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.
It’s the 2010 budget. Aldermen will vote Tuesday night at City Hall following a public hearing.
It’s your budget,
The way I see it, the Franklin Common Council has three options:
1) Adopt Mayor Tom Taylor’s proposed budget.
It’s a fiscally responsible document. State law requires that
The mayor is a victim of bad timing. He submitted his budget that doesn’t fill one firefighter and two police officer positions in order to meet levy requirements in a tough budget year long before well-publicized reports of a rash of burglaries in
There has since been pressure to restore those positions. In order to make that happen, something else has to go.
Keep in mind, and this is important, Mayor
Aldermen Steve Olson and Alderman Lyle Sohns, I believe will not support the budget in its current form. Alderman Steve Taylor and Alderman Kristen Wilhelm (My alderman and you better believe I'm paying close attention to how she votes) are the wild cards. Neither has played their hand. Neither has suggested significant, if any changes to the mayor’s budget, and they sit on the Finance Committee.
2) Adopt a budget with a 2.9% property tax levy increase that restores the police and firefighter positions
To do that, at least 3 and possibly 4 aldermen better have ideas on how to do it, and then support it.
3) Adopt a Scott Walker-like budget that prioritizes police and fire protection but also protects the taxpayer by a 0% property tax levy increase.
If anyone doesn’t think that’s a great idea, they haven’t paid attention to the past two rallies that brought out a couple thousand supporters of
I submit this would be extremely popular and doable, if only the Franklin Common Council had the political will to pull it off (Sadly, it doesn’t).
That’s where you come in.
It’s your budget.
How many of you got a 2.9% pay raise this year? How many will get that kind of raise next year?
The private sector has cut and cut and cut and cut to the point that hard working families can’t afford more increases. What do our representatives do? They tell us we will be:
1) Paying more, but….
2) Getting less police and fire protection, our most important services that most taxpayers don’t mind shelling out for.
But, hey, we’ll be getting brand new public works vehicles that we may not necessarily need, or…won’t have the bodies to DRIVE THEM!
This is nuts!
Trying to get people to attend a night meeting is tough, unless it’s a NIMBY deal. You want to do what to the road in front of my house? They’re at City hall so fast they left their underwear behind in the dust.
You want to jack up my taxes?
And that’s fine.
Don’t want to leave the warm confines of your house because you might miss your favorite TV show? OK.
Don’t want to phone or e-mail a friendly suggestion to your alderman? OK.
But when the budget is passed, and there are no longer two police positions and one firefighter, and you have to call either department because you need help, and response time isn’t as fast as it once was, remember, you had your chance to do something about it.
I urge Franklin taxpayers to turn out en masse Tuesday night to make your voices heard on the biggest NIMBY issue of the year.
PS: If I were a betting man, and I never engage in such activity, depending on the level of public input, I predict of the possibilities described above, #1 will pass.
Suggested related reading:
Franklin alderman Olson asks residents to support 0% property tax levy increase
Hey, Franklin, how about a property tax freeze?