Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pay It Now Or Pay It Later

An astute reader sent me a link of this video, remarking how it reminded them of the deferred maintenance problems that we've seen in Milwaukee County of late:

The incident with the electrical fire at the Milwaukee County Courthouse is a prime example of the truth of this ad.

Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele knew that the electrical system was grossly outdated and needed to be replaced. He also had the money to do it with. But instead of tending to business and doing his job, Abele chose to run to his Teapublican friends in Madison and by his own personal plutocratic empire, getting Act 14 rammed down our throats.

And because of his negligence, the taxpayers are now on the hook for not only the original cost of replacing the entire electrical infrastructure, but also the following:

  • At least two days of pay for over a thousand employees who work out of the courthouse, but can't get to their work sites.  Some are temporarily stationed in other buildings, but many will be out all week.  
  • The cost of rigging up computers, phones, faxes, copiers, etc, for the temporary work sites for the employees brought back to work.
  • The cost of two giant, portable generators, which will be there for weeks until they can replace the electrical system.
  • The cost of the numerous fire salvage companies which have been working around the clock to clean the entire building.
  • The cost of repairing or replacing other things that were ruined by the fire.
And this does not include the individual impacts, such as the hassle for the people that need marriage licenses, that were planning to get married at the courthouse, the delays in the judicial system., delays for people that might need a copy of their birth certificate, someone's death certificate or any other legal document like that.

All of this extra cost because of Abele's unquenchable thirst for "efficiency," which is apparently the plutocratic code word for austerity.

The reality is that when maintenance is deferred, such as in this case, it usually ends up being much more expensive than it would have been to do the right thing in the first place.  

It's the most expensive money saving stunt that Milwaukee has seen.

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