Efficiency, GO-TIME, Innovation, The Blog One of the biggest priorities for Governor Wolf is improving customer service at the front-lines of state government. Through GO-TIME and other initiatives in our agencies, we’re finding places where we can both save taxpayers’ money and deliver much better customer service and reduce the time taxpayers’ wait for services.There are few points where state government interacts with more Pennsylvanians that at ‘the DMV.’ (Note: Pennsylvania technically has DLCs – Driver’s License Centers – but DMV is a common term for the same place)PennDOT and Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards are working diligently to bring DLCs into the 21st Century and make the customer experience the best it can be.Back in December, PennDOT deployed new software to reduce wait times for drivers. And we learned that something as simple as a software upgrade can not only improve the customer experience, but help agencies such as PennDOT operate more efficiently and transparently.Now at many Driver License Centers, PennDOT can monitor wait times around the state in real time and deploy additional resources in response.When people come to PennDOT, they want a quick, no-hassle experience. This new system to monitor wait times was one way we are delivering that kind of quality service.At one of PennDOT’s busiest centers in Malvern, Chester County, not far from here, the new system prompted PennDOT to add an extra camera to its photo license operation and expand hours of operation. As a result, wait times were cut from 90 minutes to less than 30 minutes. At PennDOT’s new DLC in Norristown, we’re taking innovations to the next level. This new center relies on new technology and many other upgrades to deliver better customer service and experience, including:Customer feedback units at every counter station, giving real-time data on our customers’ satisfaction and allowing for intervention at the time of service.Customers can opt for queuing text notifications to their mobile phone, so they have the freedom to run errands nearby or enjoy the outdoor seating area without losing their place in line.Norristown will be the first location that will allow customers to make an appointment for a service at the driver’s license center, and be placed in the queue in advance of their arrival.Additionally, the website will also include average wait times, which will help customers to plan their visits accordingly.These are just a few of the innovations being piloted here. And these innovations are another example of the work my administration is doing to deliver better services in a more efficient way.Whether it is making it easier to register to vote by putting the application online or making it easier to go to the DMV, the Wolf Administration is committed to making a government that works efficiently, effectively and with innovation that the people of Pennsylvania both demand and have come to expect in the private sector. SHARE TWEET By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretary We’re making the DMV faster in PA. Here’s how. August 26, 2016 Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
SHARE Email Facebook Twitter May 09, 2017 Governor Wolf Announces Changes to SEPTA Board Infrastructure, Press Release, Transportation Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf announced that Representative Dwight Evans will be stepping down from his position on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) board effective immediately. The governor has appointed Deputy Chief of Staff Obra S. Kernodle IV to fill the vacant position.“I would like to thank Representative Evans for his extensive work to secure dedicated revenues for mass transit throughout the commonwealth,” said Governor Wolf. “His many years of service has earned him a reputation as an expert in transit matters and his guidance in this capacity will be missed.”In 1991, Representative Evans helped establish the Public Transportation Assistance Fund, Act 26, the first dedicated funding source for mass transit. In 2005, Evans forged the establishment of a Transportation Funding and Reform Commission, an initiative adopted by former Governor Ed Rendell that provided strategies to stabilize transit funding. Most recently, Rep. Evans championed Act 89 of 2013, which provided a comprehensive, statewide funding plan for transportation. In 2016, he played a key role in resolving the weeklong transit strike resulting in a five-year contract for 4,738 transit personnel.Obra S. Kernodle IV will replace Representative Evans as the governor’s appointee on the SEPTA board. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Kernodle is a graduate of Roman Catholic High School. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Education from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in 2002. Most recently, before his appointment as a member of Governor Wolf’s senior staff, Obra was a senior advisor for Governor-elect Tom Wolf’s transition team. Prior to joining the Wolf for Governor Campaign, Obra worked in Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s Administration as Deputy of Legislative Affairs, helping to coordinate the city’s Actual Value Initiative. In 2012, Obra was part of President Obama’s reelection effort as the Pennsylvania Southeast Political Director. Obra currently sits on the boards of Visit Philly and Welcome America.
