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.

They said what?

I had the chance this week to chat with local developer extraordinaire Barry Mandel.  Mandel was the subject of a lengthy and glowing piece in Milwaukee Magazine in March that wrote about his tremendous success;

To date, the Mandel Group has developed and constructed more than $500 million in residential and retail developments, and financed, acquired or sold approximately $700 million worth of real estate. The Mandel Group boasts some $14 million in annual real estate taxes created by its developments, with $10 million of that annual impact in the city of Milwaukee. The boom in Downtown housing that Mandel helped create was measured by a DCD study, which found 18,000 people now live in the greater Downtown area, a 20 percent increase from the year 2000.

Here’s an interesting insight from Mandel:

And he misses the days of the Norquist administration: “It was always, ‘How can we get this done and make it better?’ ” Now, he says, the Barrett administration lacks such passion and fervor about development.

And I was surprised at some old comments made by my friend Eric Von who once worked for Tom Barrett’s campaign. His remarks (from 2007 but still interesting) came on the website

OMC: What grade would you give the mayor's current tenure?

EV: I don't live in the city (Von resides in the village of Brown Deer), so it's kind of difficult. I do, though, work in the city and I talk about the city all the time. I talk to people probably more than most people in this business. I talk to people who are affected by the things that City Hall does and doesn't do.

And my own personal assessment based on what my expectations would have been at the time and of the role of mayor I'd have to give him a D.

Unfortunately, I think he's surrounded himself with some people who are not very helpful to him. They've been unresponsive. That's what I hear a lot from people who call me.

I haven't had anything to do with his administration from the day he took office, but because of the relationship we developed during the campaign, people assume that I still have this contact with him. So I get calls from people all the time asking 'me can you talk to the mayor about this? Will you tell the mayor this?' And the first thing I tell 'em is I don't talk to the mayor except when you hear him on the radio.

On a few occasions I've tried to provide some insight to him, I've tried to advise him and I don't know that it's been heeded, but I'm not sure he's heeding anybody's advice. I'm not sure exactly what he's listening to.

Eric gave Sheriff David Clarke a “B.”  Knowing Eric, I’m surprised.

Without grading then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, Eric said nothing positive. That is not surprising.

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