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.
When it comes to luring businesses and economic development,
That’s why it was very interesting to read the angry comments of Franklin alderman Steve Taylor about the problems associated with dotting all the I’s and crossing all T’s in getting Meijer’s to build here.
During the process over the past several weeks, I have bemoaned on my blog
One week ago this past Friday, I learned that
While I was gone, the print edition of this story appeared in The Daily Reporter on Monday, November 12 with the headline;
To this cynic, the immediate reaction was not one of surprise.
The article opened stating that
Good grief, a technicality throws a monkey wrench into the operation, a technicality that maybe someone with years of municipal experience should have picked up on? So we as a city drop the ball on an innocuous procedure.
If you’re keeping score, give this one to
I certainly would agree. While trying to kiss
Oh, if only the story ended here. But there’s more.
The city’s response to
Who asked for a delay in the entire approval process? Not the city of
Meijer hasn’t specified why. A
Once again, hyper-enviro concerns are standing in the way of much-needed progress and business/job creation in
Could threaten some wetlands.
OH NO! NOT THAT! PLEASE NOT THAT!
So Meijer has three keisters to smooch…the DNR, the feds, and the city. At the city level, Meijer has to, according to The Daily Reporter, meet
Dealing with the DNR isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s less difficult than in the past under Jim Doyle’s Gestapo-like DNR. State Senator Frank Lasee just wrote in an e-newsletter:
"Because of the leadership of DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been improving greatly. Reforming the 2300 employee DNR is a huge undertaking, and will take more time. I've been hearing from people that the DNR is now working for the environment and for you, not against you (there is still room for improvement).
"The new Office of Business Support and Sustainability (OBSS) has been created to help businesses navigate the DNR's bureaucracy by helping them comply with DNR rules and the permitting process.
"The OBSS is a special help line for getting permits to increase job growth in
With sharks in the water, the Milwaukee Business Journal under the very capable reporting hands of Sean Ryan weighs in.
Again, the headline is gloomy:
Meijer store in
Accurate. Why? Because the store does hit hurdles.
The paper reports in its lead paragraph that city officials are worried that Meijer’s may “abandon its plans” for a megastore in
Enter another city voice: Alderman Steve Olson whose district includes the Meijer site.
But the Business Journal notes Meijer is working through similar issues in Grafton where they want to build, and guess what? No problemo there.
And some in Franklin don't want Mejer's open 24/7.
So here we go.
This is a full-blown fiasco with finger-pointing and no one, I mean no one at the city of
The conventional wisdom seems that the threat to wetlands (Yes, are you kidding me?) is a major hang-up.
Meijer’s lawyers outsmarted our lawyers and insisted on a second public hearing addressing primarily those wetland issues where witnesses are sworn in. Now, Meijer's wants no part of a second public hearing on wetlands issues. They won’t say why. That doesn't look good. Oh, no. Bye bye economic development, bye bye jobs? Thanks, Franklin.
Alderman Taylor was right, but only to a certain degree. While the city is open to criticism, there are other roadblocks, along with Meijer walking away from the table. I think
What is Meijer doing rather than working to get this done expeditiously?
If that happens, you can forget all the finger pointing. Enough blame to go around, and everyone loses. And again, given the way we do things in Franklin, no surprise.