LETTER: Denounces Clerk’s decision to close DMV

To the Editor:

Madison County Clerk Mike Keville announced that the Madison County DMV will be closed on June 25, 2019, due to the primary election taking place that day. He cites election reforms recently passed by the NYS Legislature that give workers up to three hours of paid time off as the reason for the closure and states, “To accommodate this change the DMV will be closed to the public on primary day so as to give the employees their time to vote. During that time, we will be conducting staff development and processing dealer transactions, which are lucrative for the county and a challenge to keep up with in the spring and summer months.”

I hope Mr. Keville also plans to accommodate employees by giving them time to vote during their altered work day.

Several (not all) towns and the city of Oneida will, in fact, hold primaries June 25; however, closing the entire DMV and curtailing services to all citizens of our county is unreasonable.

Consider:

  • The Madison County DMV has 10 employees. It appears that a competent manager could come up with a schedule to handle the expected seasonal increase in dealer transactions, as well as accommodate staff wishing to exercise their right to vote while continuing to serve the public.
  • All the other county departments are able to meet the new requirements, and they all serve the public. Oneida County and other DMVs are somehow managing to remain open during the primary June 25. The polls don’t even open until noon, so he could have closed for a half day, if giving employees the opportunity to vote is his true concern. I imagine Mr. Keville plans this same foolish stunt every election day. How does this serve our county taxpayers?

Mr. Keville has been vocal in his opposition to the new election reforms and it appears that this action is based on that opposition. Keville’s political beliefs should not intervene with his sworn duty to serve the public. He is using his government office as a political pawn, which should never happen. I view it as a blatant waste of taxpayer money and a clear misuse of his elected office.

Clerk Keville’s job is to serve the public and obey the law, not to inconvenience all those having business at the DMV because he objects to expanding voter participation.

Respectfully submitted,

Martha Moore, Cazenovia

1 comment to LETTER: Denounces Clerk’s decision to close DMV

  • Michael Keville

    I have not been vocal in my opposition to the new Voter law, at all. I believe expecting a staff of four individuals to serve the DMV needs of a busy lunch and end of the day rush is a disservice to the public and to my staff. The opportunity for the DMV staff to process auto dealer registrations during the peak of the season, is a financial benefit to the County and the taxpayers, not a “blatant waste of taxpayer money.” While I am sorry for the inconvenience of being closed to the public, we will take care of all walk in customers on the 24th and 25th.

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