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Two former aldermen vie for Franklin mayoral post against council president

Jan. 21, 2014

Franklin — Former alderman Basil Ryan will be on the ballot in the spring primary election for mayor, running against Common Council President Steve Taylor and former alderman Steve Olson, both previously announced.

Basil Ryan was elected the 4th District alderman in 2000 and was re-elected for a second term in 2003, before losing a recall election.

He ran for mayor in 2008, but lost to current mayor Tom Taylor.

"I'm running for mayor to restore fiscal responsibility to Franklin and give taxpayers a voice in their local government," Ryan was quoted as saying in a news release. "The tax levy has steadily increased along with spending. Franklin taxpayers cannot afford to pay such high taxes and continue to live in the city."

Ryan pointed to his history of tax reduction as an alderman, stating that taxes were reduced by 17.25 percent and the property tax rate dropped from $8.17 to $6.76 per $1,000 of assessed value during his term, according to his website, BasilRyanForMayor.com.

"As mayor, I will lower taxes, just as I did when I was alderman," Ryan states on his website. "This will require re-evaluation of the city's policies and procedures, especially how the city determines property assessment."

While on the Common Council, Ryan lobbied and voted to rebuild the Franklin Public Library as well as to improve the police station and add a second fire station in the 4th District.

"We need to do a better job protecting public safety in Franklin," Ryan stated. "The money spent on general government has risen by a higher percentage than the money spent on public safety."

Ryan has served on multiple municipal boards, including the Health, Public Works and Review boards.

"Many residents feel they do not have a voice in neighborhood issues," he stated. "We are currently spending money in neighborhoods where the residents are opposed to those projects. We must get our priorities straight."

The primary for the mayoral race will narrow the field to two candidates. It will be held Feb. 18.

Other contested races

Incumbent Kristen Wilhelm will run again for 3rd District alderman of in the spring election April 4. She will run against resident Ray Lenz.

Common Council President Steve Taylor will run for re-election to the 4th District aldermanic seat against Franklin School Board President Janet Evans. Taylor also is a mayoral candidate.

John Nelson, vice chairman of the Fire and Police Commission, will run against resident Susanne Mayer for the 6th District aldermanic seat being vacated by Ken Skowronski.

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