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.
FranklinNOW blogger and non-taxpayer Greg Kowalski’s latest blog on his concerns about tax pledges is so full of off the wall statements that it begs a response.
He opens by commending bloggers for seeking tax pledges from local officials. Then he quickly does an about face, finding all kinds of problems with the concept of keeping taxes and spending within the city’s means. It’s unclear what side he’s on because later in the blog he admits a desire to “appease everyone.”
That, of course, doesn’t happen often in politics.
Greg says bloggers like Fred Keller who request elected officials sign a tax pledge to hold the line on taxes within a reasonable 3% are, as Greg puts it, “forcing an agenda down their throats.”
No one’s forcing anything.
Greg apparently forgets or doesn’t realize (my guess is it’s the latter) that these officials work for people like us. Fred Keller and any other citizen who asks his elected representatives to exercise fiscal responsibility are merely engaging in the democratic process with a perfectly legitimate proposal.
Greg writes, “To mandate the Council, Mayor, and School Board to only 3% is a bit too far.”
Remember, Greg pays no property taxes. If 3% is going too far, does that mean he’d accept 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12% property tax levy increases? I think he would because it’s easy to spend someone else’s money.
Greg worries. “When I spoke to some friends after Thursday's Plan Commission meeting, there was a hint that a new renovated fire station that's desperately needed by FHS might not happen due to this 3% mandate.”
That’s an old political trick of taxers and spenders, sending out shock waves that some worthwhile project will be shelved. If it’s a priority, the people in charge will have to make tough decisions to make sure the project happens.
Then there’s this irrelevant quote from Greg:
“I also feel it's going too far because, in all honesty, how many Franklin residents read the blogs? How many Franklin residents who know the blogs exist even read them? How many people even know Fred Keller exists?”
Greg, it’s not about the blogs or how many people read them. It’s about Fred Keller taking an action on behalf of all taxpayers who will benefit whether they read the blogs or not.
Greg concludes with this gem:
“If the general public, including those who don't read our material, don't support their city government's stance on taxes, they will do what they did to two Alderman last Tuesday - vote them out of office.”
Sorry, Greg. I’m not going to sit back for the next three years while budgets and tax levies are being formulated, keep my mouth shut, and not voice my displeasure until the next election. I want my representatives to know how I feel right now and what I expect of them, right now.
In his own way, Greg may care about the community, but once again, his latest blog clearly demonstrates he still has a lot to learn.