At Tuesday nights Common Council meeting (May 1st) it would normally have been a walk in the park appointment for Alderman Ken Skowronski to the Franklin Planning Commission for he umpteenth time.
But no … This is Franklin and Mayor Tom Taylor may be slowly losing his political power on the Franklin Common Council.
Instead on a 3-2-1 vote Ken Skowronski was NOT reappointed to the plan commission on the Mayors recommendation. The vote was Alderman Steve Olson and Alderwoman Kristen Wilhelm voting no, AlderVisor Steve Taylor abstained. Alderman Ken Skowronski, Doug Schmidt and Tim Solomon all voted YES.
Since appointments require 4 affirmative votes and with AlderVisor Steve Taylor’s abstention the Mayor was unable to break the tie.
As I well know, Council rules say that all non-reappointed members terms automatically expire 60 days after their scheduled expiration. This would give Mayor Taylor the time to appoint someone new.
In a later appointment to the Zoning Commission another Mayoral appointee went down the tubes for the lack of a second to the motion to appoint the Mayors appointee.
….. So to speak. I am of course referring to the Concealed Carry Ordinance, Mayor Taylor proposed at the October 18th meeting of the Common Council which he did not attend.
None of the Aldermen in attendance committed to both parts of the ordinance that would have in one part make the carrying of a concealed weapon a ticketable offense vs a forfeiture crime. A forfeiture crime would require a civil lawsuit instead of allowing law enforcement being able to ticket someone breaking the new law.
The second part would of made City Hall, the Library and other city buildings a posted area that would prohibit a permit holder to carry their weapon in the specified city buildings.
Please enjoy the five parts (it took over 40 minutes) of the Common Council discussing the proposed Mayor Tom Taylor ordinance. Please also note, that even Chief Oliva is not really on board with the Mayor’s Ordinance to push to prohibit, concealed carry permit holders from being able to carry in the city buildings.
The Franklin Common Council Committee of the Whole is scheduled to take this ordinance up again on October 31st and vote on it on November 1st Common Council meeting.
Even the Mayor had to step in to break up the fight that you will hear this at the end of the sound clip. You may have to turn up your volume as their are issues with the audio from the City of Franklin’s Website. Alderman Steve Taylor and his anger manangement issues are the highlight of Franklin politics again. The Common Council spent almost a half hour arguing about the how, what and who is excused from a Common Council meeting and then tabled it. This is the THIRD time they have spent time over this subject. They are almost as disfunctional as the President of Franklin Public School Board.
Contact Mayor Taylor and tell him that “Yes you as a tax payer do not tollerate this kind of behavior from our Council President”.
……. and he showed that he is at the August 16th Common Council meeting.
During the attendance being taken by City Clerk Sandy Wesolowski, Sandy stated the Alderman Steve Olson had contacted her and that Alderman Olson would not be able to attend the Tuesday meeting. Sandy had also forwarded the e-mail on to the Mayor.
Alderman Ken Skowronski in a kindergarten style tantrum demanded, for what reason and refused to let the issue lie. The Mayor said it was up to the council to excuse Olson so Alderwoman Wilhelm said as far as she is concerned, he is excused. Still not good enough for Skowronski he continued to pursue it. Of course Alderman Steve Taylor could not keep quiet and just had to say ” at least it is better than what he did the last time”.
Here are the emails that were sent afterwards, with Sandy Wesolowski explaining to council members that for security reasons, she does not publicly state if a Council member “is out of town”—for security reasons (That usually means your house is empty or someone else is home alone…). Sandy further states she does this to protect the Alderman’s residents and their spouse while they may be out of town for the meeting.
You may remember some years ago that former Mayor Fred Klimetz received threatening phone calls at his home from a Franklin city resident while he was away.
Here is the letter from City Clerk Sandy Wesolowski to the Mayor and Alderman after the August 16th council meeting:
From: Sandi Wesolowski [mailto:SWesolowski@franklinwi.gov] Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:42 PM To: Alderman Cc: Tom Taylor Subject: FW: Council Meeting, 8/16/11
In answer to Ald. Skowronski’s questions at the 8/16/11 meeting as to WHERE Ald. Olson was, he did inform me last week that he will be out of town (as you can see from the first email on this chain). As my own practice that I have always tried to follow in the past, at a public meeting, I usually do not like to state when someone “is out of town”—for security reasons. (That usually means your house is empty or someone else is home alone…)
Any questions or comments, please let me know (do not reply to all).
