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Monday, September 7, 2009

SF Paper Misses Earlier Coverage on Drivers License Service Cuts

Media note: That Sioux Falls paper discusses the state's closing of 17 driver licensing stations across the state as if it were just announced on Friday, September 4:

The news Friday brought a dull end to a bright week in Howard, where officials Wednesday broke ground on an $8.1 million expansion to the Rural Learning Center [Jon Walker, "Driver's License Options Shrink," that Sioux Falls paper, 2009.09.05].

Hmm... kind of hard to bring the week to a dull end when the announcement came at the end of the previous week, as reported in the Marshall County Journal on August 26, the Aberdeen American News on August 28, and the same day right here on the Madville Times.

Mr. Walker does add to the story, pegging Secretary of Public Safety Tom Dravland as the decider on the closings. Interestingly, Dravland and the Rounds Adminsitration seem to be following very Munstermanly biz-management arguments for the cuts:

"We anticipate more volume in fewer locations," Kafka said. He said the 17 sites to close account for less than 5 percent of the licensing in the state. The two sites in Sioux Falls, by contrast, cover 28 percent of the activity for the whole state. Rapid City accounts for 18 percent [Walker, 2009.09.05].

Leading Dems are having none of that malarkey, however. State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Scott Heidepriem says the closings "continue[] the dismantling of rural South Dakota." And House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff says this consolidation of bureaucracy could cost South Dakotans more money:

"Just shifting the burden onto local taxpayers isn't necessarily efficient," he said from Yankton. "What's the benefit of the state saving $1 if it costs a dozen taxpayers $2?" [Walker, 2009.09.05]

Dang: maybe big talk about decreasing bureaucracy isn't the overall money saver some folks think it is....

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