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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.

Great God almighty Franklin, you are now safe from tornados!


Got my handy dandy, trusty City o’ Franklin newsletter in the mail, and there, right on the front page, in bold letters was this proclamation:

The Tornado Siren System is now working!

Hey, hey hey!

Wow, wow, wow!

Surely, some residents were overjoyed to read the news. Don’t count me among them.

I blogged extensively about my opposition to this costly and unnecessary move (They’re easy to find via Google). One blog even cited scientific experts criticizing tornado warning sirens. Doesn’t matter to the Franklin City Hall intelligentsia.  Apparently the nanny state is far from extinction, even in supposedly conservative Franklin.

The arguments raised against tornado warning sirens in Franklin:

1) We’re in a recession. We can’t afford them. Besides, we are taxed too much already in Franklin (Having said that, I am the Public Enemy #1 to the tax and spenders currently occupying Franklin City Hall. According to them, if you dare question Franklin taxes and expenditures, you must hate everything about Franklin. This point of view is stupid and foolish).

2) We don’t need them, given the avalanche of information available via TV, radio, Internet, not to mention relatives and friends who have access to our telephone numbers.

3) It’s an antiquated system with no guarantees of successfully reaching all residents (PSST…this one’s important).

The arguments for the tornado warning sirens are, and I kid you not:

1) Everyone else has them.

2) We’ve been arguing about this issue for years and years. Now we don’t have to argue about them anymore.

Given that fiscal brilliance, no wonder our taxes are sky high.

Tornado warning siren opponents, and I was not alone by a long shot (but who cares about the taxpayer at City Hall these days) argued that this system is very old and problematic. Yes, indeed. Problematic, in that, it depends on you actually hearing the damn thing. I’m sure the “We know better than you” crowd at City Hall, including my alderman, Kristen “But if we can save just one life” Wilhelm scoffed and snickered at the very notion that someone didn’t actually see it their way. That’s the new statesmanlike approach at public meetings. Bring up the opposing view, then laugh at and insult the voting taxpayers who have that view.

The latest Franklin newsletter about the tornado warning sirens has some rather curious writing:

The new Tornado Siren System provides Franklin residents with its first line of preparedness against tornados.”

That sounds like this is like a Star Wars force field around the city if a tornado should ever develop. You are saved, Franklin, thanks to us and our ultimate wisdom! And the average Franklin taxpayer, by now used to year after year of being over-taxed simply bends over and takes it, happy just to have his street plowed and his garbage picked up.

Then comes a line in the newsletter that is priceless with a capital “P.”

First there is, “
The new Tornado Siren System provides Franklin residents with its first line of preparedness against tornados.” It suggests this system is all residents need when it comes to tornado warnings.

That sentence is followed by, and it’s right out of the “You can’t make this stuff up” file:


“There are times, conditions, or locations,

however, when people may not always be

able to hear the system.”


Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

“What the hell do you mean?” scream the nanny staters.

“You mean to tell me that I may not be able to hear these blasted devils?”

Umm, naïve one, the answer is yes.

Ahh, but the brainiacs at City Hall have thought of everything. You can sign up for a notification system that will send you a phone call or e-mail in the event of:

1) An impending tornado and,

2) It being simply too difficult for you to adhere to TV, radio, the Internet, nasty black clouds, or Judy Garland flying past your house on a bicycle with a dog in her basket.

This begs the obvious question. Couldn’t we have just set up this grandiose notification system without spending a ton of money on 1950’s style warning sirens that as recently as last year in southeastern Wisconsin failed to operate and went off when there was no threat?

Of course not. That would require and mean an act of blatant fiscal responsibility.

Couldn’t possibly have that in Franklin.

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