This Forward Thinking is Why Steve Olson Has Been Elected Mayor

Before the mud slinging of his opponent, before the rhetoric from his opponent, came this email to Franklin’s Mayor Tom Taylor and the  Common Council from then former Alderman Steve Olson and soon to be Mayor Steve Olson.

Mayor Steve Olson has been and I believe will be a major driving force in intelligent, well though out development in Franklin.  He will choose the right path, the best path for development to flourish in Franklin. Something we have not seen in a long time, especially with the Franklin Forward (backwards) Committee spearheaded by Mayor Olson’s opponent.


From: Steve Olson
Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2013 8:36 PM
To: ‘Alderman'; ‘Tom Taylor’
Cc: Mark Luberda; Jesse Wesolowski; Joel Dietl
Subject: 70/30 goal.

Dear Mayor, Aldermen and staff:

Please accept the comments below with all due respect.

I’m listening to the 70/30 goal discussion and have a few points:

First, I chaired the committee that came up with the goal.  It was comprised of members of the Economic Development Commission, the Community Development Authority, Common Council, the Plan Commission, the Franklin School Board, a couple of developers and other interested parties.  The goal was not determined in a hap hazard manner but came after many, many discussions, arguments, meetings and frank conversations.  That goal resulted in the basis for the first city wide economic development plan ever done in the United States called the Ticknor report and was followed by the implementation plan for 5 areas called “Franklin First.”

  • This goal is ONLY related to total ASSESSED VALUE of the community NOT tax rate or taxing districts.  So any conversation regarding the different school district is not appropriate based on history.
  • The ratio defines the 70% as properties who have RESIDENTS.  That includes single family, multi-family, condominium and apartments.  Apartments are assessed as commercial and those were backed out and put into the residential numbers.
  • Those on the committee always recognized and stated their responsibility to the CITY and not to individual taxing entities.
  • The committee (Economic Development Strategic Plan Steering Committee) was unique in that there was no “politics” involved.  There weren’t “turf wars.”  They recognized that business will go to the areas that will make them successful.  You can’t build an office or office park in the middle of a residential area.  You can’t attract retail to a corn field.  You can’t tell Northwestern Mutual to not develop on 27th Street but to the corner of Hwy. 100 and Loomis.  That kind of comment is great politics but is wholly unrealistic.  It just can’t and doesn’t work.
  • The committee recognized that we needed to provide proper zoning to make it easier to move a commercial/industrial business to Franklin (including retail) but that the zoning couldn’t be done in a vacuum.
  • The committee recognized that zoning must be based on the strong likelihood that a business that we wanted to attract to the area would be likely to WANT to be located in that physical area.  That’s a major reason why the Ticknor report focused so heavily on market research.  Again, you can’t put a business park in the middle of a residential area or a retail center in a corn field.  The Ticknor report places a heavy emphasis on TRANSPORTATION needs of the various types of companies that we indicated our desire to attract.  That’s why you don’t see a recommendation for a business or industrial park on the north and west side of the city.  That’s why “Area D” in the report was the designated “next business park.”  Instant access to I-94 was to be a huge selling factor.
  • Impact fees did not factor into the ratio due to the fact that they are not part of the assessment value but are specific to defraying cost of the development on the operating budgets of the city.
  • It’s ALWAYS about maximizing the taxable value of the commercial and industrial development in an effort to reduce the tax burden of the residential taxpayers.
  • The discussions always came back to the then current makeup of the city as in where people lived, where the businesses were located currently, where we were getting developer interest over laid on what the group wanted the city to look like in 2020 or 2025.
  • The committee relied on our own points of view and the survey done by Hughes, Ruch and Murphy regarding the desires of the community regarding development and quality of life issues.  This is the study that reinforced the desire for a TARGET STORE and the basis for the controversial votes made for the Shoppes at Wyndham Village in the early 2000’s.
  • The goal attainment will be in flux.  Some years commercial/industrial will outpace residential, most years will see residential outpace commercial/industrial and therefore, achieving the goal changes year to year until the city is built out.
  • Because the goal would be a moving target year over year, the committee recognized that protecting commercial/industrial lands with appropriate zoning was key to meeting the goal.  We can see the impact on this with the residential development near Wheaton Franciscan (Area D) and the Stonehenge development (Area A).  Taking zoned industrial/commercial land and making it residential has a doubling effect that adversely impacts attainment of the goal.
  • The focus of the economic development activities up until about 2000 was always to attract industrial/commercial tax base NOT to fill retail space.  If there are empty buildings that we WANT to fill, they’re still being levied taxes and focusing on that effort would dilute the effort.  The effort was then to continue to attract NEW tax base.  Filling an empty space was a by-product of the effort not the goal.
  • The goal was derived after significant and laborious review of a ton of documents that included the Comprehensive Master Plan, zoning maps (that’s where the 11 then 7 areas studied by Ticknor came from), assessment rolls, utility maps, SEWRPC maps and documents, DOT long range plans, school district planning documents, zoning maps from our neighboring communities, historic development (commercial/industrial and all forms of residential) trends in the city and many, many other documents and interviews that were in effect at the time (1997 through 2000).
  • It was often discussed and always recognized that this was going to be a long, long term project.
  • Many involved discussed whether the decision makers would resist “we’ll take anything that comes along to meet the goal or whether they would look to “quality” and “enhanced quality of work and residential life” in making approval decisions.
  • Then Economic Development Director Stan Kosmatka and I spent many, many days interviewing development officials from other communities about their methods, organization, duties.