January 17, 2020 Press Release Governor Tom Wolf today announced that he has completed his review of the Recommendation for the Closure of the State Correctional Institution at Retreat final report and is calling for the full closure of SCI Retreat.“The SCI Retreat closure report was developed through a transparent, inclusive process and provides a thorough, straightforward, facts-based review of the realities surrounding the facility’s financial needs and the effects a closure could have on the staff, inmates, and the community in regard to public safety. These factors indicate to me that closure is the right decision,” Gov. Wolf said. “I understand that a closure is tough on the employees, the community and the inmates and their families. The DOC staff will work to ensure a smooth transition for all involved and I will be in touch with DOC executive staff throughout the closure process.”DOC staff will be on site to help employees with relocation to a DOC facility within a 65-mile radius of SCI Retreat, which is in Hunlock Creek, Luzerne County. There are six DOC facilities within the 65-mile radius.Gov. Wolf pointed to several factors inherent in his decision to order the closure:The DOC continues to experience a significant decrease in the inmate population. In fact, a reduction of 1,900 inmates in fiscal year 2018-19 was the largest one-year decrease in the department’s history – all at a time when crime rates continue to fall.Current projections anticipate a continued decline in the prison population over the next five years while DOC is also faced with the challenge of a projected budget deficit of approximately $140 million for fiscal year 2019-20.All employees will be offered continued employment at another SCI within 65 miles of SCI Retreat.All employees are provided support through the utilization of SEAP, COVER, and POWER.The closure will not affect the safety or security of the staff, inmates, and public.The DOC can continue to prioritize the safety of staff, inmates and the community in addition to remaining a good steward of taxpayer money.“As a result of the significant budget deficit and continued decrease in the inmate population, among other factors, it would be fiscally irresponsible to not close the prison,” Gov. Wolf said.Full annual net savings will not be realized until after a full year of closure. Under Act 133 there is a minimum four-month closure process so SCI retreat will close no earlier than May 17th. After the facility closes, it is expected that the DOC will save approximately $40 million annually.Department of Corrections Executive Deputy Secretary Tabb Bickell, who oversaw the implementation of the closure review process outlined in Act 133, noted that the next step in the process involves negotiations with labor unions. When those are completed, SCI Retreat employees will be given a survey to indicate their first and second relocation choices. Employees will have 60 days to return the survey to department officials. After completed surveys are received, employee relocation will begin and is likely to continue up to the final closure date.Prior to employee relocation, the prison’s inmate population will be gradually relocated to other DOC facilities. Inmate relocation decisions will be based on each inmate’s custody level and treatment and medical needs.The DOC has created a dedicated email account (firstname.lastname@example.org) and a toll-free number (888-316-8950) for staff, inmate families and others seeking additional information.For additional information, including the full closure report here. Gov. Wolf Announces Decision to Close SCI Retreat SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
9 Ferny Ave, Surfers ParadiseSURFERS Paradise is the busiest suburb for auctions across the nation this week, according to CoreLogic.Eleven Surfers Paradise homes are scheduled to go under the hammer, followed by Paradise Point and Port Macquarie with nine auctions each.The high volume of Gold Coast properties going to auction this week is in the wake of last weekend’s huge Ray White Surfers Paradise in-room auction event which saw more than $40 million in residential property change hands. 23 Ferny Ave, Surfers ParadiseThe three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit is in the Chevron Renaissance complex which has one of the best lagoon pools overlooking the ocean.Both properties are part of PRD Nationwide Surfers Paradise’s in-room auction event being held at the Marriott Resort and Spa. 9 Ferny Ave, Surfers ParadiseMore from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor9 hours agoRegister to bid on 9 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise at 11am tomorrow.The three-bedroom, two-bathroom 256sq m Circle on Cavill apartment has ocean, mountain and river views from is huge balcony.Also at the same time of 11am is the auction of 23 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise. 55/53 Darrambal St, Surfers ParadiseWhile at 5pm tomorrow, an eighth floor apartment in the Modena on Chervon development is being auctioned off by Ludovic Mahu from Belle Maison Realty, Mermaid Beach.Also with three bedrooms and two-bathrooms, this pet-friendly apartment is at 55/53 Darrambal St, Surfers Paradise.
