Saturday, February 21, 2009

Criminal idiocy

The State of New York recently spent $500,000 of their peasants' hard-earned tax money, confiscated from them on pain of imprisonment, on a boat that was to be used for transporting people between Manhattan and Governors Island. They really got a heck of a deal, too:

"'We were the winning bidder,' said Jon Meyers, director of real estate for the Governors Island Preservation & Education Corp. He added that the state got the boat for $250,000 less than the asking price from the Martha's Vineyard and Woods Hole Steamship Authority"

Wow, what a great score for the taxpayer, right? Used boat instead of a new one, recycling and reusing, and all of that. There's only one small thing standing in the way of the happy ending, however - and you have to know what's coming, right? - the doofuses at the "Governors Island Preservation & "Education" Corp." didn't bother to inspect the boat before they bid on it, and when it was delivered the bureaucrats found that they had spent all of that money (that isn't really theirs, so who cares, right?) on a junk boat that would require at least six million dollars in repairs to make seaworthy.

The agency has now given up on their prize, and the boat has been listed on eBay in a no-reserve auction. Top bid at the time of this writing? $23,112, probably mostly in scrap metal value. The state even helpfully includes a document that details all of the many repairs that would have to be made to bring the boat up to functioning status, prepared by an inspection company named Seaworthy Systems, Inc. The obvious question begs - why didn't they hire that outfit to go look at the boat in the first place, before they bought it themselves?

Of course, Mr. "Genius" Meyers insists that he and his organization haven't done anything wrong whatsoever:

"Meyers insists he does not suffer from buyer's remorse. 'We had three weeks. ... We had a limited amount of time to inspect it,' he said by way of explanation."

And it surely isn't a very good one. Judging from the condition of the boat as determined by Seaworthy, it sure sounds like one look at the derelict would have been enough to clue in even a non-mariner that this "great deal" was for a hunk of junk that was lucky to still be floating.

Here's a bonus laugh - the state's eBay auction page clearly states that


They should've paid attention to their own advice.

The article doesn't relate whether Mr. Meyers is still employed by the state, so we must sadly assume that he's still running his department, and as efficiently as ever. If you had cost your employer a net loss of $476,888 because of your complete incompetence, would you still have a job?

We didn't think so.

Congratulations really must be extended to Woods Hole, though, for not only unloading their very large paperweight on those sucker New Yorkers, but for actually making them think that they were putting one over on those chucklehead New Englanders by getting the darned thing for 1/3 off!

That kind of grifting takes real skill.

UPDATE: While further perusing the auction page, we found that Mr. Meyers has helpfully included his official phone number. New Yorkers (and others, perhaps from Nigeria) who wish to question him about his excellent purchasing skills or who wish to offer him another "amazing, can't miss" deal can contact him directly at 212-440-2215.

We're here to help in any way we can.

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