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.

Franklin eats Oak Creek's dust

When it comes to luring new businesses and entrepreneurs and creating jobs, the city of Franklin gets a big fat “F”.  In perpetual denial, our so-called leaders know as much about economic development as my wife knows about changing a tire.

Contrast our miserable Flintstones-like mentality with the hustling, bustling whirlwind of activity that’s occurring in neighboring Oak Creek. If this was a prize fight, Oak Creek would be Mike Tyson and Franklin would be Pee Wee Herman. In the 53132 zip code, we laugh off and rationalize one failure after another with lame reassurances that while we lost jobs and more consumer choices, at least we saved a wetland. Everyone in Franklin should be embarrassed by our inertia and complete lack of not only job creation expertise but any interest or sense of urgency or passion about boosting our local economy.

Across the border, Oak Creek is cleaning our clock while we just sit back, relax, yawn and refer the few that might by some fluke be interested in opening a Popsicle stand to a glossy brochure with fingers crossed and prayers those few don’t talk to anyone at Meijer’s.

The Small Business Times has a brand new cover story:

“…like many post-World War II communities, Oak Creek lacks an important aspect common in older cities and villages: a downtown, a place that is the unique identity, historic heart and gathering place for a community.

“But now a partnership of city officials and an all-star development team is working to literally change the identity of Oak Creek and create a new mixed-use downtown for the city that also will be a unique destination on the south side of Milwaukee County.

"In sum, Oak Creek is on the cusp of an historic and catalytic, game-changing reinvention.

“City officials have committed to build a new city hall and library in the development, called Drexel Town Square. The city has committed to providing up to $19.9 million in tax incremental financing for the project, mostly for infrastructure and public amenities. The city also is lending $2 million to Wispark, which will be paid back under an agreement to share the proceeds from land sales in the project with the city.

“Drexel Town Square will be a unique development that few, if any, other communities in the United States have tried.”

In Franklin where our priorities are royally screwed up (heavier regulation of LED signs), we do nothing, absolutely nothing while Oak Creek utilizes innovation and actually possesses vision.

Congrats, Oak Creek. Shame on us in Franklin.

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