JeffCo wants to know how it's doing - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

JeffCo wants to know how it's doing

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Jefferson County will soon ask its residents- how are we doing? Leaders aren't expecting glowing reviews or even good ones. They just hope to gather some good ideas about shortening the tag line and maybe even inspire employees to work a little harder.

If drivers were to grade the county on car tag renewals, most said it would be an "F." It all came down to the wait time.

"I drove past the Bessemer courthouse. The line was around the building. They said it was four and a half hours [wait time], so I came here and have been here two and a half hours," said Jeannine Burton who was waiting to renew a car tag at the courthouse in Birmingham.

"I went to the Center Point location several times. Friday at the Bessemer location, we stood outside for three hours just to find out there was a two hour wait inside," said Celia Williams, another driver.

At the midway point Monday, most drivers said they'd already been in line for up to three hours. Many of them had to leave jobs. Others had small children with them.

"I'm pregnant. I don't need to be in these lines waiting because a lot of places don't even have seats like these," said Williams.

The long lines were originally triggered by layoffs then new immigration law requirements. Now, it's new insurance verification under another state law.

"Would we like to staff every counter? Yes. But financially we are not able to do it," said Jefferson County county manager Tony Petelos.

A federal hiring order also stands in the way, so the county is using an old business practice- comment cards.

"It makes the employees realize the comment cards are out there and they need to treat the customers with all do respect," said Petelos.

The cards won't be available for a few more weeks. But if they were, what would drivers in line Monday say?

"There would not be enough space on that card," said one driver.

"They need to pay more workers. It's just not enough workers to get everybody out of here. It makes no sense," said Vonquetta Williams, a driver.

The layout of the cards and details about how they will get back to the county are still being worked out. But the county manager's office will handle the process, including the review of the comments.

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