Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Paul Tittl's Little Shop of Horrors II - Its a Gas!

Back in 2013 I took note of how State Rep. Paul Tittl manages his aging row of shacks rental
Tittl's "business"
properties
and vacuum cleaner retail store as a metaphor for how he approaches legislation in his Assembly job.   Never did I think how this might come up again in such a stunningly blatant way until Halloween played the ultimate joke on his tenants that began with a 911 call about people feeling sick at his properties.

From WFRV TV Green Bay news piece.  Paul sizes up his liabilities.
It turned out that the building had become flooded with carbon monoxide so badly that it has seeped into virtually every unit including the small Cafe on the first floor sickening seven people there as well.

A total of 17 people were transported to local hospitals out of which 4 had to be taken to St. Luke's in Milwaukee to be put into oxygen hyperbaric chambers in order to purge the CO from their blood.  One was so critical that he/she had to be flown by Flight For Life after being extracted from one of the apartments when fire fighters forced open the apartment door and found the victim unresponsive.

Its fairly evident that multiple State Statutes were broken here including 101.149 that requires working CO detectors to be placed in all common areas in apartment buildings where combustion devices are in use.  The fact that it spread through the entire complex tends to indicate that a single furnace heats all of the units which is yet another State code violation for forced air systems.  Each unit is required to have its own separate ventilation system to avoid just such a catastrophe though the building and system are probably so old there may be a grandfather clause at work here.  Replacing the system may end that escape clause however.

According to my conversations with Paul over the years he inherited this property.
$300 fine for your lawn but this is just fine.
His personal investment in it is basically ZILCH.  Improvements he put into it are in the same class too - ZILCH with the exception of things the city has forced him to do such as the vinyl siding we see in the photo above.  The city has been on a beautification tare downtown.  I received a similar notice about some window framing they weren't happy with.  Recently Mayor Justin Nickels announced on his facebook page that the new city policy is to fine people who do not cut their lawns $300.  All this in the shadow of the crumbling Mirro building which has stood as a monument to impotence of local government to stand up to corporate interests.  You just can't make this crap up!

Here's what pisses me off...  I own a building just one block from this mess.  I put a lot into it
including a total face lift for 3 of the 4 units, a new heating system, wiring, plumbing, new efficient windows and storms.  It wasn't cheap!  And I get inspected all the time by multiple city agencies including the Fire Department which always checks at least the common area smoke and CO detectors.  Beyond that I have a TEA Party business man neighbor who dislikes my politics and uses these city agencies as a way of taking out his frustrations on me by calling in bogus ordinance complaints - a sore point with me and the city over their willingness to let him get away with it.

So, it is a puzzlement to me as to how his set of aging fire traps could possibly have fallen off the radar with a city government that has plenty of time and resources to inspect my building, send me letters and other notices that have been more about cosmetics than any alleged violations of consequence.  It would seem that office holding has its privileges.

But on the bright side notice that in the top photo Paul is dressed in his Legislator costume.  He was obviously not in his store when disaster struck.  (It isnt clear that the store is still open)  No doubt he was down in Madison hard at work passing more deregulation legislation.  It might be said that he is keeping his campaign pledge to be our "Full time representative"!  Too bad that means being an absentee landlord.

God help us!

11/9/2016 Note: It is not entirely clear how Paul came to own this entire complex of old buildings.  In reading the inspection records of the units at least some of the main section appears to have belonged to Kadow Realty which he probably purchased as opposed to have inherited.

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