Obviously I knew about the incident earlier this month, but what I didn't know was that it was a 20 pound piece of limestone that fell off of the courthouse. According to today's story it fell and shattered on impact with pieces flying as far as the 10th street parking lot. I wonder if any Milwaukee County vehicles were damaged from the debris? In any case, we are lucky that it happened when people weren't standing in the area.
Another thing that was made abundantly clear from today's story (if it wasn't already) is the fact that Scott Walker's administration has significantly cut funds for things like regular maintenance. Not just of the courthouse but of nearly everything. The MJS story reports the following drastic reduction of regular maintenance:
The county's budget for maintenance on the courthouse and some other major
county buildings has dropped dramatically this decade, from a high of
$2.2 million in 2001 to $140,000 this year, according to county figures. Actual
spending levels have fluctuated less, staying near roughly $1 million most years
- until last year when spending plummeted to just under $150,000.
Perhaps the money-quote in the story came from County Auditor Jerome Heer who said that the county had taken an unwise "break-fix" approach to maintenance. "The less you spend on preventive maintenance, the more you spend on repairs." The Walker administration's policy of short-term politically driven thinking bringing huge long-term costs is pretty clear. It makes as much sense as not paying to change the oil on your car and opting instead to eventually pay the much higher cost after the engine blows up.
My only question is, when can we expect Walker to hold another politically motivated grandstanding session about the falling limestone?
UPDATE: Milwaukee County First also addressed this issue and they give additional info on other glaring areas of neglect in Milwaukee County.