Late Tuesday afternoon, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture made a stunning announcement. Only ONE company had bid to operate the rides and manage the midway for the 2006 NC State Fair. ONE! And it's bid, "was too low." The bid will be thrown out and the process begun anew.
Some of the prior bidders and operators have complained the rules and regulations of North Carolina, while well intentioned, are simply too strict. Commissioner Steve Troxler took pride last year when talking of the state's "zero tolerance policy" even if it meant the fair rides opening late -- safe, but late.
Has the state overreacted in the post-Meg Scott Phipps era? Are we more concerned with perception than reality? Has the pendulum swung a bit too far in one direction and led to an over-reaction?
One POSSIBLE alternative for the ag department, as stated by the commissioner, is to let the department employees manage the rides.
What do you think?