This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Do Franklin residents really care?

Let’s repeat the question.

When it comes to politics and being civic-minded, how involved and dedicated are Franklin residents?

A) A really, really, really lot

B) Depends

C) Are you kidding? Not at all


The correct answer is:

B) Depends

A) A really, really, really lot? Not even close.

C) Are you kidding? Not at all.  That’s a bit closer, but not entirely true.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being totally engaged and immersed in interest, Franklin residents register about a 2, maybe a 3 at best.

It’s just a stark reality, folks.

But again, it depends.

It depends on what you’re talking about.

A year ago this time, I wrote a series of blogs on what’s great about Franklin. Here are some excerpts:


Franklin really loves Franklin. I’ve seen it at parades, fundraisers, and athletic events.

“Multiply that by football, girls and boys basketball, soccer, etc., and throw in Little League.

Franklin cares deeply about families and neighborhoods. There’s tremendous civic pride. Franklin is decent, humble, hard-working, a values-oriented community.”

What do Franklin residents care about the most?  Children.

When it appeared Franklin would be the home to a sex predator house with as many as two dozen released offenders, Franklinites came out by the hundreds to object at a legislative public hearing at State Fair Park.

They voiced heavy opposition to a proposal offered by legislative Democrats to kill Franklin’s strong sex offender ordinances.

On a different front, my 2009 series of blogs about Franklin Little League and a flawed system for selecting All-Stars went viral, picked up by WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes.

Want to get Franklin citizens riled up? It’s issues about kids.

Residents in the 53132 zip code are passive by nature. Pick up my garbage. Plow my street. As long as my neighbors don’t blast their stereos and maintain their properties, I’m cool. I just want to go about my business and you can go about yours.

Politically, Franklin is overwhelmingly conservative. Voters in big numbers support the likes of Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Mary lazich, and Jeff Stone. Unfortunately, the makeup of our aldermen and school board members is predominantly liberal and doesn’t coincide with the beliefs of the majority.

Historically, Franklin folks are not politically aggressive, with the exception of children’s issues.

Consider the red meat fiscal issues of taxing and spending. Franklin residents are completely reactive. When their property tax bill arrives in mid-December, their alarm clock goes off. Problem is, it’s too late. The time to talk, e-mail, phone, show up at meetings was months ago. They were nowhere to be found or heard.

Truth is most Franklin residents despise what their elected representatives are doing to their pocketbooks. But instead of taking the bull by the horn, they’re out working, taking kids to youth athletics, mowing the lawn, etc., etc.

Think about that. If the prospect of their taxes going up doesn’t light their fire, why would they even be the least interested in most of what goes on at Franklin City Hall or the Franklin School Board.

Consider the current “hot” debate at City Hall. Long after the recession hit, the folks who run our fair city finally woke up one day and decided something had to be done about the business climate and job creation. Brilliant.

Their answer? Let’s form a committee. We don’t know what kind of committee or who should be on it or who the committee should answer to or what the committee should do. Let’s just do it.

Generally in politics, the masses don’t care at all about process. They do care about results. The discussion now going on at Franklin City Hall about improving our economy?


Franklin residents are not pitchfork, lantern carrying rebel rousers. That works to their detriment.

They do not phone or e-mail their elected officials or show up at meetings. That doesn’t mean at all that they don’t care. But short-sighted pols assume that’s the case.

I’m sorry. After a hard day’s work, I’m not all that thrilled about showing up at City Hall only to be scoffed at by folks who feel they’re better and more intelligent. Spending time with my family will win out every time. I do have a telephone and computer and make my feelings known respectfully. I’m not convinced enough of my fellow Franklinites do the same.

So, in a nutshell, Franklin residents do care. They just don’t care nearly as much as they should.

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