Here is the response from Alderman Steve Olson after it came to his attention:
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:38 PM To: SWesolowski@franklinwi.gov; Alderman@franklinwi.gov Cc: email@example.com Subject: RE: Council Meeting, 8/16/11
Ladies and Gentlemen:
After I received this e-mail I made it a point to listen to the recording of last evening’s meeting.
I can only assume that Ald. Skowronski’s inquiry of WHY I was not in attendance was in heartfelt concern for my well being and an abundance of worry. To believe in any other motivation would mean that the question came from arrogance, anger, a need to pick a fight or some other nefarious reason.
Let me be clear (again). I do NOT report to any of you. Not the mayor, not the council president or any other alderman. My reasons for not being at the meeting are mine and mine alone. No one has the privilege of asking WHY I was not at the meeting unless they are a resident of the 1st Aldermanic District. The fact that I chose to let the Director of Clerk Services know that I would not be in attendance was and is a courtesy, extended out of respect for the body.
Let me also be clear. There is no ordinance in place that gives permission or assigns the duty of “excusing” anyone on any board or commission or the council from anything. To think that a peer would have such authority shows just how self important our Council has gotten.
On Wednesday March 16th a local citizens group provided a forum for Aldermanic candidates in both the 3rd and 4th districts in Franklin. The questions asked the candidates by local blogger John Michlig revealed very little to a small crowd of about 25 that attended the forum in the Fadrow Room in the Franklin Public Library. Here are the questions and the responses.
This video has not been edited.
Introduction of Candidates
1. When southwest Franklin receives sewer & water access, what is your view on the future of that significant portion of the city?
2. What ideas do you have to better promote Franklin to regional and national commercial developers, retailers, and restaurants?
3. What are your feelings on collaboration with other entities, such as governmental bodies and private organizations?
4. With Governor Walker’s budget proposal calling for a freeze in municipal budgets, as an alderperson what would you suggest to help maintain and/or improve our existing programs and services?
5. What are your thoughts and suggestions on the city providing support for existing small businesses in our community?
6. With many neighboring communities expanding and upgrading their public amenities (performing art centers, senior centers, athletic facilities, etc), how do you view Franklin remaining competitive in the region to attract residents and businesses?
7. When you’re elected in April, what will be the first three tasks you wish to accomplish as an alderperson?
Finally the candidates give their closing comments ……
On a closing note, most in attendance were city employees, former candidates, and bloggers. There were no questions from the audience allowed. I walked away from this candidate forum with very little clarity between the candidates for either district. A person
must ask themselves before voting, am I happy with how things are being run by the current regime. If not, vote them out! The Mayor Tom Taylor
who is running unopposed and Ken Skowronski incumbent of District 6 also running unopposed were either not invited to participate or chose not to do so.
This is your local government in action with complete transparency.
Thanks to the new handy dandy web portalon the new and improved City of Franklin website, you now can see how your taxes compare to your Alderman and Mayor. The results are very interesting, especially as you view the three alderman that are on the Finance Committee’s taxes numbers.
Alderman Stevie Taylor and Mayor Tom Taylor say you have no reason to complain about your taxes and should shout from the rooftops how happy you are about them.
Compare your tax bill to theirs and see why they voted an increase.
Remember that taxes have gone up every year since Stevie Taylor has been in office (two of those years he has been on the Finance Committee because Mayor Taylor wanted him there).
Remember Stevie pushed to have the Mayor’s office become full time so he could make it his full time job costing taxpayers more money. Voters rejected him and his referendum soundly!
Just remember one thing said by 4th District Stevie Taylor when talking about Franklin Taxpaying residents who feel he has done a poor job on holding the line on spending:
“IF YOU DON’T LIKE FRANKLIN then GET THE HELL OUT”
4th District residents, please remember what Stevie Taylor said when you go to vote in April.
