A DMV disconnect

It’s good news for local residents that the Department of Motor Vehicles has decided to reopen its branch on West Glenoaks Boulevard. That will save us all from driving to other areas of Los Angeles County to take care of DMV business. But the experience should leave us all with a sense of caution.

State officials closed the branch in November even as they completed a $900,000 renovation of the Glenoaks building, citing the need to absorb funding cuts from Sacramento. But in case the ongoing budget mess has escaped your radar, funding for state agencies is far from settled as the legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown battle over how to plug a $26 billion deficit in the state’s budget.

So what’s changed since last year that DMV officials say, now, that they can reopen the branch? An agency rep said they were able to readjust their staffing to make it happen. But even he acknowledged that when it comes to the budget outlook — and how that might again impact staffing abilities — “We just can’t predict the future.”

Which begs the question, who’s talking to whom over there? Clearly, there’s disconnect between what can be funded and what’s available, so it’s time for state agencies to get more intimate. If the budget resolution comes with another round of funding cuts and the DMV has to “readjust staffing” again, what then?

We’d hate to be on the receiving end of Round 2 of public outcry.

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