MAYVILLE - Sandy Sopak, Chautauqua County clerk, will be sending the petitions opposing the state DMV bid award to state leaders next week. Anyone wishing to sign the petition must either visit one of the three DMV offices in Mayville, Jamestown or Dunkirk, or email Tracie Kaminski Haskin, deputy county clerk, at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday. Those sending emails should include their name and city of residence as well as a note that they oppose the DMV bid award.
The bid proposal from CBN Secure Technology Inc., is for $88.5 million, $38 million more than the next highest bid from De La Rue, the company currently producing the licenses. CBN's bid includes producing the licenses with black-and-white photos.
State leaders have defended the decision to award the project to the highest bidder, CBN, touting enhanced safety features. In addition to the black-and-white photos, CBN will also produce the licenses on a solid polycarbonate card which they say is more secure and "impervious to alteration."
"We organized this petition drive because the public was coming to us to complain," said Sopak. "We are only agents for the state and have no input on contracts or bids, but we are on the front line when people are unhappy about something. They want to vent to someone and we're the most accessible."
According to Sopak, hundreds of people have already signed the petitions, either in the DMV offices or electronically via email.
"The petition was a way for people to express their opposition directly to those who make the decisions," said Kaminski Haskin. "We've received emails with people's thoughts and brief comments, and that's good. It gives people a constructive outlet. We'll continue to accept those emails and signatures until Monday afternoon when we'll compile them all and prepare them for mailing to our state lawmakers."