JUNE 22, 2022 — Today, Merima Smajic-Oren, candidate for Oneida County Clerk, called on the Oneida County Legislature and County Executive Anthony Picente to “treat Rome right. Reopen the Rome DMV all day at least five days a week.”
“The Rome DMV is not a luxury, it’s a necessity that the people of Rome and all of Western Oneida County pay for and to which they are entitled,” Smajic-Oren stated.
“Money isn’t an issue. The county’s budget is $457 million. Oneida County is receiving $44 million in American Rescue Act funding. County sales tax revenues are skyrocketing, much of that due to the relentless increases in gas prices paid by working men and women who rely most on the Rome office. And don’t forget the unique fiscal safety net provided by the county’s agreement with the Oneida Nation- $21 million dollars budgeted in 2022 alone,” Smajic-Oren noted.
“The predictable red herring in this debate is that funding the Rome DMV will cause an increase in taxes. Not likely. Oneida County’s taxes have not gone up in nearly a decade. A relatively modest dollar commitment that gives the taxpayers a necessity they deserve and pay for won’t change that.”
Shutting down the Rome DMV defies “all logic and reason,” Smajic-Oren continued.
“Saratoga County and Oneida County are virtually the same size in terms of population. Geographically, however, Oneida County is larger than Saratoga County by 400 square miles. Oneida County’s DMV serves the same number of people over a much wider area. Yet, the Saratoga County website shows three full-time, fully staffed DMV offices while Oneida County has only one. That’s just plain senseless and just plain wrong.”
Smajic-Oren urged the Oneida County Executive and the Board of Legislators to:
Agree that Rome and all of Western Oneida County need a DMV office that is open “all day and every day.”
Staff the Rome DMV office accordingly.
Recruit the staff needed to meet this objective.
Compensate DMV staff fairly and competitively.
“Reopening the Rome DMV on a full-time basis is not a gift. It’s an obligation that both the County Executive and Board of Legislators owe to the people of Rome and all of Western Oneida County,” Smajic-Oren concluded.