The Hampton’s style Fig Tree Pocket estate of tech richlister Bevan Slattery sold for $6m yesterday.QUEENSLAND tech richlister Bevan Slattery has sold his sprawling Brisbane riverfront estate for $6 million, in a deal inked yesterday.Mr Slattery, who made a fortune off the $373m sale of the PIPE Networks business he co-founded to internet provider TPG, had put the property on the market in November. Bevan Slattery, a serial tech entrepreneur, is now founder and chairman of Superloop. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The AustralianThe five bedroom Hamptons-style retreat, which sits on just over 1ha of landscaped grounds, is in one of the most exclusive parts of Fig Tree Pocket – Aminga Street.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor9 hours agoBevan Slattery’s Aminga Street home in Fig Tree Pocket.Real estate agent Jason Adcock of Adcock Prestige, who marketed the estate as “picture perfect”, said it was riverfront residents that were most interested in the sprawling property. Bevan Slattery’s Aminga Street home in Fig Tree Pocket.The estate has 67 metres of river frontage and includes a pool area by the river, a 10m by 3m pontoon, a timber children’s playground and fort plus a floodlit championship tennis court.The home also has a dual-purpose wing with a separate entry which allows it to be used as an office, granny flat or teenage retreat. Real agent Jason Adcock of Adcock Prestige outside Bevan Slattery’s Aminga Street property.“The top end of the market is really kicking into gear with more big sales predicted soon.”The Slatterys had fully renovated the 1950s era home which boasts a massive 550sq m of floor space, with “Hamptons-style interiors featuring dark timber floors, French doors, quality fittings”. Bevan Slattery’s Aminga Street home in Fig Tree Pocket“It was hotly contested with two parties offering, both of whom already live on the river and wanted the park like grounds that the rare property offered,” he told The Courier-Mail. Bevan Slattery’s Aminga Street home in Fig Tree Pocket.Mr Slattery and wife Jodie had bought the property almost seven years ago for $6.3m, with plans to build their dream home on the site. Citing lack of time, they gave up on that dream, instead buying another property in the same area to move into.
The home at 76 Roderick St, Cornubia.FEED the visiting king parrots from the deck of this five-bedroom family home.The house at 76 Roderick St, Cornubia, has multiple indoor and outdoor living spaces, an in-ground swimming pool and a yard full of greenery.Carolyn and Paul Dutton bought the property in 2006 and gave it a revamp in the ensuing years.The couple redid the kitchen, bathrooms and outdoor decks, converted the garage into a fifth bedroom with a walk-in robe, and tidied the jungle of a garden.Dutton said the home had a country feel with timber cathedral ceilings and a fireplace in the lounge room.The pool is a hit in summer.The home has multiple split levels, with storage space under the house and a family room and guest bedroom at the front.More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020Internal stairs lead from the family room to the hub of the home, which includes the modern kitchen, meals area, formal dining room and lounge.The family bathroom and four of the bedrooms are upstairs. The master bedroom has a walk-in robe, ensuite and balcony.Outside there is a covered deck, gazebo and in-ground pool.Curl up near the fire in winter.“We’ve had quite a few barbecues and parties on the back deck overlooking the swimming pool,” Dutton said. “It’s a lovely outdoor area and it is quite private with a lovely bush backdrop.”Dutton said she also loved sitting in the lounge room with the fire on in winter. “We love the house but we don’t need all the space anymore,” she said.“I’m going to miss the daily visit from the king parrots. They come in nearly every day and we feed them. We can have about eight at one time on our handrail.“I’ll also miss our great neighbours.”The home is being marketed by Joanne Johnson of RE/MAX Central Partners for offers over $695,000.
12-14 Brentnall Street, MystertonOwner Richard Fairley, the Townsville Grammar School principal, enjoyed 11 years in the home with his wife and two children.Mr Fairley has announced his retirement and the family now plan to move south.He said his children were upset the house had been put on the market as so many happy memories had been shared there. 12-14 Brentnall Street, MystertonMr Keyes said the property had everything buyers were looking for in a home in Mysterton and he expected it to pull at people’s heartstrings.“Leafy quiet streets with the big block and a grand Queenslander is what people come to Mysterton for,” he said.“There is no doubt character homes are far more emotive than clinical contemporary homes where every second home is a cookie cutter version of the one next door.“These homes really do stir up those emotions.” 12-14 Brentnall Street, MystertonKeyes & Co principal and selling agent Damien Keyes said it was rare to come across a property with so much character.“It’s definitely maintained its character appeal and that hasn’t been compromised,” he said.“The position on the block being on the corner still allows a nice big pool to be added without losing any yard space out the front and down the side.“We’ve had a mix of families looking at it and it caters to both.“It would certainly suit someone looking to come from a larger two-storey property to a property on a low level.” 12-14 Brentnall Street, Mysterton“It’s truly beyond belief to come home to this house every day and walk through the front door when you have such a sense of history and character,” he said.“These homes were built for the climate and the peace and tranquillity that pervades the ambience of the house is just magical.“I love the front veranda and to be able to enjoy a moment of peace and solitude on that veranda and listen to the birds and feel the morning breeze … it’s just an amazing place to have.“As a family we just have so many happy memories of friends visiting and children growing up.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020“Mysterton has to be the best-kept secret in Townsville because it’s such a small suburb. It’s literally just a couple of streets and it’s just such a character suburb.” 12-14 Brentnall Street, MystertonIN GREEN and leafy Mysterton, behind a white picket fence, is 12-14 Brentnall St. The house, it is believed, was only the second to be built in the tightly held suburb, renowned for its Queenslanders and character homes. Now the historic house will go to auction on October 10. 12-14 Brentnall Street, MystertonThe immaculate home is set on a 971sq m corner block and has character features such as tongue and groove panelling, casement windows, timber louvres and high ceilings.Three of the bedrooms are double in size while the spacious master bedroom is surrounded by timber louvres and casements with access to the enclosed veranda.The lawns and gardens can be kept green all year round with a well with pump supplying water. 12-14 Brentnall Street, Mysterton For more information callDamien Keyes on 0418 781 421.
