One of the many good things about summer in New York is that the state Legislature isn’t in session to waste any more of the taxpayers’ money.
But when it comes to New York state government and wasting money, where there’s a will, they’ll always find a way.
One example of that is happening just outside New York City near the approaches to the old Tappan Zee bridge.
As part of the effort to replace the old span, Gov. Andrew Cuomo convinced the Legislature to rename the bridge after his father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo. Among other things, the change required the state to install dozens of new traffic signs leading up to the bridge to reflect its new name.
Here’s where the “wasting taxpayer money” part comes in.
Somehow, many of the signs that were erected referred to the bridge as the “Gov. Mario Cuomo Bridge” instead of the official name of the “Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.”
See? The new signs are missing the former governor’s middle initial.
Was it an oversight? Sure. Was it a fatal one? Hardly. The span still clearly honors the current governor’s father, regardless of the missing “M.”
Yet the state Department of Transportation and the state Thruway Authority, as we speak, are right now in the process of amending or replacing all the signs in order to add the middle initial.
In some cases, they plan to replace entire signs. In others, they’re going to make new name plates and install them over the old name, both using in-house staff.
Officials won’t say who’s responsible for the original error. They won’t say how many signs will have to be replaced or updated.
And most important of all, they wouldn’t tell reporters how much this whole fiasco is going to cost taxpayers.
So here’s what we’ve got: The governor unnecessarily gets the bridge renamed with his own family name. Then the state uses taxpayer money to create all new road signs, which somehow then get printed with a missing middle initial.
Then the state decides the error is so egregious that it must now use even more taxpayer money to replace or amend the signs to fix an error that in no way confuses motorists about which bridge they’re about to cross.
Dollar-wise, this one incident might not amount to very much. But it’s reflective of a pattern of wasteful spending that keeps repeating itself in this state.
If you thought summer would give you a break from this kind of nonsense, you clearly haven’t been paying attention.
This is New York.
Taxpayers never get a break.