As I promised you in my first blog here are my first comments on Franklin and its need for a full-time mayor. On Tuesday evening the Common Council will decide on whether or not to place the following question, "Should the City of Franklin have a full-time mayor?", on the November 2nd ballot.
This will be an advisory referendum question and the same one that was asked in 1999.
In 1999 the referendum was defeated 1664-1596 (51%-49%). In 1999 Franklin's population was 27,780 and today it is estimated at 33,900. Franklin has changed a great deal in the last eleven years and the role of mayor is more hands on than ever before.
For the last five plus years Mayor Taylor has treated the position as full time. He is retired from the Milwaukee County and has the time to meet the demands of a growing city. In the 60's, 70's and 80's when Franklin was a rural community the role of mayor had less responsibility than it does today. Franklin was not a destination point. This all changed with the business park, the residential explosion of the 90's into the 21st century and the development along 27th street.
Major corporations have relocated to Franklin and who do they want to talk to?.... the Mayor!!! For most of the 90's and until 2005 we had a very popular mayor in Fred Klimetz but he also had the responsibility of running a law firm. There are many who have told me that it was the department heads who ran city hall. In today's world this is unacceptable. It is the elected officials that are accountable to the residents of Franklin and those are the only officials who should be speaking on behalf of the city.
This referendum question is not about Tom Taylor this is about the future of the City of Franklin. The mayor hasn't said whether or not he is going to run for re-election. If he does the city will be in good shape regardless of the results of this referendum. However, if he doesn't and we elect a mayor that only can dedicate ten to twenty hours a week this will set Franklin behind other communities. So, unless you are retired or are independently wealthy you can't put in the fifty to sixty hours a week necessary to help develop and promote the city. This should not be the voters only choice but it is highly unlikely that someone will quit there full time career for a job that pays $21,600.
In the upcoming days and months I will be blogging about what I will be calling "The Agenda to Move Franklin Forward". It will include the restructuring of some city departments which will save tax dollars and help to streamline the day to day operations. I will be introducing a resolution regarding the Franklin Business Park and the closing of the TIF District. This TIF was created for tax relief for our residents and I want to make sure that they get the full amount of relief that they deserve.
I am sure there will be my usual opponents who will be critical of these proposals and I welcome the debate. In the past four months I have been talking to my constituents about these same ideas and the positive response has been overwhelming. I look forward to discussion that will take place at city hall and the opportunity to share my vision with this great city!!