the weekend. The fire was apparently caused by outdated electrical equipment. The initial damage estimates are at half a million dollars and that doesn't include the more than one thousand county employees that might be off all week due to the damage done by the fire.
It is now being reported that Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele was aware of the dangerous situation caused by the old equipment, by having it located near flammable materials and needing protection from water dripping on it:
The report by consultant CBRE — issued in February — called for replacing old components and other improvements in the electrical system.The article also reminds us that Abele touted the report, which he had delayed even happening, in his 2013 State of the County address.
The courthouse power system is 47 years old and "approaching or beyond its life expectancy," according to the report by CBRE, a real estate services firm.
Aging electrical components should be replaced, the report said.
In addition to shortcomings with the courthouse electrical, plumbing and heating systems, the building also has no sprinkler system, the CBRE report says.
It also pointed out that the power substation in the courthouse basement is next to a paint shop and hazardous paint fumes. The report called for ventilation or separation of the two areas.
Saturday's courthouse fire did not engulf the paint shop, said Don Tyler, the county's director of administrative services.
The CBRE report also recommended replacement of branch power panels, which are as old as the building. The courthouse was completed in 1932.
The report also noted that steam piping routed above the courthouse electrical substation should have a drain pan installed to protect the substation.
To make the situation even more egregious, Abele refused to take responsibility for his delay of the report or for his willful failure to address the issue in a timely fashion:
Abele deflected criticism from supervisors over deferred maintenance, as well as his role in delaying issuing a contract for an inspection report that ultimately noted deficiencies in the courthouse's aging electrical system.Y'know, I think Abele just became more of a hypocrite than his mentor, Scott Walker, with that statement.
Abele said he preferred to focus on fixing the problem rather than pointing the finger of blame.
If Abele had been actually doing his job like he was supposed to, this costly mess could have been avoided. But instead of being a responsible adult, Abele spent an excessive amount of time and energy pointing the finger of blame at the County Board and working on his overreaching and maleficent power grab.
Instead of serving the people as he was elected to do, Abele followed his whims and chose to serve himself - and his plutocratic pals in the Greater Milwaukee Committee.
If Abele is really serious about fixing the problem, he will tender his resignation with all due haste.
We already had eight years of one pompous ass trying to ruin the county. The last thing we need now is another term with an even more pompous ass to finish the job.
Addendum: The way Abele is following so closely in Scott Walker's footsteps, perhaps we might need to dust off the Survival Guide to