With the spring elections less than a week away, I find myself more than ever thinking quite seriously about
No matter who emerges victorious next Tuesday, it is my sincere hope that the members of our local governing bodies will work in concert and cohesively to address the city’s major issues.
Let me initially and briefly list the issues that stand out in my mind.
3) Public safety
4) Our business climate
5) Civic/community pride
6) Our workforce
7) Recognizing outstanding achievement
These are all pretty important, wouldn’t you agree?
Now let’s expound on each item, starting, of course, right at the top.
2) Education. I think we all would agree that
3) Public safety.
4) Our business climate.
5) Civic/community pride. It is imperative we bring residents together. What better way to bring community residents together than by having a
6) Our workforce. Our vastly underpaid, under-benefitted public workers have really gotten beat up as of late. That has to wear on their morale, thus, affecting their ability to even concentrate. We must make it easier for them to perform their duties. An addition built at City Hall, the Library, or the Police department would feature a
7) Recognizing outstanding achievement. In order to encourage projects to benefit
8) Taxes. Some of the above mentioned items will obviously necessitate funding and lots of it. Accomplish it without raising taxes? Not gonna happen. Property taxes will just have to go up a bunch. Tax bills will be sent out earlier and since we’ll have to move quickly, taxes will be due three days later.
In my view, these items are all necessary because of the following.
1) We must move Franklin Forward.
2) At all costs, we have to be better than
3) Gosh darn it, I WANT it!
Here's a segment from a March 28th debate....
Last night during the 10:00 news, I was told by our know-it-all TV weather folks I would wake up to a wintry mix that would persist throughout the day today.
I note that he, other than a brief e-mail, was AWOL on the most important public safety issue to
During the November 2009 city budget deliberations, when Mayor Tom Taylor wanted to cut a fire department position and two police officer positions, aldermen Steve Olson and Lyle Sohns fought to restore those positions. Because of his personal pettiness fueled by a dislike for Olson,
If Steve Taylor knocks on your door this weekend, ask him why he verbally opposed restoration of important public safety fire and police positions in November of 2009.
Take whatever answer he gives you with a grain of salt, including that Kevin Fischer is full of it. He is obsessed with me and my blog instead of the job at hand, another reason he’s unfit to be alderman. His priorities are out of whack.
With his re-election on the line, Steve Taylor wants us to believe that suddenly he’s a fan of public safety. That’s not the impression he gave in November of 2009 or his last three years in office. It’s also a tactic used by lefties as the election gets closer. They move closer and closer to the right. Steve Taylor, phony conservative, is now using that page right out of the liberal playbook. As a phony conservative, Taylor is out of touch with the values of the majority of his district and the city of Franklin.
Also ask him this if he rings your doorbell this weekend:
What specific budget amendments did you propose last November to reduce the city property tax levy increase down to 0 %? He offered NONE and rubber stamped the property tax increase during a recession when many homes in Franklin were being foreclosed.
Finally, DO NOT fall for any rhetoric from Steve Taylor that a city of
And for those inclined, please have a copy of the 1st Amendment ready for Steve Taylor. Kindly remind him that Kevin Fischer enjoys this right. Taylor's ignorance has him forgetting that. It's yet another reason you need to:
VOTE FOR PETE KOSOVICH APRIL 5!
Steve Taylor has plenty of time to attend these events, but can't find time to attend a hearing about sex predators in his neighborhoods?
In the final days preceding the April 5 elections, I will have more blogs to explain why the following belong on the list of Franklin elected officials who have given public service, have had their chances, been great disappointments and now need to be replaced:
And what about Mayor Tom Taylor, running unopposed?
You’ll just have to keep checking in….
It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.
The weekend has finally arrived.
The sun has set.
The evening sky has erupted.
Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.
Tonight, seriously good music fit for this first day of this month.
We begin with a classic sung by the man who did it better than anyone else.
From onstage with the Rat Pack...
Next up, a live recording that just turned 50 years old.
And it’s historic.
From the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:
“Congress in the late 1950s authorized the construction of the memorial to honor the crewmembers entombed when the USS Arizona was sunk during an aerial attack by the Japanese that plunged the United States into World War II. The Pacific War Memorial Commission was tasked with raising $500,000 to build the USS Arizona Memorial.
The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of this just in…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me. It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!
THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.