The home at 3 Westbrook St, Woody Point.THIS renovated coastal cottage is on a quiet street within walking distance from the beach in Woody Point. The owners bought the property at 3 Westbrook St two years ago and have transformed it into a light and bright home with timber floorboards and high ceilings.At the front of the home there is a lovely timber deck looking out over the low-maintenance lawn and quiet street.The front door opens to the spacious living area with decent-sized windows letting in natural light. The living area at 3 Westbrook St, Woody Point.Further into the home, there is a modern kitchen with white cabinetry and plenty of space for the dining table. More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019The master and second bedrooms have built-in robes and there is a bathroom with shower, toilet and vanity. At the back of the home, there is a second toilet and a big laundry area with plenty of storage in the built-in cupboards. The kitchen at 3 Westbrook St, Woody Point.Marketing agents Loren Mulholland and Jonathan Gordon said the home was in the perfect space to capture the cool bay breezes.“This immaculate three-bedroom renovated cottage is made for bayside living and is ready for you move straight in,” Ms Mulholland said. “Being on a quiet street in a highly sought after area, you’re sure to feel right at home as soon as you walk in.”The home is close to the beach, Woody Point Park and the Woody Point Jetty. The front deck at 3 Westbrook St, Woody Point.Out the back of the home, there is a paved, covered entertainment area that looks out over the low-maintenance backyard. This is the perfect space for family barbecues and get-togethers in the summer months. The home is north-facing and is on a 455sq m block.
The Gold Coast’s top 10 sales last week: 22 Marine Pde, Kingscliff – $3.2 million18 Anglers Esp, Runaway Bay – $3.11 million26 Petrel Ave, Mermaid Beach – $1.83 million 2903/18 Enderley Av, Surfers Paradise – $1.75 million5705/4 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise – $1.6 million3 Donegal Cr, Bundall – $1.6 million44/47 Broadbeach Bvd, Broadbeach – $1.6 million63 Hillview Pde, Ashmore – $1.6 million15 St Clair Ct, Maudsland – $1.59 million53 Limetree Pde, Runaway Bay – $1.55 million It has views of the ocean from most of the rooms.A Mermaid Beach home at 26 Petrel Ave was third in line, selling for $1.83 million.The CoreLogic data shows the Gold Coast has 681 houses on the market that are listed for more than $1 million and 151 units. Kingscliff’s renowned Greek restaurant, Taverna, with neighbouring classic beach house at 22 Marine Parade was the top sale last week, after fetching $3.2 million.THE top 10 property sales across the Gold Coast last week were all more than $1.5 million, according to latest CoreLogic data.Kingscliff’s renowned Greek restaurant, Taverna, with neighbouring classic beach house set the bar, selling for $3.2 million after more than two months on the market. The beach house has views of the coastline from Fingal to Kingscliff Creek.Marketing agent Nick Witheriff, of LJ Hooker Kingscliff, said a local specialist doctor bought the property at 22 Marine Parade.He said the buyer planned to move into the five bedroom two-storey home, which had sweeping views of the coastline from Fingal to Kingscliff Creek.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa18 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoThey also intended to continue to lease out the building that was occupied by the popular local restaurant.“The good news for locals is that the buyers will look at securing Taverna Restaurant on a long-term lease for its customers to enjoy the fine food and beverages on offer to the area,” he said.A beachfront home at 18 Anglers Esplanade, Runaway Bay, achieved the second highest sale after fetching $3.11 million. The restaurant and beach house sit on a 911sq m block at 22 Marine Pde, Kingscliff. Inside Taverna, which is a popular Greek eatery in Kingscliff. The Mermaid Beach home at 26 Petrel Ave achieved the third highest sale. The Runaway Bay home at 18 Anglers Esplanade was the Coast’s second highest sale.
