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.
One of Franklin’s most civic-minded citizens, Ted Grintjes is resigning from the 27th Street Steering Committee. In fact, he’s resigning from all of the bodies he’s been serving.
No doubt some are celebrating Grintjes’ departure. I am not one of them because to cheer this development would be using tunnel vision.
More than anyone, Grintjes became the most vilified individual in the Franklin blogs over the entire “Boomgaard” debacle. The proposed nickname, the PR firm that came up with it, and the price tag associated with the name had people screaming for Grintjes’ head. I wish critics of the $300,000 paid to the Zizzo Group for coming up with the nickname “Boomgaard” would be just as vociferous about the Franklin School Board misinforming taxpayers about the correct school property tax levy increase, resulting in a cost of MILLIONS of dollars.
Here is an excerpt from a blog I wrote back on May 10:
“I also want to mention Ted Grintjes, the suddenly maligned chair of the 27th Street Steering Committee.
I don’t know him that well, but I know of him. Franklin owes a lot of gratitude to him for his work in getting Northwestern Mutual Life and Wheaton Franciscan here. I would remind everyone that this man is a volunteer, giving countless hours of his time and expertise. I do hope he doesn’t get frustrated and continues on because if he should step away, and I’m not suggesting that’s a possibility in any way, shape, or form, Franklin would be hard-pressed to find a replacement with his institutional knowledge, or volunteer time for that matter.”
Grintjes has also been a leader in the business park development and on the Economic Development Commission. Now he’s gone, from everything.
So now what do we do? Who do we find to replace Grintjes? Who does Mayor Taylor select?
Alderman Skowronski? I’m not sure how extensive his involvement in and/or support for this project has been.
Alderman Taylor? He’s a relative newcomer to Franklin who doesn’t know the history or the players.
A private citizen?
Will any of Grintjes’ harsh critics who seemed to know better step forward to take his place?
The fact is you lose a great deal of institutional knowledge, history, background, connections, and dedication when you lose Grintjes.
To single Grintjes out for tarring and feathering over the Boomgaard fiasco is incredibly unfair. While that nickname and the process used to get to it were flawed, Grintjes has a long history of devotion to this community that demands respect.
Who can admirably replace him? I honestly don’t know.
Thank you, Ted, for your many great years of service to our community.