Registry Closings and Politics

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has announced 11 office closings as part of the recently passed budget, which will bring longer wait times across the state for customers. The registry has advocated more customer utilization of its website to perform routine tasks, and that should be encouraged in any case. But it is ludicrous for the State to think that they have a right to force people to wait longer for tasks that cannot be completed online. And additional wait time seems to be in the cards. From the Globe:

The registry currently has 34 branch offices; the 11 offices that are closing serve 1.2 million people, or 24 percent of the agency’s customers.

We will have to wait and see what the result is, but it does not look promising. I am struck by some of the commentary out there that seems to think that making folks wait longer during registry visits or leaving them hung up in traffic for hours at state run toll booths during holiday weekends is a winning strategy for a Governor. I guess the thought is that the Governor can point to failure, but say that if only we had increased your taxes more than we already have these things would not have happened. Hmmmm. I am not sure about the rest of the Commonwealth but that is not likely a winning strategy in the Merrimack Valley. The campaign slogan “The customer is always wrong” is not likely to resonate. A link to Jon Keller’s piece on the Registry closings is below.

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8 Responses to Registry Closings and Politics

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    Some expressions come to mind. The same way as when Sara Palin titillates your bones.

    Tax and spend.
    Democrats can manage the economy better
    If only some of my friend……

    With the beacon hill crowd the folks always take it on the chin. The Merrimack Valley
    has one more Democratic hit coming, the 25% sales tax increase.

    You might want to considering join Treasure Cahill’s new party.

    However, with a little luck the RMV in Lawrence will stay open. Lot’s of room for long lines.

    As far as the “But it is ludicrous for the State to think that they have a right to force people to wait longer for tasks that cannot be completed online.”

    In this day of that Autocrat Obama, we end up doing what we are told. Even justice has been a casualty.

    Welcome to our brave new world.



  2. Fred Mertz says:

    Mr. Mayor:

    I understand your dismay, but in this case, I think I agree with the closings. All along, we’ve said to our representatives, and at least on the national stage, they’ve accommodated us, that we want the best of everything, but we don’t want to pay for it. But we’ve come to the TANSTAAFL point: there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

    It appears to me, and sad as it is, the only way for the state to put the fiscal house in order is to reduce services to match revenues, and that likely includes layoffs (with the consequent savings in medical and pensions). If that means we have to wait longer in line, so be it. We’ve asked them to cut waste and redundancy, and they’ve responded. At the very end of your clip, they mentioned that 5 offices will reopen in space already owned by the state, saving the lease costs.

    Maybe we can take that time in line to think about the people and their families who are no longer gainfully employed in this worst downturn since the Great One.

    How much business does any one person do at the RMV these days anyway?

    Republicans should be cheering: this is the era of smaller government they’ve been driving us all to.



  3. Bill Manzi says:


    I realize that there is a lot of common business sense in the closings. From what I understand the closings affect the locations where rent deals no longer made sense because of cost. They want them in state owned buildings where they do not have to pay rent. That is hard to argue with. I also agree that more transactions need to be driven online, and the registry has done a good job with that, and they want to drive that number higher. They should make sure that their own rules allow all or most transactions to be done online. They would not allow me to renew my license two times in a row online. That should change. As long as they make it possible to transact most if not all of your business online I have more empathy.

    I guess my political point still stands though. I think that some of the blogs that tend to be supportive of the Governor have been dismissive of the potential for longer waits. Can’t blame the Governor for blog postings, but like the toll fiasco it is not politically advisable to blame the customer. On that day the toll gates should have been opened until traffic subsided, because the government does not have a right to hold you in traffic for hours due to incompetence. The Administration shifted message on that quickly, but the damage was done. An administrative decision with solid rationale can still be twisted by the opposition if the response to potential complaints is “tough”.



  4. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,
    Is there no limit to the how far you friends will stoop to kick back at the citizens.

    After Rachel Kaprielian’s RMV in-your-face policy changes, and now for the sake of 4 million dollars, the zoos will be shuttered and all animals not taken elsewhere will be euthanized (murdered. This according to John Lineham who mmanages the zoo system around Boston. So now that the RMV takes it to the adults, the budget authorities will now rob the kids of the culture and education a zoo system offers.

    Check out the Herald feature today. You ought to cut that article out and hang it up with your other Profiles In Courage recipients.

    Am I to understand we cannot fire 60 or so hacks to save that money?

    Now for the piece du resistance. According to Cyndi Roy, a Patric Administration spokeswoman, who said, “This is an example of an unfortunate cut that had to be made in order to preserve CORE services for families struggling during the economic downturn…..”.

    She is saying the the entire budget of some 28 billion or so is devoted to welfare and charity? Do you defend that logic?



  5. jgodsey says:

    oh that’s just freaking great. we get to have a taste of what a grown up functional DMV is like and now we are going back to russian bread lines again. what a waste of tax money. these guys should be ashamed of themselves.
    they always look to cut services to the people ON the street or the mentally disabled before they look ANYWHERE else for cost cutting. it’s despicable.


  6. Jules Gordon says:

    The recession of the 1970’s saw unemployment exceed 12%.

    Keep in mind, this is a full court Democratic game. No Republicans playing (at state level).

    You are right, I am smiling.



  7. Jules Gordon says:


    Correction. Unemployment hit double digits in early 1980’s.



  8. Fred Mertz says:


    Where are you getting your unemployment numbers from?

    This one is going to be harsh, and I expect rates to climb a bit more before steadying. Krugman this morning I think has it right: another jobless recovery on the way. Tip a hockey stick about 15% up from parallel, that’s what it’s gonna look like.

    But that’s due to the fact that the corporations have moved both the bad jobs and the good jobs offshore, and successive Republican administrations have cheered the invisible hand and given them tax breaks to do it. I’m not sure that the Democrats have a solution to this problem yet. But you sure can’t expect Republicans to fix what they broke, since they don’t see it as broke (until they are, of course).



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