There is no history left on the Common Council (it’s natural) or on any of the involved boards, commissions or authorities thus this e-mail.

It’s always been a CITY goal, not a taxing entity goal.  It’s always been about gross ASSESSED VALUE of the city, not school districts.


I’ll end this e-mail with another thought.  Once a parcel is developed it will remain that way for our lifetime and probably the lifetime of the next generation.  Decisions need to be made for the long term.

Thank you for the time.

Steve Olson

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Carmen Maderich – Franklin’s Administrative Clerk Passes

I am trying not to become the obituary blog of Franklin but if you have been to Franklin’s City Hall and visited the City Clerks office you have most likely met Carmen Maderich, our Administrative Clerk. I have talked to her on many occasions in the past, especially when running for Alderman and know she was a an extremely great person to deal with. I know that Sandy Jody and the rest of the city clerk’s office will miss her immensely

As former Alderman Steve Olson remembers her:

Last Wednesday Franklin lost a hugely loved and valued citizen. Carmen Maderich was a long, long-term employee of the City and in her last position in the clerk’s office brought an extremely high level of professionalism, organization and most of all, friendship. Carmen had battled cancer for years, always quietly and with a fighting spirit I’ve never seen before. Throughout her battle she remained positive, cheerful and diligent. She never wanted to miss her work with her friends. Her bright personality will be missed and she leaves a vacuum in the city that will take a long, long time to fill. Rest in peace Carmen, there’s no more pain.

More details on Carmen final arrangements can be found here.

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Fred V. Keller – Voice of The Franklin Independent Journal Passes Away

I received sad email from my friend Janet Evans on Wednesday evening to let me know that our mutual friend Fred Keller had passed away after a 10 year battle with cancer. We had known it was inevitable but we didn’t want it to happen anyway.  However Fred found peace on Wednesday April 24, 2013 at the age of 56.

You may remember Fred from his blog on FranklinNow, as one of three conservative bloggers here in Franklin. Fred pursued his own personal blog BATTLE JOINED, when he found the FranklinNow when they brought about too many rules for their bloggers.  

Finally in co-editorship with good friend and former Alderman Basil Ryan, Fred brought to fruition the local e-paper The Franklin Independent Journal where he brought to light many of the stories of Franklin’s underbelly of local politics along with his many other stories of patriotic valor.  Fred was a true American Patriot and strongly believed in constitutional rights.

Fred was not afraid to speak out publicly either, with his voice being heard at both Franklin Common Council meetings and at the Franklin Board of Education meetings. Not always to the delight of those politicians.    

I can say I am proud to have known Fred Keller and to have called him a friend. Both his son and my daughter were in the same grade while attended the same Franklin Public Schools. Fred and I had the opportunity to see our kids graduate together along with having our friend FPS Board Member, Janet Evans congratulate them on stage.

Franklin High School Graduation 2010

Franklin High School Graduation 2010 – Maersch, Keller, Evans

Fred had a unique sense of humor I will not soon forget.  Fred took his cancer on with that unique sense of humor too. He once told me how cool and freaky it was to see the doctor operating on his brain while he was awake. That was Fred! He will be missed.  

Fred is survived by his brave bride Kathy Keller and his two children. 

A memorial visitation will be held Saturday, April 27th from 1:00 PM until the time of service at 3:00 PM, at CHURCH AND CHAPEL FUNERAL HOME 15250 W. National Ave, New Berlin. 

Memorials may be made to Stars & Stripes Honor Flight or The American Brain Tumor Association.


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More Last Minute Rhetoric from Greg Kowalski. All Talk with NO ANSWERS!