TODAY: Partly cloudy. High of 47. That's about right for this time of year. "C"
SUNDAY: A nasty combo of rain, thunder, and wind. High of 45. "F"
Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog:
I have often said that when we get a dog, I would love to have her certified as a therapy dog. I can see so many wonderful possibilities volunteering in hospitals, nursing homes and even schools. We have blogged many times on The Barking Lot about the incredible things that service and therapy dogs can accomplish for their human companions. Dogs help war veterans, physically challenged individuals, children who are traumatized and need to testify in court… the list is endless. I don’t think anyone would argue the valuable role dogs can play in a healing process.
A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...
HEROES OF THE WEEK
Sergio Lopez and the people of Hillside, Illinois
True the Vote
VILLAINS OF THE WEEK
Jim Parrett of AFSCME
Indiana Democrat Congressman Dave Cheatham
Jail drug smugglers
QUOTES OF THE WEEK.
“Here’s the bottom line: Democrats are rooting for a government shutdown. We’re listening to the people who sent us here to cut spending so we can grow our economy.”
“The liberal mainstream media, notice how they have tried to destroy Sarah Palin. Notice how the more popular Michele Bachmann gets, the more they try to destroy her. You want to know why they go after those two ladies more viciously? Because they know that Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin is going to draw a lot of the women vote away from the Democrat Party. They are scared to death of that, if they were to run and get the nomination. They are doubly scared that a real black man might run against Barack Obama.”
“Democrats couldn’t care less about the interests of their own country. Indeed, if there were the slightest possibility that our intervention in
“The Republicans in Congress claim they’re concerned about the budget balance, but it’s a disguise! It’s not true! It’s a lie! That’s not what they want. They want — they want other people not to be able to have their own opinions. They don’t deserve the freedoms that are in the Constitution! But we’ll give it to them anyway.”
Democrat Senator Frank Lautenberg
“Never modest about himself, Obama is supremely modest about his country.”
"I didn't know where to put it. I had a bucket of rock salt and a 5-gallon bucket of bird food in the garage. I thought the rock salt, it might eat the ink off the ticket. So I put the ticket in the bird food and hid it in the basement."
John Kutey, one of the
OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK
1) "However far-fetched."
2) Our so-called "border patrol."
MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK
A tale of two rallies.
MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK
Charlie Sheen just won't go away.
STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK
From our very own Franklin...
And we close with the latest from NewsBusted!
Bruce is tagging along with Bob today. He’s a proud veteran of our military and remains on active duty, stationed at Scott AFB, IL.
If Bob Schick stops at your house and Bruce is with him, thank Bruce for his service to our country and his patriotism.
VOTE FOR BOB SCHICK FOR FRANKLIN ALDERMAN DISTRICT 3 ON TUESDAY, APRIL 5!
This is a super time to be a sports fan.
It's the Final Four beginning this weekend for both men's and women's college basketball. The baseball season has just begun. Soon, the NBA playoffs will be underway.
As an avid sports fan, I’ve made an observation that really bugs me. During the course of any sports season, you will often, too often hear coaches and players alike use the word "adversity" to describe a tough situation. Their blatant misuse of the term is quite disturbing.
Adversity is losing a limb or two while defending your country. Adversity is the daily life of a police officer, not knowing if survival will come at the end of a work shift. Adversity is the loss of a loved one. Adversity is dealing with a serious illness or disability.
I admire and respect real people who go through real adversity and do it with a smile and a bright attitude. One of those is Morgan Hayes.
Here's hoping that she has one of the best nights of her life tonight.
Late last year when I blogged financial data supporting my claim that Franklin is a tax hell, Mayor Tom Taylor in knee jerk reaction had his staff prepare a report in rebuttal that compared Franklin’s city tax rate to tax rates in surrounding communities.
Mayor Taylor distributed this report to Common Council members who, at one of their subsequent meetings, nodded like brainwashed sheep and laughed and snickered at and insulted anyone (like me) that would dare question our obscene taxes.
What Mayor Taylor and the tax and spenders on the Common Council (that would be all except Steve Olson) were banking on was that the general public wouldn’t see the major flaw in the staff report and that is that the tax rate is meaningless. It’s the tax LEVY that’s important.
Some time ago, I asked the Research Director for the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), Dale Knapp for the latest property tax information for the city of
“Celebrating its 78th year, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) is the state's oldest and most respected private government research organization. Since 1932, it has been promoting better government and an informed citizenry through its publications, public outreach and extensive school programs.”
Knapp responded to my request:
“The latest numbers for the city of
There are important tables reported by WISTAX.
