Last time Greg Kowalski ran for 1st district alderman in April 2010, he was unsuccessful and it was speculated that he was far too inexperienced in life to become an Alderman. Shortly after the election he wrote a posting on his blog Franklin Today stating his opposition to the proposed Drexel Interchange (now built) because it would do nothing for the City of Franklin. Kowalski publicly criticized two experienced driving forces behind the development of 27th street in Franklin. Those driving forces were none other than Ted Grintjes and Jim Rhiner who for many years served on the 27th Street Steering Committee.
It was through hours and hours of uncompensated work that Grintjes and Rhiner were able to promote the 27th street corridor, convincing Northwestern Mutual and Wheaton Franciscan Hospitals to locate to Franklin along this corridor. Kowalski discounts their opinions and recommendations in favor of Alderwoman Kristen Wilhelm’s, who’s expertise is in the area of environmentalism not development.
In this article Kowalski states that the Drexel interchange is needed only by Oak Creek for their Delphi plant redevelopment at Drexel & Howell and asks “what does Franklin need the interchange for?” Could it be that more access to 27th street will continue to grow this area as a “Franklin destination area” such as Brookfield’s Bluemound road?
So lets examine Kowalski’s experience and education that allows him to make these statements?
Simply said, Greg Kowalski is a 2005 graduate of Franklin High School, he has been attending MATC, (apparently part time since graduation), since the MATC associate degree’s are geared for completion in 2 years. His business expertise is in selling Beanie Babys and stuffed toys on E-bay. Greg’s basis his life experiences from living with his parents since high school graduation while working on his “exceptional?” career track toward being the 1st district alderman.
Here is his opine on the Drexel interchange and 27th street development from Franklin Today:
Franklin Today – Opposition to 27th Street by
Jump forward to 2013 and his current run for Alderman. Now Kowalski is boasting on his FaceBook campaign page that he is an expert on the HWY 100 & Loomis Area. It is the one thing that sets him apart from his fellow candidates.
Here is an exact quote from Candidate Kowalski from is Candidates FaceBook page:
I’m probably more informed on this parcel of land and its development history (or lack thereof) than any of my opponents. Since I haven’t heard any views from any of them, I will save some of my thoughts on this for when the primary gets a little closer. As for the city buying the parcel outright, Alderwoman Wilhelm was challenged to convince her colleagues on the Council to purchase only 500 ft to complete a school access road. It would be a significant uphill battle for the city to be convinced to purchase something in the magnitude of the Meijer parcel. An additional problem for the development of this site is the cost to purchase the parcel is too high given the multitude of water and drainage challenges and road access costs. The fact is, a TIF District may be the only reasonable cost-effective method to develop this property.
OK so what has Kowalski written about about the 27th Street TIFFs?
First and foremost, I’m not a fan at all over the city spending millions of dollars for the 27th Street Corridor. While some will just point out and say it’s TIF (tax-incremental financing) money, meaning that those businesses in the TIF will pay it off via property taxes, I still get a little bothered by it. The TIFs along 27th Street do nothing to impact the property tax base that truly needs the additional revenue, the Franklin Public School District. In the meantime, City Hall has been consistent on approving funds and more funds to facilitate a roughly 10-year-long vision to turn 27th Street into the next Mayfair Road. This just extends the TIF Districts that were created for Northwestern Mutual and Wheaton Franciscan drag on longer, and doesn’t provide tax relief for residents.
1st District residents will have to choose which Kowalski they choose to believe!