Jefferson County officials are searching for solutions to the long lines again forming for those seeking car tag renewals.
"Friday I went to Bessemer. It was around the corner. I waited three hours. I couldn't get in there. I had to leave and do something else," Travis Bell said.
A new state requirement for insurance verification added to the delay but the lack of county workers also contribute to the long lines.
"We are going to look at all aspects of our policy. We are going to look at the way we do the lines. Then look at staffing needs," Tony Petelos, Jefferson County Manager, said.
Petelos says he plans to ask the county commission to return workers who were laid off due to financial cuts. The county manager is also seeking to update the county's computer programs for tag renewals and other services.
Jefferson County commissioners Jimmie Stephens and Joe Knight met Wednesday with the a state official over motor vehicles in the revenue department. Stephens said the county was told they have the most restrictive policies for tag renewals in Alabama. Stephens added that changes are coming.
"We are going to change how our customers are treated at he windows. We will have a line for tag renewals. We will have tag for titles," Stephens said.
Commissioner Sandra Little Brown said additional taxes are the answer. Brown went to Montgomery Wednesday to gauge the support for her proposed occupational tax among county lawmakers. Most opposed the idea.
"We are going to advertise another bill for limited home rule. If they won't do what they need to do then give us the leverage to do it cause we got to do something," Brown said.
Still some taxpayers waiting in those lines said they will pay more for better service.
"If it's going to shorten the line and make people happy. You are sitting in line it's tiresome," Bell said.
Stephens said the county wants to improve customer service. The county plans to leave response cards at the windows to see how the county is doing. Jefferson County officials have been visiting other counties picking up tips for reducing wait time. Petelos plans to present his recommendations for additional employees and computer upgrades soon.
County officials continue to encourage residents to renew their car tags online at https://www.jeffcointouch.com/expresstag/.
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