In his last hours campaign push for 1st District Alderman, Greg Kowalski is making some statements he has no idea of how to fulfil nor does he have the power to fulfil “IF” he was elected to the Common Council. I received a copy of his flier from one of the residents of the 1st district and they have these questions to ask the 26-year-old sage.

Lets go through his statements one by one.

  • First Kowalski is claiming his opponent is Mudslinging.  – Is it mud-slinging if it’s the truth? Factual information to compare candidates positions are not mud-slinging. Aren’t candidates responsible for past actions and statements? Kowalski doesn’t think so!
  • Kowalski says he will Launch EDC initiatives - What kind of initiatives does he propose? Who will do the work? To whom would you launch? A part-time group of people that have only come up with a glossy brochures and have no expertise in economic development? Is he saying that current AlderVisor Steve Taylor (a supposed political endorser and member of the EDC) has done a poor job in EDC initiatives and needs Kowalski’s guidance?
  • Kowalski says he plans to restart discussions with the community and owners on the civic center - What would he talk about? Cost of the land? Sidewalks? Remember Kowalski was part of this group that raised money for a Civic Center that never happened! Would anyone listen to someone with Kowalski’s credentials?
  • Work on solutions for pedestrian safety on Puetz – Kowalski never states how he plans to pay for it? Will he be doing the “work” himself? Does he plan to do it twice? Once now and once when the street gets rebuilt?
  • Work on reconstruction of Hwy 100 and 76th st.  – First off, these are Milwaukee County projects. Aren’t these already designed and scheduled?  What would Kowalski do to change the plans and design?
  • Kowalski says he plans to connect 76th and Rawson to the Rock Sports Center – Another grandiose plan by Greg Kowalski!  What is he going to do to connect it?  Fly helicopters? Build Bridges? Who will pay for it in the end?

Greg Kowalski is following in the footsteps of his favorite liberal AlderVisor Steve (don’t cut my salary so I will actually have to work) Taylor who will tell voters anything they want to hear and then doesn’t do a thing when elected. Kowalski and Taylor are your typical liberal Democratic candidates. The only difference is Taylor is known as a REPUBLICAN IN NAME ONLY.


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Finally Franklin Recognized for “A Touch of Class” – Photographer Gianni Bozzachi

Best know as Elizabeth Taylor’s personal photographer, Gianni Bozzachi made his residence in Franklin, WI after marrying his second wife Kelly. He and Kelly had a child but later she passed away from cancer as his first wife did. Lucky for Franklin, Gianni stayed in Franklin and married for a third time.

Donny Most (Happy Days star Ralph Malph) a personal friend of Bozzachi is currently working on a project to bring Gianni Bozzachi’s life to the screen.

Fox6 did this story on Franklin’s very own celebrity:

Thanks Gianni Bozzachi for bringing a touch of class to the City of Franklin WI.

More Links to Gianni Bozachi:


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Franklin Historical Society’s Kick-Off Event for a Barn Raising in Legend Park

The Franklin Historical Society is looking to add a building to the current four buildings that they own and maintain at Lions Legend Park. The four that are on display at the park are the Sheehan-Godsell Cabin which belonged to Franklin’s first non-native resident Michael Sheehan back in 1834 and was later purchased by Michael Godsell  in 1921, the Old Town Hall built in 1886, Whelan School (1878) and St. Peters Chapel built in 1869. All are run and maintained by the Franklin Historical Society, a non-profit organization that preserves the city of Franklin’s heritage.

So now the Franklin Historical Society is looking to raise funds to erect a barn in Legend Park. You may want to join them on Saturday, July 28th, from 1 to 3 p.m. for this kick-off event. Following a brief presentation, the Franklin historical buildings will be open for viewing and will include early farm equipment on display. Topping off these special activities, will be cookies and lemonade, served by the 5th Districts very own Alderman Doug (They Came To Bowl) Schmidt!

I can almost guarantee that the Mayor will be there to do some singing also if prompted. He is sort of like Franklin’s very own Mayor Meier!

Doug (They Came to Bowl) Schmidt

  Related Articles:


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Northwestern Mutual improving the neighborhood with the Falk Park expansion

Northwestern Mutual, who is one of Franklin’s largest employers, has answered the call when the Milwaukee County Parks department requested that they get involved in efforts to enhance Falk Park which is part of the Milwaukee County Park System near their Franklin campus.

Map - Thanks to the Business Journal

The initial contact led to several years of dialog with Milwaukee County and the City of Oak Creek which culminated last week when the Milwaukee County Board approved a three-way land exchange that would increase the size of Falk Park.