Jenny Brandon and Steven Webster in Brisbane’s New Farm happily ever after. They were flatmates for six years before they fell in love. Picture: AAP Image/Claudia Baxter.WHEN Steve Webster moved in to a sharehouse with his now girlfriend 10 years ago, he thought he might make a new friend but he didn’t bank on falling in love.The 30-year-old Brisbane real estate flatted with Jenny Brandon for six years before they became an item — sharing rent, dirty dishes, and, eventually, their hearts.“We became best friends and just went through life together,” Steve said.“Her mum passed away at the same time as the breakup so she went through a bad time and that brought us closer together.”GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HEREThe couple continued flatting with other people for another six months before moving out on their own.“In a way, you get to see the worst of each other I guess,” Steve said.“I’m sure anyone who’s had a flatmate would know — you see every part of their life.“If they still like you after all that, you’re doing all right.”If you are looking for love — or just a flatmate — some parts of the state are more sought-after than others.Flatmates.com.au has revealed the most popular share accommodation suburbs in Queensland, and it seems it does pay to live beside the seaside.Broadbeach on the Gold Coast has topped the list of most in-demand suburbs to find a flatmate, with an average of 61 people looking at each property listed on Flatmates.com.au in the first three months of this yearBroadbeach is the most popular suburb for share accommodation in Queensland, according to Flatmates.com.au.It was also the third most sought-after suburb in the country when it comes to share accommodation, and has a median share room price of $239 a week.The data is based on the number of people who said they were looking in a particular suburb in the first quarter of 2018, versus the number of properties that were listed.Mount Gravatt, located next to Griffith University’s Nathan campus in Brisbane’s south, ranked second with 48 people looking for each room.PROPERTY INVESTORS BACK, BUT BABY STEPSIT’S TIME YOUR KIDS STARTING PAYING RENTHISTORIC BRISBANE HOME UP FOR GRABSThe beach suburbs of Main Beach, Currumbin and Caloundra rounded out the top five, while Miami and Burleigh Heads were also popular.Flatmates.com.au executive manager Simon Hope suggested those struggling to find a room in one of the most popular suburbs should consider looking to neighbouring suburbs that offered a similar lifestyle and amenities, but with less competition.“As an example, Broadbeach saw 61 people looking per property while just next-door Broadbeach Waters had a demand of just eight looking per property.”When it comes to falling in love with a flatmate, Steve and Jenny are not alone.Justine Morgan, 27, met her boyfriend at university and moved in to a sharehouse in St Lucia with him and two other flatmates..Brisbane couple Justine Morgan and Dean Jones fell in love while they were flatting together. Picture supplied.They started out as just friends — even setting each other up with mutual friends — until one day Justine realised she had developed stronger feelings towards Dean.“I said to my friends; ‘I have a crush on my flatmate’ and they said; ‘Don’t do anything! You’ll ruin the friendship’.Four years on, Justine is happy she didn’t take their advice.The couple still share a house with other flatmates but their relationship is very different.Relationship psychologist Philipa Thornton said a romance born from a flatmate friendship could lead to a successful life partnership.“It is a fabulous basis because domestically you’re going to have an idea of what they are like pretty quickly,” she said.“Proximity makes the heart grow fonder and that can be a really lovely foundation for a relationship to form from a friendship base.”More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours agoRelationship psychologist Philipa Thornton.Ms Thornton said with a more traditional dating relationship someone’s true colours could remain hidden for quite some time, but a flatmate romance fast-tracked what was normally a slower process.“The honeymoon phase could be over quicker when you’re living with someone 24/7,” she said.QLD’S MOST POPULAR SHARE ACCOMMODATION SUBURBS1. Broadbeach2. Mount Gravatt3. Main Beach4. Currumbin5. Caloundra6. Dutton Park7. Miami8. Burleigh Heads9. West End10. South Brisbane11. Carindale12. Mermaid Beach13. Alexandra Headland14. Milton15. Mooloolaba16. Noosa Heads17. Helensvale18. Newstead19. Townsville20. Toowong(Source: flatmates.com.au)