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.
When Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor was putting his proposed 2010 city of
More on that later.
In late June, Mayor Taylor
The directors of Administration and Finance and the Treasurer were asked to develop ways to reduce the shortfalls. Mayor Taylor asked department heads to come up with ways to reduce or eliminate expenses within departments. In a memo to department heads, Mayor Taylor wrote, "I may need to ask you to prepare 5%, 10% and 15% reduction scenarios in net budgets if additional budgetary issues surface."
We later learned the shortfall for 2009 wasn’t $1.8 million. It had ballooned to $2.5 million. Even so, there didn’t seem to be any sense of urgency.
Case in point: A Franklin Common Council meeting in early August 2009.
FranklinNOW reported that the meeting had some debate about replacing an eight-year-old ambulance that has an odometer reading of 99,000 miles.
Aldermen Steve Olson, Lyle Sohns and Ken Skowronski, according to FranklinNOW “said while they are strong supporters of the police and fire departments, the city should try to get more mileage out of the ambulance due to the tough economic times. ‘At some point you have to say no’ to more spending, Olson said.”
Everyone acknowledges the importance of ambulances. But when you’re $2.5 million in the hole right now and another $1.4 million in the hole projected for next year, you, as the Rolling Stones professed, can’t always get what you want.
Olson, Sohns, and Skowronski made the right move, voting against purchasing a new ambulance. Aldermen Steve (I am so a conservative, really I am!) Taylor, Kristen Wilhelm, and Tim Solomon voted for the purchase. Apparently the attitude is, we’ll buy now and worry about it, and our deficit, later.
Mayor Taylor broke the 3-3 tie and voted in favor of buying the ambulance.
Our city leaders voted to INCREASE SPENDING when the budget shortfall for a $20-million city budget is $2.5 million.
At the time I asked, “When personnel, i.e., real living, breathing city workers have to be told they’re losing their jobs, how important will that new ambulance look to those folks?”
When Mayor Taylor unveiled his 2010 budget, the document failed to replace two vacant police department positions and one vacant firefighter position.
Enter Shawn Winters.
Smack during the budget deliberations, an unusual rash of burglaries took place in
”On Monday, November 2nd a house was broken into in the 4100 block of
In addition to the burglary, he was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a switchblade knife, resisting an officer and violation of probation. This morning the District Attorney's Office issued the burglary charge on Shawn V. Winters age 32, of
On November 4, I suggested a property tax freeze that would also save much-needed personnel.
The Common Council met in early December to take action to bring the tax rate down from $6.04 to $5.94. The aldermen took no action on the far more important issue, the property tax levy that remained at a 2.9% increase.
THE TOP 10
3) RECESSION? WHAT RECESSION? CITY TAXES GO UP
4) BUCKHORN CLOSED, BUT ONLY TEMPORARILY
5) SACRED HEART AT MONASTERY LAKE
6) GREAT WORK BY FRANKLIN POLICE
7) ROSANN LEWANDOWSKI
9) KAREN NESBIT