For those of you that are not familiar with Falk Park, it is located in Oak Creek, and lies between Rawson and Drexel Avenues just to the east of 27th Street.

In an innovative agreement, Northwestern Mutual will exchange undeveloped, privately owned, park-like land that they control immediately to the south of the current Falk Park for primarily fallow farm-like land that is currently part of Falk Park.

If the land exchange receives final approvals by the State of Wisconsin and the National Parks Service which would include land parcels being exchanged between the city of Oak Creek and Milwaukee County, then Falk Park will grow by more than an additional 35 acres .

The quality of the acreage will be enhanced as the county receives the environmentally significant, 42-acre Esch Honadel Woods.  You may not know this but the woods are currently privately owned and unprotected from future commercial development.

By Northwestern Mutual entering the picture, they purchased the land that includes the Esch Honadel Woods along with additional high-quality park like land near the woods.

Northwestern Mutual is looking to help maintain the quality of development around the Franklin campus as part of the neighborhood and willing to take steps like this that will benefit the area.

This project is occurring despite that detractors on the Forward Franklin committee have spoken against Northwestern Mutual in the past when they gave over 1.6 million dollars toward the building of the Drexel Interchange which is going in this year.

Good thing Northwestern Mutual does not take them seriously.

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UPDATED: From the Franklin Police Department and Alderman Steve Olson

Received this email from Franklin Alderman Steve Olson this morning and felt it was important to post.

Eugene T. Comiskey

From: “Steve Olson” <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, Mar 15, 2012
Subject: FPD needs your help
To: “Undisclosed Recipients” <
[email protected]>

Dear Neighbors:

 Please help the Franklin Police find this gentleman:

 We are searching for a missing 81 year male, Eugene T. Comiskey of 7716 Maple Ridge Ct.  Last seen around 5PM yesterday in the area of S. 76th & W. Terrace Dr.  He is 6 ft, 195 lbs, gray hair, green eyes wearing /glasses, maroon long sleeve shirt & khaki pants.

 If you see Mr. Comiskey please call the Franklin Police Department at 425-2522 or 911.


 Ald. Olson





UPDATE  3/16: I didn’t get home from picking up my daughter from UW- Whitewater until late last night so this is the first chance I had to update this notice. Thanks to Aimee Schlueter (911 dispatcher and candidate for FPS Board of Education) for commenting that Mr. Comiskey had been found. I was also pleasantly surprised to get the message that Mr. Comiskey was found from the City of Franklin Emergency Notification System which sent my cell phone the message that he had been found. Earlier in the day, the Notification System sent the message Mr. Comiskey was missing  to all Franklin Residents that had subscribed to Emergency text notifications from the City of Franklin Emergency Notification System.  As I have noted before the notification system can do much more that the outdated Tornado Siren system we paid $150,000 for last year and for considerably less cost.

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I received an email from my friend Fred Keller. Due to health reasons for one of its publishers, THE FRANKLIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL (Franklin, WI only E-Paper) will take a two-month hiatus effective today, January 6.
THE FRANKLIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL’s expected return date is Monday, March 5, 2012.

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My Franklin Neighbor Needs Help

If you have ever followed Franklin happenings during the Franklin HUB existance, you may remember Franklin HUB writer, Mark Dudzik. Mark and his wife Denise have been my neighbors since 1999. They have two great kids, and Mark is an incredible dad. His contagious smile, easy going manor and friendly personality was one of the reasons I enjoy living my neighborhood. Mark currently works for the Burlington Standard Press /Waterford Post and Westine Report as a Reporter & Editor .

Given all this, I was not aware until I saw his wife and children this past Sunday for Trick or Treat that Mark had been participating in the annual Maywood Earth Ride on his bicycle on September 17th. During the ride, he was separated from other riders and was hit by a pickup truck while crossing the intersection of county Highway E and Garton Road in Sheboygan county. See JS-Online here.

Mark has been hospitalized with head trauma injuries since the accident and faces months of recovery and rehabilitation despite the generosity of friends and co-workers.

Next week Sunday, his co-workers are sponsoring a benefit for Mark and his family.

I know that many of the Alderman, Mayor Taylor and Former Mayor Fred Klimetz know  Mark from his days with the Franklin HUB . I hope to see them there or on the list of donations.

If you wish to help, please feel free to send donations to:
Friends of Mark Dudzik Benefit
North Shore Bank – 116 S. Pine Street
Burlington, WI 53105

Mark Dudzik

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