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.

Terrible timing for three costly Franklin school referenda

Franklin is a wonderful city. 

When she was but a teenager, the great philosopher Lesley Gore in the 1960’s sang …

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows
Everything that’s wonderful is what I feel
When we're together.
Brighter than a lucky penny.
When you're near the raindrops disappear
Dear and I feel so fine.

Unfortunately, Franklin is not always sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, though some wish it were so.

Ideally, heading to the polls and voting to improve our schools would be a no-brainer.

More classrooms?

More parking spaces?

More security at the front door of the high school?

A new auditorium?

Why stop there.

Artificial turf on the football field.

A brand new press box.

A scoreboard with instant replay capability.

A retractable roof over the football and baseball fields.

A new swimming pool that would make the Olympics drool.

Heated sidewalks.

Escalators from Drexel Avenue to the high school for students forced to park off property.

Paid escorts for students unskilled at walking on sidewalks.

And we could go on and on.

I would be all for it!



If I didn’t believe I had some economic common sense.

Now is simply not the time to be spending nearly $50 million in property taxes on big wants that aren’t needs.

If you haven’t read the papers, there’s been a recession. To suggest there’s been a recovery is absurd.

Franklin has not been immune to the bad economy.

We have unemployed.

We have underemployed.

We have workers who’ve not gotten raises.
We have workers who've gotten pay cuts.

We have folks who’ve been laid off.

We have people who’ve moved out.

We’ve had foreclosures.

I know this is difficult for far too many to comprehend, but Franklin doesn’t possess some magical force field protecting it from the rotten economy. 

You have an increasing number in poverty.

You have more people on food stamps.

You have the “near poor,” those living just above the poverty line.

There are recent news reports that huge tax increases are coming in January 2013.

Here in Franklin, we have a school administration that is uncaring when it comes to economic and fiscal reality. They have already passed one school tax increase and are now asking voters to pass three more in the interest of the children. In other words, if you fail to vote yes on the three referenda on Tuesday's ballot, you’re really evil.


But Franklin property taxpayer:

Question 1 would only cost an additional $32 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

Question 2 would only cost an additional $20 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

Question 3 would only cost an additional $24 per $100,000 of assessed valuation.

Oh really!

Forgive me. I don’t live in a mansion, but my home is assessed at a bit more than $100,000.

PLUS, the added property tax increase from these three referenda IS ON TOP OF:

1) The approved school property tax levy increase in the school budget for next year

2) The city tax levy increase (albeit very small this year)

3) Milwaukee County taxes

4) State taxes

5) MMSD taxes


My oh my but it all adds up, especially in Franklin which is anything but taxpayer-friendly.

Franklin grandparents, you may feel good about supporting these facility improvements, but your yes votes are merely increasing property taxes for your Franklin friends and neighbors.

This is one of the worst times to impose a nearly $50 million property increase upon ourselves. Trust me, our students will get by if these referenda fail.

The vote is no, three times, on Tuesday.

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