Once again the City of Ames inconveniences and endangers thousands of people because they are a bunch of screw ups. Most people learn from their mistakes, not the City of Ames. How is that possible? No heads roll. There is absolutely no incentive to get it right. The taxpayers of Ames pay Cadillac salaries for screw up performance.
In an amazing bit of irony, a water main is broken during construction of a water treatment facility. The City Manager of Ames has a completely inadequate emergency prevention, response and assessment plan. The first screw up was when the pipe was broken. This isn’t rocket science. How in the sam hell do you not know where you are digging? Should the man at the backhoe have his equipment certification and license revoked? Should the supervisor who told him to dig there be fired? Who wrote the contract that hired this utterly unqualified contractor?
Once the disaster began, the screw ups continued. There was no notification to the thousands of people affected. No emails, no texts, no radio broadcast, no TV broadcast, no communications from the speakers of the emergency alert tower network. No updates to the City website. The only notification was the City Facebook page and a completely inadequate map flashed 7 hours later at the end of the 10 o’clock KCCI News. The City Manager has no concept of the proper response when the very health and welfare of the City’s residents are at stake.
Screw ups should be rare, not routine. Then once they failed, they got the assessment wrong. The map of the affected area is a lie. They show a small area east of Duff, when in fact it is west of Grand. At least.
Bureaucrats fret and waffle during a crisis, making decisions after the fact. Leaders make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. And make sure they damn well have the proper response if it does. They’ve played through the “what if” scenarios. That’s why they get paid the big bucks. Why are we paying the City Manager big bucks? Why are we paying the Water Works Director big bucks? Screw ups come a lot cheaper than what we’re paying.
Prevent. Assess. Respond. The City of Ames will not learn from this. They will do it again. Because no one will be held accountable.