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Friday, September 26, 2014

Save the Newburgh DMV!

AN OPEN LETTER TO ANNIE RABBITT FROM MRS. LO:  PLEASE DON’T CLOSE THE NEWBURGH DMV!  For those of you not up to speed, there are currently 3 DMV offices in Orange County:  Port Jervis, Middletown, and Newburgh.  The Goshen DMV closed in 2010.  The DMV Commissioner, Annie Rabbitt has recommended that:  “(w)e should merge the three Departments of Motor Vehicle offices into one location, preferably the Middletown location while discussion of the Government Center continues.”  In other words, create a Mega-DMV for Orange County.

            I have an idea:  why not build the mega-DMV in Newburgh and make that the Central Office?  And just leave the other offices open for now.  The disruption to the City of Newburgh would be a kick in the teeth.  Why should Goshen get the mega DMV, why not Newburgh?  Given the choice, I for one will not be going to Middletown, I will be going to the Beacon DMV, as will many people in this part of the County, and taking our money right out of Orange County and into Dutchess County.
            The problem is that so many people in Newburgh will be disenfranchised by the closing of the DMV here.  Here is how the number of transaction stack up, according to the DMV’s most recent report:
Port Jervis
414 / day
304 / day
295 / day
100 / day
394 / day *
361 / day
364 / day
101 / day

390 / day
508 / day
120 / day

354 / day
484 / day
117 / day


So, when all four offices were open back in 2010, Goshen did the most transactions (414), followed by Newburgh (304), followed by Middletown (295), then Port Jervis (100).  With the closing of Goshen, transactions in Middletown AND Newburgh increased, as well as Port Jervis. 
            Why is Newburgh being targeted?  Here is what is proposed for the new Middletown Super-Office, which is absolutely something that can be built right here in Newburgh:
“Middletown has ten window stations and with the merge we can keep every window open and operating all day without disruption of service. We presently do not have that capability.  The DMV would do early morning, evening and Saturday hours with staggered work shifts … We could add four windows just for licenses and renewals, two enforcement windows and two dealership windows. An information window and the two permit windows can remain open all day.”
Wow, sounds this new proposed Mega-DMV that is 50 miles away round-trip will be a great way to spend the day (NOT). 
            The people on this end of the county are going to fall into two categories:  those who are not able to afford a 50-mile round trip car ride to Middletown and cannot give up half a day of work, and who will be completely disenfranchised.  And those of us who can afford it but will choose to go to Beacon instead, or do everything possible online.
            Either way, it’s a lose/ lose for Newburgh and this part of the county.  The Newburgh office is always busy, and we do not need to run the DMV like it’s a for-profit business.
            The DMV in Newburgh is vital to our economy and our way of life.  Sure, it a pain to wait on line there but that’s because the office is so busy, why close it?  Where will the employees go?  Are they going to be fired or do they have to go to the Mega-DMV proposed for Middletown? 
            Newburgh is hungry for new businesses and I’m sure the County could get its pick of office buildings.  Or, they could possible expand the current Newburgh DMV, there is a vacant lot next door.  We already have a very active County Office on Ann Street/ Broadway (the old Armory building) with Orange County probation, District Attorney and other offices in there.  We have a robust City Hall building across from the DMV and an active City Courthouse.  We once had a County Court building here.  Why not have the Orange County DMV Mega-Office as well?  I think it’s a great idea, who’s with me? 
            I signed a petition put forth by Assemblyman Skartados, asking that the Commissioner reconsider and NOT close the Newburgh DMV.  I will go one step further, and ask that, instead of building a new Mega-DMV in Goshen, build it in Newburgh!             
            Here is the Petition, please consider signing it, thanks everyone, and have a GREAT day!  <3 Mrs. Lo (photo from the Team Mom Mobile, driving up Broadway in Newburgh)