Kim Bonner: Appreciate the DMV
July 15, 2015
The Routt County Motor Vehicle Department's server crashed some time during the night of July 8 and was down all day July 9 while the Department of Revenue did diagnostic testing from Denver to determine the nature and extent of the problem. Once they determined that a new server needed to be installed, a technician drove up from Denver with the server and spent much of the night installing and uploading all of the state's motor vehicle files.
While most of the customers who came in the office July 9 were extremely understanding, there were two people who used the inconvenience as an excuse to vent their frustration with government in particular. One person ranted in the hallway for all to hear and then proceeded to write a nasty message on the sign we had on the back door to the courthouse. Another chose to write to both the director of the Department of Revenue and one of the county commissioners saying that he found it unacceptable for the DMV office to shut down because of a "cockamamie" excuse that the computers were down. He suggested that it would be smart for every county department to have a backup plan so the department can remain functioning during those episodes. What about the computer failures that took down United Airlines, Wall Street Journal's website and halted the New York Stock Exchange last week? Should they have a backup plan as well?
If the DOR were to supply a back-up server to all 64 counties, no doubt it would be at the cost of the taxpayers. We are still receiving complaints daily from people having to pay the increased license fees that go to maintaining Colorado highways, as well as the late fee the state imposed several years ago. Hand calculating the fees would be possible, but it wouldn't be an efficient solution as the potential for errors would increase, and all the information would still have to be entered into the system once it was back up. In addition, stolen vehicles are tracked in the database, and law enforcement also uses it when making traffic stops. All this to accommodate the "episodes" that rarely occur?
The Motor Vehicle Department is one of the busiest departments in the county with days on end of back-to-back customers. It's disheartening to hear people lash out at the pleasant and efficient staff that mans the DMV, especially when it's something they have no control over. To those of you who came in that day and were understanding, we thank you.
Routt County clerk and recorder