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Olson rises to Franklin's mayoral seat

He tops Taylor in race that included numerous write-ins

April 2, 2014

Franklin — Former Alderman Steve Olson will now become the city's acting mayor after winning the seat in Tuesday's election, defeating Common Council President and County Supervisor Steve Taylor for the position.

Tom Taylor, Franklin's current mayor, decided not to run for re-election last year.

According to unofficial results Tuesday:

Steve Olson 2,975

Steve Taylor 1,849

Write-in 878

All results remain unofficial until certified by a board of canvassers, which met after press deadline.

Former Alderman Basil Ryan was a registered write-in candidate for the spring election, after losing the primary in February.

Olson served as alderman for the city's 2nd District from 1998 to 2001 and alderman for the 1st District from 2004 to 2013. He also served on multiple committees, including Economic Development and Finance.

As a successful businessman, Olson often emphasized his down-to-earth approach to dealing with issues as well as "less politics and more action."

"It feels great (to win)," Olson said, shortly after the results were released. "I think it's a great night for Franklin. I'm here with all my supporters and they're all very excited about renewed economic development and more control on the budget.

"I think it's a great sign that we're heading in a positive direction, filled with respect and transparency."

The three-year term will come with a salary of $16,800, plus $4,800 for mileage and expenses. Olson will take office on April 15.

Aldermanic seats

District 3

Incumbent Kristen Wilhelm was re-elected for her aldermanic seat for District 3, against opponent Ray Lens in the election.

Kristen Wilhelm 614

Ray Lenz 196

During the course of her first two terms on the Common Council, Wilhelm has been appointed to several committees, including the Finance Committee and Park Commission. She also served eight years on the city's Environmental Commission at the request of former Mayor Fred Klimetz.

District 4

Janet Evans will become the next alderwoman for District 4, after defeating Steve Taylor in the election.

Janet Evans 565

Steve Taylor 474

Write-in 7

Evans, president of the Franklin School Board, has been a resident of Franklin for 36 years and has served on the School Board for five years. She has also has served on various School Board committees, including Community and Governmental Relations.

District 6

Susanne Mayer was elected the next alderwoman for District 6, following the departure of State Rep. Ken Skowronski, who did not seek re-election on the Common Council.

Susanne Mayer 580

John Nelson 375

Write-in 6

Mayer operates multiple businesses in the area and emphasized a need for responsible commercial development in her campaign platform.

Aldermen serve three-year terms and have a salary of $7,200, plus $1,800 for mileage and expenses.

Franklin School Board

Incumbents Tim Nielson and Linda Witkowski will return to their seats on the Franklin School Board after both were re-elected in Tuesday's election.

Linda Witkowski 2,526

Tim Nielson 1,928

John Paul Thompson 1,819

Write-ins 31

Nielson is vice president of the school board and has been a Franklin resident since 2001, when he was first elected to the board. He has two daughters currently enrolled in the district.

Witkowski has served on the board since 2008. She is currently the board treasurer and has also served as the board clerk. She has served a role in multiple committees, including Curriculum, Finance, and Community and Governmental Relations.

School Board members serve three-year terms and have an annual salary of $3,000; the board votes on the salary every year during its annual meeting.

The incumbents will begin their new terms on the board April 28.

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