August 30, 2018 500 AM
PRESIDIO – The Texas Department of Public Safety driver’s license office in Presidio, which provides services to 5,000 city residents, has been spared from closure.
The Sunset Advisory Commission, a 12-member legislative commission tasked with identifying and elimination waste, duplication and inefficiencies for more than 130 state agencies, placed the Department of Public Safety (DPS), under review this year to “develop and implement a plan to close inefficient driver license offices.”
Local press circulated a wsletter by the Texas Association of Counties this past week that stated the Commission was considering to close 87 driver license offices throughout the state.
As a result, the Commission was flooded with calls by the public and on Wednesday, August 29 voted unanimously to reject the proposal.
Members of the commission noted that the offices do have inefficiencies, but the inefficiencies do not outweigh the effects that these closures would have on citizens. Noting that it would have had a countywide effect, since most of the offices on the list are the only driver license offices in the county. The adoption of this proposal would have forced citizens drive hours to the closest office.
In addition to the outcry of the public, 24 legislators, including Far West Texas state Senator José R. Rodríguez, D-El Paso, signed a letter to the Commission, stating, “as a state we made a commitment to provide services to all citizens, even those in the most rural areas. We have been told the dollar savings from the closing of the 87 offices would amount to approximately $760,000. However, the wasted dollars and inefficiencies suffered by the citizens of these rural counties will in the long run exceed these savings.”
Despite the Commission’s rejection of the proposal, the Presidio office is still expected to close Wednesday, August 29, due to a lack of staffing. A DPS worker from Alpine had staffed the Presidio office once a week, but due to a sudden resignation, that worker will no longer be traveling to Presidio. As a result, the office in Alpine will now be opened twice a week, Tuesday