Of course he also says your won’t bother voting either!
Remember Stevie boy, you only won by six votes. As the song goes “WE WON’T BE FOOLED AGAIN”
Thank God we have three more years of Mayor YouTube Tommy on WAG THE DOG Video!
However this precludes that there may be those that will mount a Write In campaignagainst the Mayor when they find out he is running unopposed!
Many are looking forward to the the day when you mention Franklin, Tax Hell or Bozo the Clown … People will simply say oh you mean YouTube Tommy!
It is interesting that Steve Taylor who won his spot as 4th District Alderman by a 10 vote lead against the then incumbent Pete Kosovich will face him again this election. Kosovich underestimated Taylor in the last election but I am assured that that will not be the case this time. Kosovich also has the backing of the local Tea Party and the financial backing that comes with it.
Political new comer Bob Schick Jr.will be facing off against incumbent Kristen Wilhelm for the 3rd District seat. Kristenhas been known to listen to her constituents (especially those with environmental issues) and is praised by local bloggers for her efforts in that area.
Lastly, Alderman Ken Skowronski of the 6th district runs un-opposed, much like the last time he ran, I am sure he will be collecting campaign donations from business without the need to spend it. It will be interesting to see his campaign fund in April.
You can bet you will see the “Kindergarten Politics” that the Mayor talks about in one of the WAG THE DOGvideos but mostly coming from the Mayor and his “disciples” who want to hold on to their tax and spend ways.
Oops that was a negative remark! Sorry Tom, I hope you don’t create an ordinance against negative Franklin remarks! Then the ACLU might get involved!
Given Mayor Tom Taylor’s political past not only as an Alderman and Mayor or as a Milwaukee County employee, it is no surprise that he is so proficient at the Art of Redirection. When tax paying citizen writers of local interest blogs (yes – his constituents) are mocked by both the Mayor and his hand picked Council President in a public meeting for showing opposition to the Mayors budget passed by 5 out of the 6 Council members is just bad political behavior.
What is obvious is that Tom Taylor is unlike Mayor Dick Bolender of Oak Creek who has taken the bull by the horns while Oak Creek flourishes with development and full malls. Mayor Tom Taylor now looks for excuses, as he is up for re-election and has little to take credit for in the past three years except for Higher Tax Bills, major companies like Harley Davidson moving out Franklin along with half empty strip malls and a failedFountains of Franklin development. I guess what he says is true that it is all about elections (who wins and who looses) only now that the Mayor is up for re-election with his Kindergarten Politics to blame.
In all fairness, I am including the complete audio portion of Item G10 Comparison of municipal property tax rates and other municipal charges.
Mayor Tom Taylor on How Great Franklin is and no one should say anything negative about Franklin:
We should be on the rooftops shouting how great Franklin is instead of the negativity about taxes.
The Mayor finally in 2010 put together the Mayor Ad hoc Committee to get development back in Franklin. This just happens to correspond with the year of his re-election bid.
“There should be NO NEGATIVITY in this community – We have a fantastic community!”
I had foreign nationals from South Milwaukee at the Christmas Tree lighting say that “They all want to move to Franklin!”
The Mayor blames the Franklin Public Schools for the higher Taxes not the Oak Creek – Franklin Public Schools.
The Mayor feels he can speak for Northwestern Mutual’s Chief council. I do not think she would appreciate that!
Council President Steve Taylor tells us “If You Don’t like Franklin then Get the Hell out!”
Sorry Steve but I like Franklin just fine and I have for the 21 plus years I have lived here, I just don’t like the things you have voted for that have consistently raised my taxes. You have been able to screw things up with the 4 short years you have lived here!
The Press doesn’t cover the City of Franklin anymore. Just a few negative individuals.
Nobody comes up to him at baseball games, St. Martins Fair or ribbon cutting telling him that taxes are too high. I guess those same people told him that they wanted a full time Mayor!
There are only a handful of people that think Franklin is a Tax Hell.
If you GOOGLE Franklin you won’t find anything positive just that it is a Tax Hell. This is the fault of those few bloggers. (Which he is one of them)
Alderman Tim Solomon – “Read My Blog Baby”
Is this the Kindergarten Politics the Mayor talks about?
