Letter to the Editor

DOT cuts 'shameful'

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Regarding the announced closure of eight Iowa Department of Transportation facilities:

The closure of two driver's license stations and six rural maintenance garages are a case of cause and effect. The cause is Iowa House Republicans, namely Majority Leader Chris Hagenow and Speaker Linda Upmeyer, attempting to entirely gut the Department of Transportation's salary budget, later passing only half of what their own Governor proposed.

The effect is that rural Iowans will suffer. For residents of Clay County, the nearest DOT driver's license offices are in Sioux City, Fort Dodge, or Mason City, and for residents of Carroll County, they are in Fort Dodge or Ames. Closing the doors of maintenance garages means that rural Iowans will likely see a significant delay in response time for snow clearing, which is an obvious safety risk.

Frankly, I'm disgusted by House Republicans attempts to carelessly slash much needed services that Iowans rely on. Whether it's the older Iowan who needs to renew their license and now has to travel much further than they're comfortable, or the kids needing to get to school after a snowstorm, the impacts of these closures will be dangerous. This is no fault of the hardworking DOT employees and House Republicans ought to be ashamed of themselves.