New Jersey MVC, damn right it’s on you! (Opinion)
As if we weren't aggravated enough in New Jersey dealing with a pandemic, protests, endless state of emergency and having to wear friggin' masks, then we get the reopening of the MVC. The reopening meant lines so long, people were paying people to camp out in them. Only in New Jersey would you think to bring beach chairs and a barbecue to a Motor Vehicle Commission line.
So what happened? According to MVC Chief Administrator Sue Felton, who says she's been working nonstop from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on improvements, there are reasons why some of the suggestions given by lawmakers don't make sense. I have some questions regarding those reasons.
First off, from the article on our website by David Matthau, Felton "noted the MVC could not and cannot stay open seven days a week for 12 hours a day because 'the state is in a financial crisis.'"
I get that, but knowing that you're going to be taking in all that money from people in lines, why couldn't they just borrow against what was coming in? Gov. Phil Murphy, whether we like it or not, just agreed to borrow $10 billion. It's not like he's against borrowing. In this case, you know that the money will start rolling in as soon as you open. Which brings us to adding people.
"We have no opportunity to hire more people or pay for more hours — that simply isn’t a possibility," Felton said Friday in an interview with New Jersey 101.5, according to Matthau's article. She said even if the funds were available, "it would require training people, which takes a period of time. It’s not possible, it’s not feasible."
Wouldn't it have been feasible to hire and train new people and deem them "essential" during the shutdown? This way, not only would the MVC have been providing jobs in a time of need, but it would have been so much better prepared for when the reopening came. If Murphy can make NFL players essential, surely he can do the same for MVC workers. This should never have happened!
As for what happened opening day, Fulton said, “Our people were very prepared, our systems were ready, security and managers were ready to turn people away, but I didn’t anticipate the level of anxiety that have built up over these last three months. That’s on me.”
I don't believe it's totally on Fulton but I do believe it's on the entire MVC, which should have been so much better prepared for this.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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