1) The municipal tax is the total amount levied by the municipality for municipal purposes.
2) The net levy includes all property taxes levied in the municipality. This includes the levy for the local school district(s), technical colleges, county, municipality, special districts, and the state.
3) Per capita, or tax paid by each person.
Let’s look at how the city of
The municipal tax:
The net levy:
Doesn’t seem all that terrible, does it?
But now you look at the per capital rankings.
For the municipal tax,
For the net levy,
These are the latest figures available. I doubt the figures for 2010-11 will show any dramatic improvement.
To repeat, the overwhleming majority of City Hall offiicials including Steve Taylor and Kristen Wilhelm DO NOT believe Franklin is a tax hell. And why wouldn't they?
As I post every Sunday, here are the five most read blog entries of mine from the previous week. NOTE: some entries may have been posted prior to the past week.
1) Here is the #1 reason to vote against Franklin alderman Steve Taylor
2) Pete Kosovich for Franklin alderman, 4th distruct: The true consrvative in this race
3) Culinary no-no #211
4) Emails, I get emails: THE CHARACTER OF THE SUPREME COURT CANDIDATES
5) Some savvy blog readers have Franklin alderman Steve Taylor all figured out
1) A bomb drops on a tightly-guarded residence of leader Moammar Gadhafi and military targets in the suburb of Tajura on Tuesday, March 29. NATO-led coalition aircraft had been seen in the skies over the capital earlier in the afternoon. Mahmud Turkia / AFP - Getty Images
2) A member of the Young Russia (Rossiya Molodaya) movement, depicting US President Barak Obama with blood on his hands during a protest against awarding Obama the Nobel Peace Prize in front of the US Embassy in Moscow, Russia, Friday, April 1, 2011. Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples, and the Young Russia movement question his continued effort to the international diplomatic cause.(AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
3) In this March 22 photo, Manami Kon, using Japanese hiragana characters she just learned, writes a letter for her mother who's still missing after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at the devastated city of
4) Takako Konno smiles after finding her cousin's childhood diary from amongst a tsunami devastated house at Tanohata village, Iwate prefecture on March 27, 2011. Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP - Getty Images
5) In this Friday, April 1, 2011, photo released by the Japan Coast Guard, members of the Japan Coast Guard rescue a dog after it was found drifting on the roof of a house floating 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) off Kesennuma, northeastern Japan. The dog wears a collar, but there is no address on it. The March 11 earthquake off
6) John Hoskins, center, holds Xavier Huguenard, 19 months, one of the children he rescued from a flipped vehicle Monday morning, March 28, 2011, off of Illinois Road in Whitley County, Ind. The car, which was being driven westbound on
7) Milwaukee Brewers players jog in the snow at
8) Ramon Hernandez is mobbed by teammates after he hit a 3-run-homer in the bottom of the 9th inning Thursday as
9) Guests gaze at Miller Park's new high definition scoreboard at its unveiling Monday. Journal Sentinel photo :Kristyna Wentz-Graff
10) 7th graders react to a human brain during a hands on program for Brain Awareness Week at
11) An unexpected side-effect of the flooding in parts of
12) Veterinarian, William Fowlds saws off the horn of a rhinocerous while game ranger Mof Swanepoel restrains her at the
13) Christie Carr dresses her kangaroo, Irwin, in a shirt and pair of blue jeans in her home, in Broken Arrow, Okla., before going out to visit a nursing home. Carr suffers from depression and has found solace in Irwin, but local city officials worry that the partially paralyzed therapy pet could become a public safety risk. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
14) The so-called "Crazy House" (Verrueckte Haus), a single-family house upside down can be seen in the northern German town of
15) A Lego model depicting an imaginary scene from the forthcoming Royal Wedding on March 30 in
16) Ellie Phillips, of London's Jealous Gallery, holds up a specially commissioned airline style sick bag for people who have had too much of the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton.
17) A patron of Charlie Sheen's show at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan April 2 shows her displeasure following a performance which saw Sheen walk off the stage. Saturday was the first date in Sheen's cross country tour of his show "Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option". Photo: Getty Images
18) American Artist Eric Staller performs with his creation, 'Fish-O-Vision' at
19) Girls walk with a book on their head to learn deportment, in front of a cardboard cutout of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton as they take part in the 'A Princess Tea Party' event, at a hotel in London, Saturday, April 2, 2011. A scene straight from "My Fair Lady" played out at a posh London hotel Saturday as a dozen girls in frilly dresses attended a "princess boot camp" ahead of this month's royal wedding. The pint-size wannabe princesses learned how to walk straight, eat with decorum and curtsy. Never mind that it's doubtful any of them will come within spitting distance of the royals at the April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
20) The obligatory model picture. A model presents a creation made with recycled materials during Ecofashion 2011 in
Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).
