By Michael Howell
Memory can play tricks on you at times and exaggerate things, but I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that going to renew your license plate at the county tax office prior to the current renovations was some sort of gloomy, medieval experience. Long lines of people up against one wall in a dark hallway waiting for their turn to go through the doors and up to one of the windows that would serve auto registrations.
Now, wow! No waiting in a dark hallway. There is plenty of room for public traffic to fan out and approach the many customer service windows, any one of which can serve their needs whether it has to do with automobiles or property taxes; every window provides full service.
On the other side of the counter things have improved enormously as well. Each work station has a computer and the clerk can work standing or sitting interchangeably. The multi-level floor in the work area was eliminated, but some desks, cabinets and other things were re-cycled and used in the re-construction process.
Ravalli County Treasurer Dan Whitesitt is proud of what he was able to accomplish with the funds that were available. Some of the other changes made also improve the workplace environment and facilitate better service. By placing a large window in his office, Whitesitt said, he can keep an eye on things in the front room and go out and help if things get congested or see if he might be needed in some way. The window works both ways and the office staff get to see what the boss is doing. If his work is not being done, everyone will be able to see that, too.