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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.

WHAT'S GREAT ABOUT FRANKLIN: #1

WHAT'S GREAT ABOUT FRANKLIN


In honor of America’s birthday, I began a special series over the past few days featuring, in my view, the Top Ten of what’s best about Franklin. Here is my #1, but first, a review of the rest of the Top Ten:


10) FRANKLIN’S UNMET BUT GREAT POTENTIAL

At one time, our tiny town was the fastest growing area in southeast Wisconsin. The economy put the brakes on. We’ll bounce back, and we can then work on reaching our very best.

We have well-intentioned leaders at City Hall. They are to be commended for being public servants. If only they’d read the papers and watch the news more often. We are in a recession. Time to stop taxing and spending was a long time ago.

We have great businesses, just not enough. We need more. Could we pull back on the obnoxious rules and regulations?

We have good restaurants, again, just not enough. We need more. One or two great ones would be nice.

Ditto for retail stores.

Schools? We’re not MPS by any means. But our schools could use improvement, especially in student achievement. The management of our system, especially our School Board needs something close to a miracle to provide any sort of leadership.


Franklin
could really be amazing, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility. We’re not there yet. That’s one of the reasons I blog.

9) COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Franklin really loves Franklin. I’ve seen it at parades, fundraisers, and athletic events. Here’s an example.

This past March, I was the timer for the Franklin-Hamilton boys basketball WIAA playoff game at Hamilton. By some weird WIAA quirk, Franklin was the home team, so when Franklin scored early, I put the score up for home. Hamilton fans starting getting uneasy, yelling at the scorer’s table. So, to make things easier, I asked the PA announcer to explain that even though Hamilton was the visitor, they would be dsignated as  HOME on the scoreboard. OK, that has nothing to do with my point, except this. Franklin should have been home. Even though Hamilton was by far the better team and, at the time, a favorite to go to state and win, and they were playing on their own gym floor, Franklin fans far outnumbered Hamilton fans.

They were there en masse with their Franklin colors and behaved, as they always do, in a classy manner.

Multiply that by high school football, girls and boys basketball, soccer, etc., and throw in Little League. Franklin cares.

8) FRANKLIN IS NOT VERY CONTROVERSIAL

Oh, we have our moments. But despite what some irresponsible bloggers who love to dwell in rumor, innuendo and speculation (anything but facts) love to write, Franklin is pretty quiet.

Our biggest blemishes that actually got the attention of a sleepy public the last few years:

Boomgaard. This is the best your PR group could come up with?

Mayor Taylor, a political figure, and his staff that work for a politician may have engaged in political work in a political building popularly known as City Hall.


Let’s face it. Our city, politically, is just about squeaky. Even if it wasn’t, an apathetic public would never notice. There is no graft, corruption, malfeasance, white collar crime.

Things generally are pretty ho-hum around here, so quiet that some reckless writers have to invent controversy in a feeble attempt to make themselves relevant.


The Franklin School Board? That’s another subject. Eventually, they’ll pay for going too far, violating open meetings laws and lying to the public about tax levies and budgets. But this is a positive list. Don’t expect to see their names come up.


7) FRANKLIN IS CONSERVATIVE

Not only politically. Franklin cares deeply about families and neighborhoods. There’s tremendous civic pride. Franklin is decent, humble, hard-working, a values-oriented community.

We’re not exactly a rock ‘n’ rollin’, rootin’ tootin’ town, and that’s ok.

6) FRANKLIN HAS A DELIGHTFUL RURAL-URBAN COMBINATION

Is it the right mix? Depends who you ask.

Some say we’re not enough Flintstones anymore. Some say we’re not enough Jetsons.

There’s enough of each, I believe, to satisfy.

5) CITY HALL HAS WONDERFUL SUPPORT STAFF

City
employees are aces.

Deserving special recognition: City Clerk Sandi Wesolowski. We’re glad to have her back from the State Elections Board (now the Government Accountability Board). Madison’s loss is our huge gain.

Also, City Attorney Jesse Wesolowski. I’ve heard city insiders say he’s the best municipal attorney in the state. That one is hard to argue with.

 

4) BEAUTY

We have no striking landmarks or breathtaking natural wonders. However, Franklin is a city with clean neighborhoods and streets. People care about how their properties look and manage and care for them appropriately. Franklinites are fine stewards and it shows.

3) OUTSTANDING POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS

Time and again we hear reports of their excellent work. And some city officials actually thought about cutting their budgets last year?

We owe these departments our support and gratitude.

2) PEACEFUL

We’re not crime-free, but you get a strong sense of security and safety living here.  That is due, in large part, to the work of our fine police chief and officers. Franklin residents also care deeply, regarding public safety as a top priority.

I wouldn’t advise it, but there are plenty of places in the 53132 zip code where you could leave your doors unlocked. OK, Chief Oliva, stop cringing. But you get my point.

And finally, #1

1) OUR PASSION TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN

Years ago, the state of Wisconsin and a special task force studied potential sites in Milwaukee County to build what was essentially a “sex predator house,” a facility to house multiple released sex offenders. It became apparent the target was Franklin with its wide open spaces.

Franklin residents, normally apathetic politically, rose up in arms. Neighborhoods sprouted anti- sex offender yard signs like weeds. A public hearing was held at State Fair Park, considered to be the largest attended state public hearing in Wisconsin history, packed with Franklinites who clamored "not here, not in our city."

State Senator Mary Lazich authored two-fold legislation to disband the task force searching for a site for the predator house and to kill any funding for such a facility. The legislation was approved and signed into law.

Subsequently, Franklin residents strongly supported local proposals to enact tough ordinances restricting where released sex offenders could live. The ordinances also restricted the whereabouts of released sex offenders.

After the Common Council approved the ordinances, they were challenged in court by a released offender that moved illegally into Franklin. A historically liberal judge that had rendered rulings in favor of sex offenders deemed the ordinances to be constitutional and the sex offender that challenged the laws had to move out of the city. The Franklin ordinances served as models for communities statewide.

When proposed state legislation would have struck down Franklin’s ordinances and similar laws around the state, residents again stood tall to defend their neighborhoods and communities, and the effort to kill our laws in Madison failed.

Franklin is on record and the entire state knows all too well. You mess with our children, and you better be prepared to fight. What an outstanding quality all of Franklin can be extremely proud of.


WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT FRANKLIN

1) OUR CHILDREN COME FIRST

2) WE’RE PRETTY SAFE
3) TOP NOTCH POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS

4) CLEAN CITY

5) SUPER STAFF AT CITY HALL

6) RURAL-URBAN COMBO

7) WE’RE CONSERVATIVE 

8) FRANKLIN LACKS CONTROVERSY

9) COMMUNITY SUPPORT

10) GREAT POTENTIAL

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