The Missouri Department of Revenue announced Oct. 15 that the Thayer License Office along with five other license offices in the state were awarded management contracts through a bidding process put in place by Gov. Jay Nixon in July.
"In the past, many license offices were awarded solely to those who had political connections, and there were no standards for customer service or financial efficiency," Gov. Nixon said. "Under this open and transparent system, anyone can bid to run an office. This is a big improvement compared to the old, secretive political process that was ingrained in state government for far too long."
This new law was supported by both Republicans and Democrats in the Missouri Legislature in Jefferson City.
The other five offices that were awarded contracts were Bonne Terre, Ellington, Kennett, Memphis and Stanberry.
Ranette Ray, of Koshkonong, was the winning bidder for the Thayer License Office. Ray has been the of fice's agent since 2006.
"I want to continue the service in an efficient and convenient way," Ray said. "I will continue the service we've been providing to people and helping with their needs."
Ray said as of Oct. 29 office hours will change to 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. As in the past, the office will be closed on Wednesday.
"The evaluation teams look for detailed responses on how potential agents will improve customer service, especially during periods when the office is busy," Alana M. Barragán-Scott, acting director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, said. "The teams also rate the education and experience of a potential agent and the staff, and the accessibility and security of the office is also judged. Finally, the teams note whether a bidder is a not-for-profit group, a minority or woman-owned business and whether a return to the state is included in the bid."
"Of the 113 offices awarded so far, 64 have gone to incumbents or been awarded to family members or groups associated with incumbent agents," according to the Missouri Department of Revenue. "Forty-nine of the offices have been awarded to new agents. Of the 183 total offices, bidding has closed on 181, and two remain open."
One of the two that remain open for bids is the Alton License Office.