The one opinion piece The New York Times didn’t want you to read
"Editor’s note: In the weeks since Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker introduced his reforms to balance the budget and revoke the collective bargaining rights of public employees, The New York Times repeatedly used its editorial pages to opine on the reforms. Below is the Op-Ed that Governor Walker wrote that the New York Times chose not to run."
Wisconsin judicial tyranny
"It's beginning to seem like the will of the people, as reflected in the election results, is completely irrelevant. The Democrats and their special interest sponsors in the labor movement are using any means at their disposal to block the efforts of the officials who won the election.
Our Founding Fathers warned against 'the tyranny of the minority.' This must have been the type of situation they had in mind."
The paranoid style in liberal politics
To get us started and in the right mood this week, please click the following video.
Thank you, Gil.
When the Milwaukee Brewers play their home opener Monday at Miller Park, there will be a new item at concession stands. Back in January, the Brewers held a "Create a Concession" contest for fans.
Milwaukee Brewers GM Doug Melvin sampled fish tacos during the process of selecting four contest finalists. Journal Sentinel photo: Rick Wood.
The eventual winner was 25-year old teacher Courtney Ring of
"I came up with the idea to use the sausages when one of my friends was talking about 'eating for the cycle' - eating one of each of the sausages. Knowing I could never eat that much, I thought, 'How awesome would it be to buy something that gave you a little taste of each kind?'
For this frustrated voter, the elections on April 5 boil down to this.
I am fed up with the overwhelming tax and spend mentality that permeates City Hall and the Franklin School Board that in turn leads to most of our elected officials constantly taking more and more money away from my family, our baby’s college fund, funds for family vacations, our retirement, etc.
I am tired of people in surrounding suburbs telling me they have more house and comparable services and schools, if not better, at far less the property tax.
Here are my thoughts on the
FRANKLIN ALDERMAN, DISTRICT 3
I happen to like the incumbent, Kristen Wilhelm. She’s on my list of potential baby-sitters for Kyla. Her opponent, Bob Schick and I agreed during a recent conversation that she works hard and cares a great deal. I very much appreciate that she communicates with her constituents (like me) via e-mail. More of
However, this is not a popularity contest. I know plenty of genuinely nice people. But I would never vote for them.
Kristen Wilhelm is a tax and spend, environmentalist liberal. She does not share the same fiscal conservative values as the majority of her district or the majority of the city.
She promised me before she was elected that she would hold the line on taxing and spending. In reality, she has done just the opposite, voting every time for city budgets that increased the property tax levy beyond the rate of inflation, and during a recession when homes in her district are being foreclosed. They’re easy to find for someone like Kristen who likes to use the computer. It’s a simple concept called “Google.”
My property tax bill means far more to me than E-newsletters that have included job openings for liberal public radio.
Sorry, Kristen. You had your opportunity, and in my view, did not earn re-election because you were so disappointing, including in your promise to me about taxing and spending.
Kristen Wilhelm has the incumbent advantage over Bob Schick, a political newcomer. But after talking to Schick, I understand he embodies true
But Kevin, if Kristen wins, don’t you run the risk of alienating yourself with her in the future? Good question. But she’s rarely listened to me in the past. Why would she listen in the future?
Schick might be green, but in a city our size, I’m not sure that’s a major detriment. What he does have is my trust. The incumbent lost it a long time ago.
VOTE FOR BOB SCHICK TUESDAY TO HELP RESTORE FISCAL SANITY TO
FRANKLIN ALDERMAN, DISTRICT 4
My dear friend, former Wisconsin Lt. Governor Margaret Farrow once told me this that I have never forgotten. If you have an “R” after your name (Republican), talk like one, act like one, vote like one, govern like one.
The incumbent, the vagabond Steve Taylor who just can’t seem to find a zip code to become comfortable with, likes to pass himself off as a conservative. And yet, he has violated the Farrow doctrine big time.
