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.
Previously on This Just In, I wondered, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, if
I think I’m still laughing at myself.
Before we get to the answer, some background provided by a very revealing e-mail exchange I had with Franklin School Board President Debbie Larson. As a prelude to what’s to come, I want to report Larson was kind, courteous, and responsive to my inquiries.
It all started last week. When I, with some disappointment, failed to read anything on school board member Janet Evans’ blog about the school board meeting that dealt with the budget (pretty important stuff), I contacted Larson. My e-mail was short, sweet, to the point:
Can you please tell me the details of any budget action you took at Wednesday's meeting?
Larson responded the next morning.
Thank you for your note. The budget action that we took on Wednesday evening was to approve the revised budget for the 2011-12 school year. The District finally received the funding information from the State that is needed to finalize the budget for this year. I have some VERY positive news to share with you!
Compared to last year, our total tax levy is decreasing by $121,490 and our tax rate is projected to fall 4.9%. The reduction in taxes for each $100,000 of assessed value is estimated to be about $59.00.
We also received GREAT news from the city in regard to the closing of the Tax Incremental District. The City is currently estimating the
I am happy to report that our budget did pass by a vote of 5-1, with one member being absent.
I hope you are as encouraged as I am!
Not good enough, so I replied:
Thank you for your response.
What was the % drop in the levy from last year?
With all due respect, the tax rate is meaningless. It's the levy that counts.
Thank you again for your attention.
Larson wrote back:
I will need to verify that amount with Mr. Milzer, Business Manager. I'll get back to you as soon as I have that information from him.
More on that in just a bit, but then came the final response from Larson:
The % drop last year was about 0.4% or just over $121,000. Hope that helps.
OK. So, could it, with it being another cut in the levy that was originally proposed a la Whitnall (and possibly other districts) happen in
The answer, as expected, and sadly, is no. The school board supported -0.4% in August. That’s what they gave us in October.
Did any school board member propose further cuts in the levy? Since no one’s talking or reporting, I’ll have to assume no. That’s a major disappointment considering how at least one school board member likes to talk a good game on her blog, yet wrote nothing, nothing about the most important school item of 2011. She's welcome to respond here or on her blog, but it's rather late.
What’s very revealing is that the school board president in
We continue to have a very uninformed and unrepresentative school board in
In closing, compare