Let's be clear that this bridge failure is a very serious matter, and it's a very serious issue for residents and visitors of NC's Outer Banks.
Yet the NC GOP response to the discovery that the bridge is unsafe for travel is curious. They blamed the SELC, who has a long-running lawsuit against the state regarding a planned replacement bridge. They blamed the SELC loudly, immediately, and in perfect harmony with one another. Transportation Secretary Tony Tata took the lead, showing his Fox News commentator skills:
"Women drivers, rain and Obama care" were causing problems on the beltline Wednesday afternoon, according to a traffic alert from the North Carolina Department of Transportation. "Stay home," the alert advised.
"The individual violated procedures by failing to turn off the external feed while testing and for the inappropriate test message content. The contractor was let go immediately for this action," DOT officials said in a statement.
It was a stupid mistake, but what's even more stupid is the idea of making emergency messages like this automated in the first place. Road conditions change continually, and an incorrect message can cause more problems (and danger) than no message at all. A labor-saving system isn't "efficient" if it can't do the job properly.
Submitted by Martha Brock on Sun, 09/22/2013 - 11:41am
I am trying to figure out the Raleigh News and Observer stories in the Sunday edition. The first one I read was by Rob Christensen as he compares two members of Gov. McCrory's cabinet: Tony Tata of Transportation and Aldona Wos of Health and Human Services.
The second was a front page and very long story titled "Wos stirs things up at DHHS." If you find the headline confusing, just try reading the story by Lynn Bonner and Craig Jarvis.
This is the take on their N&O story from Progress NC as shared by Bob Geary:
Randy H. Dishong was hired Monday as chief enforcer of the state’s car inspection and registration laws. The next day, he had to take care of an inspection and registration problem with his own car. DOT and DMV officials did not respond to requests for comment about Dishong’s fitness to oversee state enforcement of car registration laws. Beaty said the agency would not provide details about his car, including how long ago the registration had expired.
Again, vetting. I'm sure many Republicans will look at this and say, "No big deal." And in doing so, they will fail to grasp the larger point: how can you expect performance and efficiencies from an administration that keeps making such poor selections for leadership posts?
Gov.-elect Pat McCrory nominated Tony Tata as his transportation secretary Thursday but didn't know how to say his name. At the press conference, McCrory repeatedly pronounced it "TATT-ah" with a short-A syllable. Tata didn't flinch and didn't mention the mistake when he took the podium.
That's okay, Tony. McCrory truly has no idea who you are, and you were probably just as confused about him as well. Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory had nothing to do with choosing you for the job. Governor Pope should have made the introduction.
I know I'm breaking my own rule by linking to the N&O, but some stories just have to be told.
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