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.
As debate chugs along in the debate over whether Franklin should cut a deal to build a minor league baseball stadium, it’s critical to keep in mind the following. There are, in my view, four distinct groups when it comes to folks and their stance on this important issue.
THE GUNG HO CROWD. Avid lovers and followers of baseball, they want the stadium built, no matter what. They strongly believe the development will garner real, substantial economic benefits for the city and the region. Some probably played baseball and/or other sports and attend athletic events regularly. There’s a sense among some that going to pro sports, like Brewer games, is too expensive and a minor league park would provide family entertainment at more reasonable prices. Some live in Franklin, some don’t. They don’t really care about the politics or the process; they just want the job to get done. Some not only attended a public information hearing on the stadium last week but also the Rock afterwards for free beer supplied by the developer.
THE BUILD IT WITH CONDITIONS CROWD. This bunch supports the ballpark concept in general, but with certain caveats. These would include no property tax money allocated, support (financial) from surrounding communities, the owner paying the entire freight, to name a few.
THE SKEPTICAL CROWD. Their support wavers because they can’t help but possess serious doubts about the economic impact such a ball park would bring, not to mention the ability of Franklin to manufacture a deal.
THE NO WAY CROWD. No way. No how. Over their dead bodies. Refuses to listen to or accept any empirical data on the subject. This group is probably older, has folks who’ve lived in Franklin a long time, don’t attend many social events including sports. They’re in bed by 8:00, hate noise, traffic, and progress in general, would prefer to drive from Franklin to other locations for their gas and groceries, wish that Ike was in the White House, and in their minds the calendar still says 1955. If a minority, a loud one not to be taken for granted (If I had to guess right now, I'd say ultimately this group will win).
The point is there is no and won’t be any consensus on what is sure to be a contentious debate with no easy answers or solutions. In the end, not everyone’s going to be happy.