Certainly, a Democrat member of state House leadership was attempting to praise the state employees at the Department of Licensing (DOL) when he responded to a request from SHIFT asking Washingtonians for personal examples of challenges with state bureaucracy with the story below.
But, instead, he proves the point about the need for government to improve.
The Democrat representative points out that DOL is operating “with vastly less than staff than even 5 years ago,” yet his wait time during a recent visit was much shorter. Doesn’t that make you wonder what DOL employees were doing wrong 5 years ago that took so long?
We appreciate that said House Democrat is a reader of SHIFT (we have been told that Jay Inslee has his staff read it to him as well), so we hope he’ll help our readers out a little more with other experiences with state government.
Maybe he could describe his next trip on a Washington State Ferry, and let us know whether or not he is asked to get off the boat due to overload issues. Or, even more illuminating, how about a narrative on his next experience trying to get the Department of Ecology to give him permission to use his own private property?
Better yet, if he really wants to let the public know where real government waste occurs, perhaps he could describe a meeting with Frank Chopp on the subject of how Democrats have managed to reduce support for public schools since Chopp began his term as state House Speaker in 2002. I’m sure that would be a really funny read.
This is actually rather clever. I think he put one over on you guys. My takeaway is: a) WA State employees are serving the public rather well, and b) If this is all ya got, bleating about the horrors of dealing with State bureaucrats is hot air.
Actually, I don’t think it’s clever at all – it’s the typical sarcastic response to an issue that exists and the State knows it. Among other questions, the most pertinent – where was the DOL that provided his great experience? There are two near us – one in Kirkland near Costco and a big one in a shopping center down by the lake. I have NEVER walked in and found a 10 minute wait for anything except maybe to take a number. I have after-foster-care kids and my own sons – we visit the DOL at least 10 times per year and never, ever have we waited under an hour for anything – even if we have appointments for driving tests, etc. Sure, I could pick a DOL in some little town heading South but I don’t have that choice. I used to be stuck with the horror story of a DOL in Crossroads – that actually had (or still has) a sign that says something along the lines the cops will be called if you yell at the employees, or I can chose any of the other local DOLs with their long lines of annoyed people. I do think the people behind the counters are much nicer than they used to be. Though it would have been difficult to not improve. And the reason they can still operate with “vastly less staff”? Maybe Mr. Great Experience State Employee doesn’t know that in the last 5 years the DOL implemented on-line services and bumped out the DL renewal to 6 years versus 5. Much less work = less staff.
Don;t bother trying to negotiate the lowest price for a car in this state. No matter on how much you pay for it the Department of Revenue will require that the Blue Book for retail car prices be the final word on how much you will be taxed for it. How convenient for for a mindless decision. Prior to buying my car I thoroughly researched everything I could to find a good price. I paid the residual for a lease car to the dealer that was approximately $2000 below the Blue Book retail price. When I went to pay the tax on it the clerk asked what was wrong with the car. It was a puzzling question so I asked what she meant since I wasn’t aware that anything was wrong with it. She said that it was below the Blue Book retail price. No matter what kind of price I negotiated the Blue Book was the final word. So I was assessed the taxes for another $2000. Reading the fine print, if I could depreciate the price with a repair bill for defects the State would adjust the price taking the cost of the repair bill into account. I got a bid from a local auto repair firm for some legitimate body work and submitted it to the state for repairs. They honored it and refunded the amount of tax based on the depreciated repair cost of the car. Prior to using the Blue Book the state was probably getting all kinds of stories to justify the low prices for the sale of cars to reduce the taxes on it. While I can see the rationale for correcting the abuses in this area I feel that the state could be more accommodating to buyers who have official documentation to verify the sale of a vehicle using the Blue Book as a reference taking into account the wholesale, retail and dealer prices.rather than just the Blue Book “Bible” retail price. Otherwise why bother negotiating with a seller for a price below the Blue Book price? I’m sure that the state negotiates the lowest price that it can get for its fleet of vehicles . Why not offer the same consideration to the taxpayers?
Thomas Paine says
If the Department of Licensing is so “efficient,” how about if they cut their budget and give me (and you) a partial refund of our taxes? Washington is a haven for “progressive” theft of our money.