "The department realizes losing bidders are sometimes disappointed, but the relevant documents and reasons for the judgments are available to anyone who is interested in the process."      

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.