As of Monday, there’s no official word from the Missouri Department of Revenue regarding the next contract manager for the license office in Excelsior Springs.
Like other license offices in the area and around the state, the local office was up for bid this year and the current operators, Benny and Darla Wierzbicki, opted to not continue their involvement.
But earlier this year two bids—one from the Excelsior Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and one other from out of town—were both rejected by the state and new bids were sought. Without any word from the state on why their first bid was rejected, the Excelsior Springs Area Chamber of Commerce has rebid for the contract.
The winning bidder was to have taken over operations of the office, located in the 100 block of Crown Hill Road, on Monday, Dec. 23, but just days before that the state asked Wierzbicki to extend his contract for another 60 days while they continue to consider the second round of bids.
However, by that time Wierzbicki’s employees, anticipating leaving their posts and taking new jobs, were packing up their belongings and most could not stay.
A spokesperson for the state told The Standard on Dec. 23 that she would look into the situation and get back with information; as of Monday, Dec. 30, DoR had not yet done so. In the meantime, because the contract was extended 60 days, the Wierzbickis must continue to operate the office until they receive further notice from the state.
Chamber President Brian Rice is confused by the delay and was hoping he could deliver a positive message to the Chamber board by this time.
“We’ve filed two complete bids for the state, followed every guideline and have made numerous calls throughout the month in anticipation of an answer,” Rice said. “We’ve been prepared all month to take over. A lot of people in the chamber membership are eager to hear the state’s decision. The last minute extension of Wierzbicki’s contract has put them in a bind without staff and the year-end rush of taxpayers. I don’t understand why the state needs an additional 60 days. Surely one of the bids qualifies for the job, especially after the second round.”
By Eric Copeland • firstname.lastname@example.org