A bit of background: During a recent festival at the North Carolina coast, the State’s Ports Authority made a ferry available to host a party for some bigwigs. Using this ferry thusly cost the taxpayers around $4,000, plus inconvenienced travelers who were forced to wait in long lines because the ferry was unavailable.

With me so far? Good, because I’m going to lose you:
Gov. Mike Easley demanded Monday that the state’s Ports Authority repay nearly $4,000 of taxpayer money used to make a state ferry available for an invitation-only boat party during a sailing festival.

Now, realizing that the Ports Authority is funded through things such as ferry fees, I have to wonder just exactly how are they going to accomplish this–pass the hat among the ferry travelers they inconvenienced? Take money from the maintenance budget, so that they can suffer an equipment breakdown and win even more friends?

It gets even funnier when you consider that the agency that authorized the expense, and the agency that the governor wants reimbursed, the Department of Transportation, is the Ports Authority’s parent agency. (One has to wonder if the Ports Authority’s first defense was “But Mom/Dad said I could!”)

It’s a great thing that our governor wants to get the taxpayer’s money back, but he really should be looking at a system that allowed this to happen in the first place. It seems to me that the system could be considered broken and in need of repair.

Yet another example of the disconnect between our government and reality.

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