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.
I repeat, finally.
If we are to believe the latest report from FranklinNOW’s Rick Romano, city of Franklin property taxpayers will get a much-needed break this December. Romano is reporting that outgoing mayor Tom Taylor has introduced a city budget that calls for no increase in the city property tax levy. Forget the city tax rate, it’s meaningless. The levy is what counts. The levy is what must be raised to account for city spending.
Of course, members of the Common Council have questions. They should. After all, one of the oldest cliché’s in government budgeting or policy is that the devil is in the details.
“Though not in the budget, the council asked Director of Administration Mark Luberda to provide information regarding what it would take to hire an economic development director on a half-time or full-time basis. Council members said the position also should be cost-neutral with funds drawn from other budget sources. Luberda said he would confirm the details. He estimated that a full-time director annual salary range could be $70,000 to more than $100,000 depending on whether the individual has a skill set of marketing and public relations or direct sales.”
I agree with Luberda’s assessment. The right economic development director with the right skills could bring in millions, and thus, should be compensated accordingly.
FranklinNOW also reports:
“Steve Taylor (Common Council President, not Board President as Romano wrote) said he needs more time to look at all the personnel moves. ‘I am going to recommend that the director of administration position be taken out of this budget and dealt with separately,’ Taylor said, adding that more information is needed from other communities that have broader administrator duties to see what works and if there are problems.”
Of course he needs more time, since he’s also spending time at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. Why he needs to study other municipalities is beyond me. Isn’t Franklin the be all to end all? Doesn’t everyone want to be like Franklin? That's what we've been told.
And here’s a real shocker. According to FranklinNOW:
"He (Tom Taylor) said that two referendums since 1999 have supported keeping the mayor a part-time position. Steve Taylor said he is not sold on the idea. ‘First, I'm not in favor of taking away power from elected officials and putting it into the hands of bureaucrats,’ he said. ‘Second, you have a situation with a mayor leaving office who is putting in place his vision of how the job will be. I think the people who will be running for office may have a different view’."
WOW! That’s a mouthful.
Steve Taylor has always supported the position of a full-time mayor…BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BE THE FULL-TIME MAYOR OF FRANKLIN. IT’S THAT SIMPLE. He ponders running because he wants to see who else runs. If the competition might be too tough, Taylor's towel may not get tossed for fear of defeat.
The people have said NO twice to the notion of a full-time mayor. Apparently, according to Steve Taylor, the voices of the people of Franklin be damned.
And Steve Taylor wants more power in the hands of elected officials rather than unelected bureaucrats. Fine. I’m no fan of the pencil-pushing, heavy handed bureaucratic crowd. But the truth is they do the majority of the day-to-day work. Sorry, aldermen, you don’t.
So here’s hoping Franklin aldermen don’t mess too much with the proposed mayoral budget that
A) Reduces spending (in itself a miracle) and ...
B) Doesn’t raise city property taxes.
If only our tax and spend, Jesse James Gang school administration would do the same.
But they're hopeless, from top to bottom, a lost cause.
Read more from FranklinNOW.