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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Franklin does NOT need or want a full-time mayor


Tonight, the Franklin Common Council’s Committee of the Whole will discuss a proposed advisory referendum for the November 2010 ballot that will ask city residents if Franklin should have a full-time mayor. The full Common Council could take action on the proposal at its meeting this Tuesday night.

The idea is being floated by Franklin alderman Steve Taylor. It would be nice and commendable on the part of the alderman if he would exercise some candor and just come out and say he wants to be mayor and it is his intention to run for the office someday. Nowhere in his latest 581-word blog does the alderman make this admission, one of the worst kept secrets in Franklin politics.

There is a growing discontent spreading throughout America. Citizens becoming increasing upset with the expansion of and abuse by the public sector want less government, not more. I would dearly love to there when Alderman Taylor tries to explain to any city of Franklin employee laid off in the past year or two why the mayor’s position suddenly needs to go from part time to full time.

Let’s review some of the arguments I have made in the past against this proposal beginning with: 

Excuse me, but did I miss something?

Is there a hue and cry from the Franklin populace, all 35,000 of them, that we absolutely must have a full-time mayor?

Let me get this straight. As the private sector reduces its workforce by handing out pink slips, and cuts salaries and benefits, the Franklin taxpayers are supposed to accept the expansion of local government?

Franklin is a very, very small city. Full-time mayor? Why? What for?

If the contention is that we can’t attract decent candidates when Tom Taylor decides not to be mayor anymore unless we sweeten the pot, then I suggest we don’t want those kinds of candidates to begin with if their motivation is purely salary-driven.

We elect our aldermen and mayor to make decisions and while some issues deserve being put to a referendum, this isn’t one of them. Franklin aldermen, do you want to gauge public opinion?  Get out in your neighborhoods. Talk to folks. Hold a community meeting. Send out a newsletter asking for feedback. No one is clamoring for this change. Why? Because Franklin doesn’t need or want a full-time mayor.

Alderman
Taylor wants the change because he wants to be mayor. The only argument he offers is that Franklin is a growing city. Actually, Franklin has already survived its biggest growing pains, and it did so with a PART-TIME MAYOR.

How about this simple, honest, common sense question. Just what would a full-time Franklin mayor mean and entail?

Would the full-time mayor have to be at City Hall, every day, all day?

What would the working hours be?  8:00 start? 8:30?

When would the official working day end? 4:30? 5:00?

How much do we then pay the full-time mayor?

$60,000?

$70,000?


$80,000?

$100,000?


Steve Patz runs a school district of 4,080 Franklin students at a compensation of $236,573. Using that formula, the mayor of Franklin’s roughly 35,000 residents should demand a salary/benefit package totaling $2,029,323.00.

Just what is the proper salary to entice someone to give up their real job to run for Franklin mayor? You tell me. I really don’t know.

What would the job qualifications be for a full-time mayor? Sorry to ask such a tough question but just what would he/she be required to do to earn that full-time salary, whatever it is?

OK, so now we make the mayor full-time. What do we do with our full-time Director of Administration? Dump him? Demote him? Keep him full-time? If so, why?

Has Steve Taylor answered any of these questions?
Better yet, has Steve Taylor even THOUGHT of any of these questions?

I suspect the Common Council will, a la Pontius Pilate, wash their hands and say let the voters decide rather than shoot down this idea. Then in November, the referendum will go down. If that occurs, it will be another example of how City hall is slowly becoming, like the School Board, out of touch with Franklin residents.

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