Franklin — Mayor Tom Taylor said it's time the city commits to a structure for its economic development leadership.
"Let's make a decision here," he said, after proposing to increase aldermanic representation on the Forward Franklin Economic Development Committee.
But the council held off, putting the matter aside until Franklin Forward leadership could take part in the discussion.
Forward Franklin, which reports to the council, has seven members appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council. At present, only one member can be an alderman, but the mayor proposed that as many as three members could serve on the body.
Taylor said the terms of two Forward Franklin members expired June 30, and he believes they do not wish reappointment, although he has not received formal notices to that effect. Alderman Mark D'Andrea has proposed that a task force be appointed to create a position of economic development director. But Taylor said he had not received any names from any aldermen for the task force.
"I've felt we should put economic development under the Community Development Authority, just like Oak Creek and South Milwaukee have done," Taylor said, adding that the council should "put some teeth in (Forward Franklin), put three aldermen on it; or put it under the CDA."
After the meeting, the mayor said, "Let's undo the task force, and add more aldermen to Forward Franklin."
Alderman Ken Skowronski said the city needs to streamline its economic development structure.
"When business wants to come in, they don't want to go through this board, this board, and this board," he said. "If you want to simplify things, the CDA would be the best way to go, to move things along."
But several council members said the issue should be discussed more fully when Council President Steve Taylor and Forward Franklin Chairman Craig Haskins are present.
"I'm really not comfortable running roughshod over someone who's put so much into this," Alderwoman Kristen Wilhelm said, referring to Haskins. Furthermore, "I kind of like that we have citizens out forward on this. I'm not sure how much time any of us have to serve on another commission."
Afterward, Wilhelm remarked that "I think the mayor wants to take over economic development."
Alderman Daniel Mayer said the council should "bring the chairman in, and let him tell us what he needs to be effective."
WHAT: discussion about increasing council representation on Franklin Forward
WHO: Committee of the Whole
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30
WHERE: Franklin City Hall, 9229 W. Loomis Road
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