This phony conservative, supposedly a Scott Walker disciple, has voted for city budgets that increased the property tax levy beyond the rate of inflation. Unlike Scott Walker, he never lifted a finger to attempt to reduce the property tax levy increase to 0 %. When a colleague tried several times last November to amend the budget to reduce the levy increase even further, Steve Taylor sat silent, refusing to even second the motion on behalf of hard-working families. Why? Because he has a huge personal dislike for the alderman who made the motions.
If you don’t like
Taylor’s other claim to fame is his push to require that dogs, horses, and other small animals always be on leashes. More government intervention. That’s more liberalism from a phony conservative.
He also was considering a city-wide smoking ban until liberal Jim Doyle who liked the same idea rammed it through the Legislature. The smoking ban issue torn Franklin apart in the 90’s, the most divisive public policy in our city’s history showing once again how out of touch Steve Taylor is.
Steve Taylor lacks the proper demeanor to handle the job. I have been informed by his constituents that if you dare disagree, he will call you at home to give you a hard time. If you’re not at home, he will belittle your spouse.
He is arrogant and condescending as opposed to his opponent, Pete Kosovich who has the appropriate even-keel approach and the appropriate fiscal conservative approach to stop the maddening taxing and spending that have driven too many to put up the FOR SALE signs that our aldermen ignore, laugh and snicker at when they pass their bloated budgets.
VOTE FOR PETE KOSOVICH TUESDAY APRIL 5
FRANKLIN SCHOOL BOARD
There are 3 candidates running for 2 school board seats.
Several weeks ago, I asked Works why he didn’t attend last year’s school board meeting, the most important of the year, that decided the school system budget for the following year.
Works refused to answer on the record, imploring me not to publish his response to that and other questions. Suffice to say that as a fiscal conservative, I was disturbed by his comments.
As recently as a few weeks ago, I requested that he be cautious in upcoming votes and not approve pay increases for school system employees.
On March 3, I told David Works:
“DON’T FORGET THE TAXPAYERS.”
Works responded the next day:
“You have it.”
According to Fred Keller’s blog, while Works voted against a contract increase for Superintendent Steve Patz, he voted for an average 2.3 percent increase for Administrators, and voted for an average 2.3 percent increase for various non-union staff.
Since becoming a school board member, Works has voted consistently for big tax and spending increases, going against what he has told me face to face.
Quite frankly, David Works is one of the most disappointing Franklin officials in recent memory.
She has been a bit more consistent as of late in holding the line on out of control school spending.
Newcomer Tim Nielson
He deserves a chance, with the caveat that if he wins, people will be watching him as they did David Works. I refuse to be fooled and insulted like I was by Works ever again.
If there are to be two winners Tuesday, they should be Nielson and Witkowski.
The incumbent, Tom Taylor is a good friend. He and I have collaborated well on several important Franklin issues.The mayor has done many good things for Franklin.
He is running unopposed. Foolish and naïve Franklin bloggers without substantiation, as usual, posted silly items recently that Taylor would be the subject of a write-in campaign. He won’t be and will be mayor again.
If he had an opponent, it would have been very interesting because my good friend, and he is, had a rough last year.
In a weak attempt to defend Franklin’s out of whack taxing and spending, Mayor Taylor accused fiscal critics of badmouthing all that is good about the city when they did no such thing. Instead of engaging in thoughtful debate, he ordered his staff to prepare a bogus report about the city’s meaningless tax rate, as if that would somehow satisfy the masses paying their property tax bills in December.
The mayor also publically enabled his tax and spenders on the Common Council (Steve Taylor, Kristen Wilhelm, et al) to berate, laugh at and ridicule any hard working taxpayer that refused to kiss the tax and spenders’ rings.
You have to earn my vote (Gee, I’m just funny that way) and I will not be voting for Mayor Tom Taylor Tuesday, leaving that space on my ballot blank.
Mayor, please work harder in your next term to earn back my confidence.
VOTE FOR DAVID PROSSER, WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT
VOTE FOR JEFF STONE FOR MILW. COUNTY EXECUTIVE
The Oak Creek Public Library will be closed Friday, April 22; Saturday, April 23; and Sunday, April 24 for the Easter holiday.
Have a safe and Happy Easter!
A workshop to gather public input to help plan the future of the 85-acre former Delphi Corp. site, at 7929 S. Howell Ave., as well as the nearby area around City Hall and the Oak Creek Library, will be held Wednesday.
The purpose is to gather input on what the community would like to see occur on the properties before the project team begins to prepare site concepts. The project team will come back to the public with specific planning concepts at a later meeting.