"Phoenix Fires 3 Employees After $10M Central Library Disaster"

By Jessica Boehm, Arizona Republic

Phoenix Burton Barr Central Library

Phoenix fired three city employees, demoted two and suspended one following an investigation that showed the severe flooding at Burton Barr Central Library was preventable.

At least six employees knew, or should have known, about leaks in a sprinkler system  dating back to 2008but failed to address the issue, according to a report prepared by the city attorney.

The library will not reopen until at least June and repairs could cost $10 million.

Inspectors warned the city about the holes in writing multiple times since 2014, including in a report conducted six weeks before a July windstorm caused the fire-sprinkler system to confuse dust with smoke. That activated the sprinkler system and caused a pipe in the roof to burst, flooding the building.

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Have no info on this, but I suspect the highest manager(s) with spending authority, and his boss, were not fired.  I'm speaking as a guy who worked in plant-level engineering and mid- to upper-mid management.  Those with spending authority comprise a small percentage/high level of management, and those to whom they report are very stingy on approving expenditures, since they are measured and compensated, in large part, for keeping below budget on expenditures.

Reminds me of Harry Truman's sign on his desk:  "The buck stops here."  I was a teen back then, but I came to admire him.  I think the last of the Dems I felt that way about.  Perhaps the last who actually took some responsibility for his job.

I've been in management jobs where I was organizationally and personally responsible for a number of things and objectives, but had no authority to spend anything.  I even had to request typing support, office supplies, travel and schedule approval for customers who requested my services, etc. We had to submit requests for capital expenditures over a certain amount (not all that high) to be approved by the CEO of the company (Fortune 200).  If there was not a sufficient ROI (some exceptions for mandatory safety items), the requests were killed by corporate finance.  I suspect a city government may work in similar ways, perhaps not with ROIs, but with request and budget reviews by risk-averse bureaucrats.

I have seen this sort of thing before. If the fired have proof they sent this on to a higher level they will be put back on with back pay and a vacation of sorts under their belt. By then it will be old news and those at the top who ignored the problem and allowed the damage to occur will be off the hook because of the action taken now will be what is remembered. If repairs were prevented by upper management or elected officials who refused to take action they should be known for this failure and fired with this in their records to prevent their rehire in some position of authority.

Fire sprinkler systems only last a few decades without proper maintenance.  No doubt these are rusted out sprinkler pipes that have never been flushed since being installed.  Generally the fix is expensive, involving a re-pipe of the whole sprinkler system throughout the building.   Surprised there getting away with windstorm dust finishing it off.  BS. 

In the companies I worked in, the insurance company and/or fire department made sure the sprinklers were checked and drained periodically.  Whole thing sounds like a cluster.



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