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.

2ND UPDATE: We pause this meeting of the Franklin Common Council for a moment of pettiness


Previously on This Just In...

As we reported, Franklin Alderman Steve Olson’s proposed ordinance came up for discussion at the Franklin Common Council meeting on October 4.  It went nowhere fast. For review, here is what Olson offered:

Attendance of any Common Council member at any City board, commission or committee meeting shall be stated and identified within the minutes of such meeting.

When a Council member is not present at a meeting, the member is “absent,” and the term “excused” is only to be considered or used upon circumstances following a “call of the house” to compel attendance of members in the absence of a quorum.

Should the Council determine that it is appropriate to provide that a member may be “excused” as opposed to being stated as “absent,” then the meeting minutes shall reflect the member being “absent” unless the member has requested to be “excused.”

Alderman Kristen Wilhelm then immediately made a motion to have city staff report back what constitutes a member of the Council being “excused.” Within seconds, a vote was called for and the common sense motion failed with only Alderman Olson supporting Wilhelm.

In subsequent discussion, Alderman Wilhelm raised an extremely valid question: What happens in the event of an emergency? She was, unceremoniously, rudely, laughed at.

Is attendance the most important item before the Franklin Common Council? Hardly. However it is important. Every political body in America has rules about how it proceeds, its conduct, its decorum. It is clear the Franklin Common Council has no clear cut procedures on being absent or excused from meetings. This is simple stuff and should be easily remedied by Council action. But for some reason, certain aldermen don’t want any part of this, and they won’t explain why.

What do they have against clarifying procedures so proper action can be taken? My goodness. If there was a dress code, Alderman Tim Solomon (send this kid to camp) would surely fail every meeting. 

Franklin blogger Bryan Maersch has posted the audio of that Council meeting. Listen as Mayor Tom Taylor wants no part of the matter and seems to want to rush votes knowing the ‘No’ votes will win. Listen as most alderman, except Steve Taylor, refuse to argue why they’re opposed to setting simple, common sense policy about how the body conducts itself. Listen as Alderman Wilhelm is laughed at scoffed at because she dares side with Alderman Olson.

Again, this is important. These are your elected representatives who can’t behave like adults in a public meeting on an innocuous matter. How can they get the big stuff done?

It’s apparent the votes in the negative were cast because they were against Steve Olson. That’s petty. That’s personal. That’s unprofessional.  That’s Franklin politics.

PS: Hey, Kristen. Keep this up and it could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

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