Republican Oneida County clerk candidate David J. Gordon says he wants to restore the opening hours of the Department of Motor Vehicles offices in Rome and Utica back to 9 a.m. every day in order to avoid confusing customers.
Incumbent Sandra J. DePerno says the change was made more than four years ago to help motorists who can’t get off work easily and to increase use of local services instead of doing business online.
The offices are now open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Gordon sent out a press release Wednesday saying the Tuesday and Thursday hours cause confusion. He said people lined up at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday at both locations only to find out the DMV didn’t open until 10 a.m., with the “100 deep in Utica and almost as many in Rome.”
Gordon is a former Oneida County legislator running on the Republican and Reform party lines and has made improving DMV operations his main issue. He said he would revisit the extended hour of open time Tuesday and Thursday but that his ultimate goal is to eliminate confusion by opening at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday. “If you owned a retail store, you wouldn’t operate with a crazy schedule that people can’t remember. In business, consistency is everything. Making the DMV process easier and more efficient will yield greater results for the people of Oneida County,” Gordon said.
DePerno lists the change in the Tuesday and Thursday hours on her campaign website as an accomplishment on behalf of residents. She said today if residents can’t make it to the local DMV, many will go online, costing the county money. Oneida County gets 12.7 percent of transactions done locally in person but only 2 percent online and then only after a state revenue threshold of $1.8 million is passed.
“We have signs all over. I’ve done press releases on it. I’ve gone on the radio and talked about it,” DePerno said. “I’ve heard people thank me because like I said they can’t always get out of work to be there before 4:30.” DePerno, endorsed by the county Democratic Party, is seeking her fourth term.