By Tim Hunt
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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add... (More)
About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in addition to writing editorials for more than 15 years. I have served as a director of many non-profits in the Valley and the broader Bay Area and currently serve as chair of Teen Esteem and on the advisory board of Shepherd?s Gate. I also served as founding chair of Heart for Africa and have travelled to Africa seven times to serve on mission trips. My wife, Betty Gail, has taught at Amador Valley High (from where we both graduated) since 1981. She and I both graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, as did both of my parents and my three siblings. Given that Cal tradition, our daughter went south to the University of Southern California and graduated with a degree in international relations. Since graduation, she has taken three mission trips and will be serving in the Philippines for nine months starting in September. (Hide)
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As a frequent critic of government, I must confess I had a remarkable experience at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles in Pleasanton last week.
After being auto-renewed for my driver's license for the last few times, the department required me to show up when the renewal notice was sent.
I went online and reserved an appointment for last FridayI did so about two weeks ago.
Arriving a few minutes early, I discovered a jammed parking lot and a line that stretched outside the door on one side.
Slipping between people in the long line, I discovered there was just one person waiting in the "appointments" line. The employee finished up with that person and quickly determined that I had an appointment and provided me with a number.
A couple of minutes laterI didn't even have a chance to open my bookmy number was called. The woman handling the renewal (eye test, updates on address, etc.) was very pleasant with lots of "thank yous" and a ready smile. If they had an award for quality service, she would have won it.
Then it was over to the photo booth, another electronic thumbprint and snap shot and done.
I was back in the car just 13 minutes after I received my numberI was quite surprised. Particularly so when I could overhear those without appointments talking on their cell phones about two hour or longer waits.
It is wonderful when an experience with a governmental agencyparticularly one that used to be the definition of slow and of questionable competenceso greatly exceeds expectations.
Incidentally, some of the credit for that goes to Sunne McPeak who oversaw the DMV when she was a cabinet member for Gov. Schwarzenegger.