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Is it time for a full-time mayor?

Alderman wants to ask voters in Franklin

June 3, 2009

Residents may soon have a chance to weigh in on whether the city's part-time mayor should officially work full time.

Alderman Steve Taylor said he will begin drafting a referendum question on that very issue, which was last put to voters 10 years ago, when the measure was voted down by just 68 votes.

Since then, the city has grown substantially, Taylor said, and opinions on the matter may have changed.

With Mayor Thomas Taylor (no relation) regularly putting in a full work week anyway, the time may be right for another vote, Alderman Taylor said.

"The general public deserves to have the opportunity to tell us what they want for future government of the city," the alderman said.

Alderman Taylor said he and Alderman Tim Solomon will work on the language of the question before bringing it to the Common Council later this year. The council then decides whether to put the question on the ballot.

Mayor Taylor said he does not advocate switching to a full-time-mayoral system.

"I'm quite fine with the present system," the mayor said. "This is not being pushed by me."

Franklin's system is similar to most Milwaukee County suburbs, which have a part-time mayor or village president and a full-time administrator.

The lone exceptions are West Allis, which has a full-time mayor and a full-time city administrator, and Greenfield, where the full-time mayor also serves as administrator.

The Franklin mayoral position now pays $22,000 annually.

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