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This Just In ...

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.

It's time to get serious about the Fountains of Franklin


In my second blog on FranklinNOW.com, I wrote a lengthy piece about the huge potential of Frankin, including some thoughts about our developments:



“I must admit, I am a bit impatient. I want to see these developments sooner rather than later. Construction on both the Shops of Wyndham Village and the Fountains of Franklin is set to begin this spring. And yet a huge gas station is being built right now at a furious pace at the corner of 51st and Rawson. Yes we need places to fill up our tanks. Let’s not wait too long to get going on these other projects.

I had the opportunity to meet David Hintzman, President of Equitable Development LLC, one of the developers of the Fountains of Franklin. He impresses me as being fully dedicated to making the project work, complete with much sought after amenities and attractive architecture and landscaping. My advice to Hintzman: crank up the public relations/marketing campaign. I would venture to guess a great deal of Franklin has no idea how ambitious or enticing the Fountains of Franklin is. Heck, I bet a lot of people have never heard about it, period. Get the word out, pitch your project, and make people aware of what you’re planning in your office where I see the lights on late quite frequently. Get the media to do stories, and update your web site ASAP.”

---This Just In, January 29, 2007


Since then, I have posted a number of good-natured jabs at Fountains of Franklin, a development that is moving at a snail’s pace. Hintzman and I have talked many times since, and he understands my blogs have been a matter of impatience because I want the doggone project to open, grow, and succeed.

Guess what?
 My patience with this white elephant has just about run out.

Tonight, I sent the following  e-mail to Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor, some Franklin aldermen, Cal Patterson, Director of Finance & Treasurer for the city of Franklin, Mark Luberda, Director of Administration for the city of Franklin, and John Neville, reporter for FranklinNOW.

The e-mail is self-explanatory. I will keep you posted.
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Dear city of Franklin officials:

I write to you as a concerned city of Franklin resident and taxpayer. As a staunch supporter of economic development and continued growth and progress in Franklin, I am deeply concerned about the disappointingly slow pace and lack of progress at what should be an encouraging project, the Fountains of Franklin.

Specifically, I am troubled at the ghost town atmosphere at the site located at 56th and Rawson, the site of the office headquarters and the proposed location of promised upscale shops, restaurants, and other tenants.

Mr. Patterson, I respectfully request, not for myself, but for all taxpayers in Franklin, that you prepare, using your expertise and the resources available to you, an analysis of the monthly lost tax revenue to the city of Franklin caused by the continued dormant site at 56th and Rawson. How much tax revenue is it costing the city of Franklin each and every month that site fails to operate with open businesses?

Mr. Patterson, I mean no disrespect, but given recent requests made of you to prepare economic documents containing individual property tax data, this should not be difficult.

Alderman Sohns, I have included you on this e-mail because you represent the site in question.

Alderman Wilhelm, as my alderman, if my request is inadequate or inappropriate, I kindly ask that as my representative on the Common Council, you make the official request on my behalf.

I am interested in any economic impact data in addition to any and all information about lost tax revenue due to the site being undeveloped. Though I support the Fountains of Franklin project, I have grown impatient with empty promises and the total lack of activity at the site. What had been suggested at the site falls far below expectations of the Franklin public that anticipated and deserved far better that what has been announced to date.

At this point, I am interested in and request hard numerical data as to how much the city loses because Fountains of Franklin has failed to deliver.

In the interest of full disclosure, I plan to publish any and all responses given to me by any of the parties in receipt of this e-mail on my blog on the FranklinNOW.com website.

I sincerely thank you for your consideration and your prompt response to my request on behalf of all taxpayers in the city of Franklin.

Kevin Fischer

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