Governor Sarah Palin isn’t the only government official to try to sell state property on eBay—although unlike Palin, the city has actually succeded.
In 2007, the city-state agency charged with developing Governors Island, the 172-acre former Coast Guard base off of Lower Manhattan, bought a Martha’s Vineyard ferry for $500,000 to help open the island to visitors.
This morning, the vessel was sold by the agency on eBay. The winning bid: $23,600.
The auction closes a less-than-glorious chapter for the agency, the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation, which is also facing major budget constraints (i.e. the state budget proposal doesn’t provide any money at all for GIPEC). When officials first bought the boat from the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority, supporters of the island seemed rather pleased with the purchase, which would double its fleet size and allow for far more traffic (there’s a smaller ferry that runs from Lower Manhattan to the island).