Susan Montee's ex-husband awarded Lee's Summit fee office

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 | 11:29 a.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — The former husband of State Auditor Susan Montee is expected to run a driver's license fee office in suburban Kansas City.

James Montee plans to operate the Lee's Summit fee office at the Summit Shopping Center. Montee's management team pledged to return about $42,000 in first-year revenues to the state.

Potential operators submit bids to Gov. Jay Nixon, who awards contracts to run the offices. They're called fee offices because operators charge motorists a fee to process driver's license and motor vehicle registrations.

Mike Smith, the previous Lee's Summit fee office operator, told The Kansas City Star on Tuesday that he is "blown away" by the decision. Smith sought to keep the fee office. He said that awarding it to the ex-husband of a statewide officeholder was keeping politics involved in the process.


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Sherri Tucker June 5, 2009 | 11:59 a.m.

What constitutes the best bid? Ben Sharp was giving back 7% and was giving another 3% to a charity. That is 10%. James Montee was giving 8%. But, that all went back to the governor.

I am deeply saddened by this. My charity would have been so much more effective if this contract had gone through.

I run a support group for families affected by autism. Every dime comes out of my pocket or the pocket of my other two board members.

We work with families. We take up to 10 phone calls a day from families that are desperate to find answers.

We go to IEP meetings and advocate for services that are federally mandated and the State of Missouri is not giving these children.

I have sat on the phone with mothers that are crying and are at their wit’s end. I have spent thousands of hours on the internet researching federal and state law. I have spent thousands of hours talking to families and trying to make a difference in the child’s life.

We don’t charge for our services. We provide them free. We have to pay for the gas to go to meetings, the copies that we make, and our families pay for the time that we spend on the computer instead of with them.

That is what Ben Sharp bid for. He was trying to help us. The money would have paid for respite for families that have no other way to go to meetings. It would have paid for books to help educate our families and us. It would have paid for Llama therapy for children with autism.

What did Montee bring to the table?

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