85% of City Taxes goes for Police, Fire and DPW (what about the other 15%?)
Without Development your taxes will go up. What have you done Tim to reverse that trend?
“The Apathy OBVIOUSLY is that it is a good city to live in!” It is if you can just ignore your tax bill!
Alderman Tim says no one is complaining to him at baseball games, and social gatherings so everything is Okey Dokey!
Kristen Wilhelm our 3rd District Alderwoman
Now completing her second year on the Finance Committee
Can’t expect taxes to go down.
Ken Skowronski – 6th District Alderman
Property Taxes are a small part of the decision for Business to move to Franklin
They (developers) just don’t want to be beat up by all the paperwork required by the city.
Alderman Doug Schmidt – 5th District – Taxes! – We don’t have anything to be ashamed of!
Doug has difficulty following the actual subject being discussed (property tax comparisons) so he talks about what he knows. Franklin’s Historical Society.
People come from all over to celebrate Christmas in our historic chapel – Not for the taxes silly!
Steve Olson – 1st District Alderman – Lets pay attention to what we are doing!
The only Alderman to find ways to cut property taxes.
Tax Rates are misleading.
Lets pay attention to WHAT WE ARE DOING and then move on.
Let’s not worry about selling our Tax Rate ,our bloggers or what people are writing.
Let’s just go sell our city just as we have done for 54 years. We have clean open land, we are a welcoming community, we’ve got Great Residents, a good School System and we want to work with you!
I have had conversations with quite a few people interested in putting themselves out for the Spring 2011 elections. Whether it is candidates for the County Executive, Franklin Mayor, Alderman in the 3rd, 4th or 6th district or for the 2 School Board seats in Franklin Public School district. Let’s not forget the one seat on the Oak Creek – Franklin School board also.
I could tell you what I have heard. But ….
But it would be just what it is – RUMORS:
So when it is official, that being the final date for filing nomination papers 5:00 p.m. on January 4, 2011, except that this final date may be extended 72 hours if the incumbent does not file a Notice of Noncandidacy and does not file nomination papers for that office.
On November 16, 2010 at Franklin’s Common Council meeting Alderman Tim Solomon (who heads the Finance committee) moved to adopt the budget which will result in a 2.6 to 2.7 percent increase.
This is the video highlights of that meeting:
1) The Motion and the Vote:
2) Alderman Tim Solomon (we are not doing so bad) – The Doom and Gloom Nay-sayers are wrong!
What Alderman Solomon fails to mention in his tirade is that in the budget there’s a line item called “Anticipated Underexpenditures.” which is a negative expense line. It’s a way to increase the tax levy on the revenue side to give the Mayor a pad if the spending goes crazy in the next couple of years. In other words it gives city departments extra money that the city does not really expect them to spend.
Part of the recovery this year was that that line item was REDUCED mid year which covered some of the anticipated losses. Hence the $1,000,000 plus item that Alderman Solomon spoke of.
The bottom line, that has been argued by Alderman Olson in the past along with former Alderman Sohns during his tenure … THE CITY JUST BUDGETS TOO MUCH.
3) Alderman Steve Taylor is willing to bet the April 2011 election on his vote – Because angry constituents don’t vote! – He stands by the increase in the tax Levy while his couch potato constituents just sit home and watch basketball.
4) Alderman Doug Schmidt. Like a deer in the headlights.Well he’s OK with Luxury Tax’s. In fact he’s OK with all taxes!Confused – Doug is! Nobody mentioned the Library and he doesn’t know that it can’t be touched by law. Sorry Doug … Next time think before you babble!
Lastly – Alderman Olson explains why he introduced 6 resolutions in an attempt to reduce the budget.
He goes into his disgust for the lack of effort on the part of his fellow Aldermen when it comes to making an effort to reduce spending. Not to mention how residents have all but given up on their elected officials to use common sense after they should have gotten the message from voters in November that “They are mad as hell and are not going to take it any more!”
Alderpersons Wilhelm and Skowronski had little or nothing to say to explain their vote and pulled out their rubber AYE stamp.