Waiting is the hardest part – Sen. Garlan Gudger, Cullman County Commission make case for additional manpower at Cullman Driver License Examiners Office

Pictured left to right are Cullman resident Kitty Warren, Cullman County Commissioner Kerry Watson, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Driver License Division Chief Capt. Jonathan Archer, License Manager Dorita Kelly, State Driver License Official Holly Cook, ALEA Governmental Affairs Director Chris Reader, Commissioner Garry Marchman and Alabama Senator Garlan Gudger. (contributed by Garlan Gudger)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The dread that fills the hearts of most residents as they trudge down the stairwell to the Driver License Examiners Office in the Cullman County Courthouse basement is well known. Most people have stories of the often hours spent in line waiting their turn for assistance from one of the only two full-time staff members. While the employees perform their duties professionally and as efficiently as possible, it is clear they need help. 

On Thursday, local officials representing concerned citizens of Cullman introduced Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Driver License Division representatives to the melee and tedium that is the basement waiting room. Cullman County Commissioners Kerry Watson and Garry Marchman and Alabama Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman, gave ALEA officials a tour after an arduous many months of work to get them there.  

As they say, seeing is believing. 

Watson said, “We’re trying to get the office improved for the people of Cullman County. The commission is working hard with Senator Gudger, and I do believe we presented a good case to ALEA for our need.” 

Gudger has been working diligently for months at the state level, petitioning for much needed assistance in Cullman in the driver license office, and, with the help of Alabama Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Fairview, hosted the officials with concerned Cullman resident Kitty Warren by his side. 

Gudger was optimistic about the information provided to the state driver license officials and said he feels the presentation was well received. 

“Giving the guys the information about Cullman being in the top five fasted growing counties in the state was beneficial,” he said. “They were able to pull up our census and see that the city population has grown by almost 25% and the county has grown by almost 10% since our last census data.  

“Our local driver license office, with only two full-time employees, doesn’t have the capacity to serve our growing population, and I think they saw that. I am pleased with how the meeting went and am very hopeful for the outcome.” 

While no firm decisions have been made by ALEA, an announcement is expected in the coming months, and, by all accounts, local officials are expecting a positive result.  

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