Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Workers Praise New Non-Profit Management of License Office

"It's Improved . . . It's Gotten Better"


Despite criticism from the Missouri Republican Party, Alternative Opportunities is getting high praise from its workers on how it's managing the South Fremont license office in Springfield.

A new Missouri law has paved the way for more non-profits to run the state's license fee offices. But that doesn't mean the new reforms -- designed to end the patronage system -- isn't without critics.



"It's just an honor for me to be here and Alternative Opportunities helped me. Alternative Opportunities is basically the reason I'm here," said 17-year old
worker Kristina Beller, who was hired on full-time through the group's employment program.

"We gave them raises, 401ks, paid time off. We offer health benefits that they've never been able to offer before. We had a lot more to offer these license offices, more than any individual or most groups could offer," said
Gary McMurtrey of Alternative Opportunities, explaining why he thinks the group has won so many bids.

It begs the question, what are they trying to get from the Nixon administration? More importantly, how much of an influence have their donations and high-powered lobbyists had on Nixon,?" said MOGOP executive director Lloyd Smith, questioning the $11,000 in campaign contributions Alternative executives donated to Gov. Jay Nixon's campaign.

"Everybody's happy. They're happy with it now. It's improved. It's gotten better, and we definitely enjoy that," said Kelsey Kruzel, a fee office employee who worked under the previous management. Asked whether any employee would want to go back to the old management, Kruzel replied, "No. They didn't get health insurance or raises."

"I think you have to wait awhile to see if the reforms worked," said Rep. Shane Schoeller, who supported the reforms put into place. Schoeller declined to comment on Alternative specifically because his wife runs a fee office in Nixa. Alternative is competing for that office as well.

Smith was unavailable for a phone interview Tuesday night and Springfield Rep. Bob Dixon did not return a call for comment.

1 comment:

boyd said...

The real story here should be, "Regardless of new laws, politicans still find a way to reward contributors."