Inaction on BMV irks Struthers mayor
By Jeanne Starmack
The mayor says he is disappointed that the governor has not responded to a petition to keep the Bureau of Motor Vehicles license center from leaving the city.
The deputy registrar who ran the center for 18 years did not win the contract for it this year, and the center was given to the deputy registrar in Hubbard. She is closing the Hubbard center and moving her operation to a location on U.S. Route 224 in Poland Township.
City council drafted a resolution that supports keeping the center in the Struthers Plaza on Fifth Street, saying that’s a more-convenient location — especially for older people.
Council members say it has more parking, and they worry about the effect the closing will have on other businesses in the plaza.
They also pointed out that the Struthers Municipal Court serves other nearby cities and townships, and the center is in a better location for handling license violations.
Mayor Terry Stocker said late last week that more than 6,000 people signed a petition to keep the center from moving, and the petition was sent to Gov. Ted Strickland’s office along with the council’s resolution.
“Why would you turn a deaf ear to 6,000 people?” Stocker said.
A spokesman for the governor’s office said the governor would not interfere with the bidding process for the centers, which is overseen by the Department of Public Safety.
A spokeswoman for the governor, Amanda Wurst, said the department uses an open-bidding process and scoring criteria “designed to protect the interests of taxpayers and to ensure customers have access to the services provided at these facilities.”
“While the governor understands the genuine concerns communicated by citizens in Struthers, his intervention would violate the integrity of an openly bid request-for-proposal process that should be free of any interference,” she said.
The Struthers center is set to close Saturday.