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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.

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2010: #9


OK, Franklin.

Can we finally put to rest this foolish question that is a colossal waste of time?

What part of NO don’t some people understand?

The November city of Franklin ballot contained the referendum of whether Franklin should have a full-time mayor. The question was included at the insistence of Franklin Alderman Steve Taylor, widely rumored to have mayoral aspirations (Taylor denies the speculation).

In June 2009, I wrote that Taylor “is drafting a referendum that would ask Franklin voters if the position of mayor in urban metropolis Franklin (Population an estimated 35,000) should be full-time instead of the current part-time status. Mayor Tom Taylor and Alderman Tim Solomon are reportedly also assisting in this drafting effort. Sorry, but a standard joke comes to mind. How many city of Franklin elected officials does it take…..Gee. The referendum has to be ‘drafted.’ In other words, it has to be worded just right. Boy this is a real toughie. Hmmmmmm. What could such a referendum read like? How about………………’Should the elected position of mayor in the city of Franklin be changed from part-time to full time, beginning (fill in the blank)? I think that took me about five seconds. We’re told that something could be ready for consideration by the full Franklin Common Council later this year.”

The heavy lifting on how to word the referendum wasn’t settled until this year. Some aldermen questioned the necessity of such a ballot question, and then oddly voted to put the question to voters.


On November 2, 2010, Franklin voters decided this question that took months and months for city officials to come up with:

“Should the City of Franklin have a full-time mayor?”

Clever!

On August 16, 2001, I wrote:

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?

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?”

 I also wrote in August:

“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.”

And how did the vote turn out?

Uhh, folks, that’s called a landslide.

It's pretty clear and simple. Franklin doesn’t want a full-time mayor.


THE TOP 10  FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2010

1) ?
2) ?
3) ?
4) ?
5) ?
6) ? 
7) ?
8) ?

9) DOES FRANKLIN NEED/WANT A FULL-TIME MAYOR?
10) NPR IN BIG TROUBLE....THE LOCAL ANGLE

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