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.
As people in the audience quietly and anxiously waited for tonight’s Franklin Common Council to officially begin in a matter of minutes, Franklin’s new mayor Steve Olson (who actually took office at midnight) broke the ice with humor.
“I apologize for the glare” coming from the front of the chambers where he was seated.
When the meeting did start, Olson got serious, thanking those who voted for him. And those who didn’t?
“I will work hard to earn your trust.”
Shortly after his comments, Olson took the official oath of office along with Alderwomen Kristen Wilhelm, Janet Evans, and Susanne Mayer. Mayer’s children presented her with a floral bouquet.
During the regular citizen comment period that is conducted at the beginning of each Common Council meeting, passionate watchdog and observer of Franklin politics Orville Seymer said, “I always felt confident the city was in good hands,” and he expressed the same confidence in the current group of city leaders.
Mayor Olson then presented former mayor Tom Taylor who served for nine years in the post with a special proclamation.
With the new lineup representing the city, Taylor said, “Franklin has an extremely bright future.” Taylor received a standing ovation.
Another proclamation was to be given to outgoing alderman Steve Taylor, but he could not attend due to a family issue.
Votes were then taken on a litany of appointments to aldermen to specific committees or commission, a rather tedious but still important business matter. Prior to the votes, Olson cautioned the audience that this would be, in all honesty, "boring" and if anyone wanted to get up and leave, it would be understood.
All of the votes were approved, and then came the newsworthy item. Olson announced that there was a reason all the votes went so smoothly. Aldermen were asked prior to the meeting which committees and commissions they'd prefer to sit on, and lo and behold, they all got they wanted. Ideally, having worked in and/or covered local and state politics since 1978, this is the correct route to go.
The aldermen then elected their Council President. Kristen Wilhelm and Dan Mayer were both nominated. Mayor Olson, who does not vote, said “I will be happy to work with either nominee.”
A secret ballot was taken with Wilhelm winning, 4-2. In a recent blog I suggested Wilhelm, the most senior member of the Common Council could be the next Council President who essentially becomes vice-mayor when the mayor is out of town.
“I travel a lot so this will not be a ceremonial position,” said Mayor Olson.
Here is the special proclamation presented to Tom Taylor:
STATE OF WISCONSIN CITY OF FRANKLIN MILWAUKEE COUNTY
A PROCLAMATION IN RECOGNITION OF MAYOR THOMAS M. TAYLOR
WHEREAS, Thomas M. Taylor served the City of Franklin as an Alderman from April 20, 1999 until September 25, 2002, and as Mayor from April 19, 2005, until his chosen last term of Office expired at midnight on April 14, 2014, last night, immediately preceding this third Tuesday in April; and
WHEREAS, Tom Taylor’s years of service have been exemplary, and have spanned more than some four decades; his service to Franklin commencing near the culmination of his nearly three decades of service to Milwaukee County in executive positions and the same for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO; and
WHEREAS, Alderman Tom Taylor was the proponent of the adoption of Ordinance No. 99-1562 An Ordinance Restructuring the Administration of the Government of the City of Franklin to Place Supervisory and Reporting Review Duties and Authority Under the Responsibility and Accountability of the Office of Mayor, a law intended to implement a “strong mayor” system of government, an ordained method of operation by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, though historically recognized as generally rare among Wisconsin cities; and
WHEREAS, Mayor Thomas M. Taylor more than exemplified the Strong Mayor during his service as the Chief Executive Officer of the City of Franklin and the head of its Police and Fire Departments, pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 62.09(8)(a) and (d), respectively, while also continually being elected as the Chairman of the Milwaukee County Intergovernmental Cooperation Council for five terms, the Council being comprised of all of the Mayors and Village Presidents of the nineteen municipalities in Milwaukee County, and the Milwaukee County Executive; and
WHEREAS, during his time as Presiding Officer of many City Boards and Commissions and the Common Council, the Mayor was always there, and the Mayor conducted all of those meetings in recognition of the freedom of speech and the efficient operation of government, with respect for the Citizens and with dignity and grace, while at the same time noting on issues of continuing discussion on matters of import that “I will be here as long as it takes, whether it is well into tonight, or tomorrow morning or whatever it takes – the matter needs to be properly addressed”; and
WHEREAS, during his time as Mayor, Tom Taylor was also there at all of the Community events, all of the Community events; all of the Chamber of Commerce events; all of the Franklin High School sports and education events; all of the local business events; all of the Metropolitan area business and government events; all of the social events in the Community; all of the events; and
WHEREAS, without repeating all of the governmental positions held and served by Tom Taylor during his years at work, as those were included in part in the commendations he received during his last Common Council meeting as Presiding Officer, including appreciative awards from the Franklin Police Department and from all of the Emergency Medical Services Fire Departments in Milwaukee County, a Wisconsin State Legislature Citation of Congratulation, Commendation and Gratitude, a State of Wisconsin Office of the Governor Certificate of Commendation, and a United States House of Representatives Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, noteworthy is the achievement of Tom Taylor in his being a ten letter winner across the spectrum of sports at James Madison High School, his wedded bliss to his high school sweetheart Carol, and his continuing big brother continuing love and care for his brother Tim; and
WHEREAS, in addition to the foregoing, Tom Taylor sat across the table on competing alternate sides during his years of service as a labor negotiator, led a trip of Franklin representatives to the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with interested parties to discuss development in Franklin matters of unique and futuristic scientific endeavors, rode his motorcycle around town, sang the National Anthem at Miller Park and more, proudly congratulated the Franklin Sabers Football Team as it won the State Championship at Camp Randall Stadium, and always as usual, then went back to work; and
WHEREAS, Thomas M. Taylor is an Irishman; Thomas M. Taylor is a Man for All Seasons.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED, that I, Stephen R. Olson, Mayor of the City of Franklin, Wisconsin, on behalf of all of the Citizens of Franklin, hereby commend and salute the time, effort and talent of Thomas M. Taylor, which he exerted and extended to make the World a Better Place.
Presented to the City of Franklin Common Council this 15th Day of April, 2014.
Steve R. Olson, Mayor