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.
The Franklin Common Council will consider a proposed ordinance at its meeting Tuesday to suspend expense and mileage payments for City of Franklin elected officials. The ordinance is being proposed by Alderman Steve Olson.
WHEREAS, the Citizens of the City of Franklin have duly elected the members of the Common Council, the Mayor and the Aldermen of the City to provide policy making decisions relating to, among others, the financial stability of the City; and
WHEREAS, the exceptional growth in property values in new construction and in existing properties has slowed substantially over the past fiscal year; and
WHEREAS, the State of Wisconsin Legislature has enacted limits on the City’s ability to increase the tax levy to fixed percentages of growth in new construction or 2 percent; and
WHEREAS, the Common Council has negotiated compensation packages with the employees of the City, the financial impact of which may exceed the capabilities of the City to pay without reductions in expenses and/or personnel; and
WHEREAS, the Citizens of the City look to the Common Council to provide leadership not only in word but in action; and
WHEREAS, the Legislature of the State of Wisconsin has vested authority in individual Members of the Common Council to refuse salary for themselves under Wis. Stat. § 66.0505; and
WHEREAS, the Common Council may reduce its Members’ expense and mileage payments as are established under §55-3. of the Municipal Code.
NOW, THEREFORE, the Mayor and Common Council of the City of Franklin, Wisconsin do ordain as follows:
SECTION 1: All regular payments to Common Council Members of mileage and expenses shall be SUSPENDED under order of this ordinance.
SECTION 2: Payments for mileage and expenses shall be suspended through City fiscal years 2008 (period of time remaining from time of enactment and effective date), 2009 and 2010.
SECTION 3: This ordinance shall take effect at the next regular pay period for each Common Council Member following the publication of this ordinance.
This proposal makes perfect sense. In these tough budget times, why should the city taxpayers fund gas mileage, dining, or any other expenses for the mayor and aldermen? If they wish to travel out of town to attend a government-related seminar or conference, let them pay out of their own pockets.
If any alderman plans to vote against this proposal, I would dearly love to hear that alderman explain his/her opposition to city taxpayers.
Congratulations to Alderman Olson for proposing this common sense ordinance.
The proposed 2008 city budget allows a total of $15,600 for the mayor and aldermen for mileage and expenses and $78,356 for salaries, a nearly 20% cut in pay.