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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.

A Franklin referendum on a full-time mayor is a colossal waste of time

Mark Schaaf reports on FranklinNOW that Franklin alderman Steve Taylor (Cue the Lion King soundtrack: Oh, I JUST can’t WAIT to be mayor!) is drafting a referendum that would ask Franklin voters if the position of mayor in urban metropolis Franklin (Population an estimated 35,000) should be full-time instead of the current part-time status.

Mayor Tom Taylor and Alderman Tim Solomon are reportedly also assisting in this drafting effort.

Sorry, but a standard joke comes to mind. How many city of Franklin elected officials does it take…..

Gee. The referendum has to be “drafted.” In other words, it has to be worded just right. Boy this is a real toughie. Hmmmmmm. What could such a referendum read like? How about………………

“Should the elected position of mayor in the city of Franklin be changed from part-time to full time, begiining (fill in the blank)?

I think that took me about five seconds. We’re told that something could be ready for consideration by the full Franklin Common Council later this year.

Keep in mind that as far as Election Days are concerned, we‘re done for the rest of 2009. I would certainly hope that there isn’t any thought whatsoever to hold a costly special election for this silly question.

The next regularly scheduled election could come in February if there is some sort of primary. If not, then it’s April 2010. The next mayoral election in Franklin comes during April 2011.

I submit Franklin officials should just drop this foolish idea of a referendum. We elect our aldermen and mayor to make decisions and while some issues deserve being put to a referendum, this isn’t one of them.

Franklin aldermen, do you want to gauge public opinion?  Get out in your neighborhoods. Talk to folks. Hold a community meeting. Send out a newsletter asking for feedback.

The poll being conducted right now by FranklinNOW on this very subject isn’t scientific, but since it began, it's interesting that the numbers supporting a full-time mayor have struggled to barely stay above 20%.

No one is clamoring for this change. Why? Because Franklin doesn’t need or want a full-time mayor.

There is also a larger issue and a principle at stake here. At a time when the private sector is handing out pink slips and cutting pay and benefits, why should local government be expanding?

Franklin, let’s dump this crazy notion and get back to more serious priorities.

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