Wednesday, 13 November 2019

In praise of public servants - three cheers for Sarasota County

Terrace Building, Sarasota.

In an off the cuff conversation last Friday some friends reminded me that I should always have my driving licence, insurance certificate, and registration certificate readily available should I be pulled over by the Police or Sheriffs whilst driving.

It could happen to me, not on account of my driving, but on suspicion of being an old coot.

I always have my driving licence and insurance card on hand, but what about the registration document?

Back home I discovered that I had filed it so well that I had lost it.

So off I went to the Sarasota County Collector of Taxes office (at the Terrace Building) bright eyed and hopeful soon after they opened on Tuesday  (Monday having been a holiday).

The office has a parking lot which accommodates (maybe) sixty vehicles.  All well and good except that I was not the only Sarasotan who wanted to conduct business that day.

I circled the lot four times but could not find a vacant parking place.

So I did what any wise person might do -  I delayed my attempt at parking - in my case  by driving the approximate mile to Battlefront Park and sashayed around the park with my elegant dog.

Forty five minutes later I was back at the Terrace building.  The parking lot was still full, but I spotted a parking place on a side street.

Then came the hard part.  I had to park between two other cars,

My car may be a Forte, but parallel parking  is not. (attempt at a poor joke).

In many places throughout the U.S.A. a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles has the same level of joy as would having a root canal and an appendectomy at the same time -  without anesthesia.

'Tis not so in Sarasota County.  I was greeted by a welcoming receptionist, and then served by a friendly clerk.  I was in and out of the office in eight minutes flat, and had a duplicate certificate of registration for the princely sum of $3.

YES INDEED   In praise of public servants in Sarasota County.

In the interests of transparency you should know that the Collector of Taxes, Barbara Ford-Coates, is a friend and a member of St. Boniface Church.

I once thanked her for the great service her office offers.  She replied  "Michael, it's not rocket science.  You recruit good people, you train them well, and then you tell them to go and have fun!

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