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 baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Case in point: The Elmbrook School District where voters decide next Tuesday if they want to impose upon themselves a whopping $62.2 million tax increase, scaled back from the $108.8 million referenda they rejected last year.
Keeping a close watch on the Elmbrook results will be the Franklin school machine: the Superintendent, the current members of the School Board, and district employees who I’ll bet are secretly salivating, hoping that the Elmbrook referendum is approved.
Make no mistake about it. The current Franklin school administration is impatiently waiting on the sidelines, longing for the day that a la Elmbrook, they can trot out yet another tax increase proposal (referendum) to force down the throats of taxpayers who have given and given to the point they can’t give anymore.
This is why Tuesday’s school board elections in Franklin are so critical.
The current board members are entrenched with a spend, spend and then spend some more mentality and can’t be trusted to ever change. A new set of members that will be given the voters’ trust next Tuesday and possibly more new members in the near future need to charge into their new assignments as full-fledged friends of the taxpayers. They must guard against being intimidated by their new role and falling prey to heavy influence from the returning members who have lost the faith of the public.
If the Elmbrook referendum passes, and I hope it does not, Franklin’s machine will be overcome with exuberance, and will confidently use the results as their catalyst for launching another huge tax increase campaign, trampling over the big majority of voters who told them in no uncertain terms a year ago to take their ill-conceived tax increase and stuff it.
The new Franklin school board members, I hope, will serve as goalies, protecting the taxpayers from the tax and spend volleys that will come their way.
Unlike those who see a tax increase as the only savior for our schools, I’m on record that vast amounts of money are no guarantee for success. School performance and achievement can be attained without robbing the taxpayers blind.
Here’s what needs to happen Tuesday and beyond:
1) The Elmbrook referendum must fail.
2) Franklin must elect two members to the school board that will stand tall for the taxpayers. The two candidates that can best assure me they will do so will get my votes.
3) The new members must help turn the corner and clean up a school board that has been a fiscal and ethical disaster and not be rubber stamps for the current regime.
One more note.
For the crowd that moans and cries and wails and gnashes their teeth that school districts are dying and they don’t have one doggone red cent to spare on anything because they’ve been cruelly cut to the bone………….read this.