Okolona is looking at establishing a Mississippi Driver’s License office at the Rockwell Auditorium and we hope they are successful.
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety ruffled this community a year ago when it decided to close its longtime office at the Fire Department in Houston. DPS said it was a cost cutting measure, but has come back the past two years seeking more money in its budget from the Legislature.
This move by DPS has so irked Chickasaw County that our two state lawmakers Senator Russell Jolly (D-Houston) and Representative Preston Sullivan (R-Okolona) sponsored legislation requiring DPS to provide satellite Driver’s License offices in rural counties.
In this day and age of technology this newspaper sees no reason why a some type of mobile office can’t be set up in every rural county in this state at least once a month. Sadly, DPS seems to be dragging its feet and making demands – as it has in Okolona – on what it requires to set up some type of satellite/mobile office.
We hope rural lawmakers will remember their constituents when they travel to Jackson in January and begin looking at budgets of various state agencies and departments. Why should Chickasaw County – or any rural county — be forced to fund any state agency or service that does not benefit taxpayers.
The current situation requires Chickasaw County residents seeking to make a change to their driver’s license, or teenagers looking to get a driver’s license, to travel more than 40 miles to offices in Starkville, Tupelo or Columbus.
That’s half a day to drive, sit in line, fill out the appropriate paperwork or take a test and then drive back home.
We urge Chickasaw County Supervisors, Okolona Aldermen, Houston Aldermen and especially our state lawmakers to hold DPS accountable and urge them to establish regular hours for their services in our community.