MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thankfully, my automobile tags don’t expire until August. And I certainly hope that the hot mess at the Shelby County Clerk’s office over lengthy delays in sending out tags is resolved by then.
Even if you have been paying close attention to this dispute, you are probably still confused. What we know is that thousands of county residents have been forced to wait in long line for hours to get their new tags. And many of those who renewed long ago by mail or online, are still waiting for the tags to be sent by mail.
Amid all the problems, County Clerk Wanda Halbert has been defensive about it all – mostly blaming county Mayor Lee Harris for the delays because the administration is in charge of the actual mailing. Halbert is also at odds with members of the county commission, which earlier approved $540,000 in funding to cover the cost of mailing tags through the U.S. Postal Service. That was a decision Halbert said was not needed.
Yet people are still waiting for their new tags. The controversy came to another head earlier this week when Halbert appeared before the commission, and heated criticism was exchanged between Halbert and commissioner Mark Billingsley.
At this point, frustrated county residents don’t care who’s to blame. They just want their tags. And my time is coming. One thing is certain. This is not a model of government efficiency.