The delightful Ada Brown, who is the Dallas board member on the Public Safety Commission, invited me to lunch after I ran this post on the incompetence and mismanagement of its DMV. We had a wonderful chat because she is a wonderful person. Unfortunately, I came away with the impression that the Commission members have no idea what is going on under their noses.
For example, Ms. Brown had no idea that Governor Mitch Daniels had reduced average wait times at the Indiana DMV to 6 minutes and 20 seconds. She had no idea what the wait times at Texas DMV locations is. She asked me for a list of other states where DMVs had improved performance. I replied that if Director Steve McCaw had not provided the Commission with a best practices survey and benchmarks for measuring the Texas DMV against them, he should be fired. She told me she hoped the new Garland Super Center would relieve wait times in Dallas. I asked her on what evidence her hopes were based. She replied that the DPS had done a study. If the DPS had done a study, I asked, why didn’t she know the average wait times. She replied that they had reported the average wait times to get to the information desk, but not how long it took after that to be served. I raised my eyebrows.
This is not rocket science. The problem has already been solved. All the Commission has to do is adapt the solutions to Texas. What makes this so hard?
I’ll tell you what makes this so hard. Steve McCay, the director foisted on the Commission by Rick Perry, is a lifetime law enforcement careerist. He likes chasing bad guys. He doesn’t know anything about bad systems or how to fix them. The Commission itself is at fault. As far as I can tell, its members are nothing more than wallpaper decorating the director’s office.