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SR may bid on state license fee office
ST. ROBERT, Mo. (May 4, 2009) — Now that two of the three Pulaski County Commissioners have decided they don’t want to bid on the state license fee contract office down the road in Waynesville, St. Robert aldermen gave the go-ahead Monday night to consider submitting a bid to become the fee agent.

“We’ve got the space here, driver’s testing is already here,” said City Administrator Alan Clark. “I will check into the feasibility of this. This helps the community; you’ve got one-stop shopping.”

“I think that is an excellent idea,” said Alderman Theresa Cook.

Missouri law allows the governor to appoint whoever he chooses as the fee agent for drivers’ licenses, vehicle licenses, and other related permits in Missouri counties. The current fee agent is Charles Bassett of Dixon, who was appointed by former Gov. Matt Blunt.

However, after Blunt received extensive criticism from people who accused him of doling out license fee offices as political patronage rewards, the new governor, Jay Nixon, announced he would be assigning the fee offices based on a bid system.

Local businessman Gary Porter had urged the Pulaski County Commissioners to bid on the license fee office, move it to the courthouse, and use the revenue from the office to help support the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department as an alternative to raising taxes. While Eastern District Commissioner Bill Farnham backed that idea, Presiding Commissioner Bill Ransdall said he had a conflict of interest because two other boards on which he serves, the Missouri Ozarks Community Action board and the Pulaski County Growth Alliance board, were also interested in bidding on the license fee office.

Ransdall said he’d consider promoting the Pulaski County Growth Alliance as the fee agent if the funds could be used to pay for a countywide economic developer.

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