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.

Nice job, Janet

This week, I took the Franklin School Board to task for its silence thus far on the Franklin school budget and its inaction on cost-saving measures. I was critical of board member Janet Evans. She has two blogs, one geared especially to what’s happening with the school board. It has been lacking, in my view of hard news, which is a departure from the Janet Evans of blogging past.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that following Wednesday night’s school board meeting, Janet immediately posted a comprehensive account of what happened.

She reported that the board unanimously voted in favor of a salary freeze for Administrators and other school district employees. Don’t get me wrong, that was the right call. But it’s much too little, far too late. This school board, minus Janet Evans and Diane Bialk is responsible for previous votes handing over the bank to the Franklin School District in the form of big increases in salary and benefits. They’ve already got their big, fat pots of gold.  Note to you taxpayers: SUCKERS!!!

Again, this notion of a freeze sure sounds nice, but as Janet conveyed in her blog, it amounts to a paltry savings of $74,000. In the big scheme of things, that’s nothing. There are other measures the school district can and should take: furloughs, shorter work weeks, budget cuts.

The board also considered an expensive fiber optic cable purchase. The price tag is $875,000. The vote in favor of the purchase was 6-1 with Janet Evans being the lone no vote. She made the right move.

Then there was the question about a 3.8% school property tax levy increase. Keep in mind that this school board wants to jack up spending by over $1.14 million as I reported on my blog. To pay for that whopping increase during this recession, the board is eyeing a nearly 4% tax increase. Tell me, dear fellow taxpayer…..did you get a 4% raise this year? No, you say? Another indication how out of touch this school district administration and school board truly are.

Janet writes in her blog, “Tonight Linda Witkowski and I made an argument against a 3.8% Tax Levy.”

So that means there would be at least two votes against the 3.8% levy, right? Wrong!

Janet Evans was the only no vote, and again, this was the right move. I’m not sure what Linda Witkowski was thinking or smoking. You argue against a 3.8% levy increase, then you vote for it?  I’m telling you, this board is goofy.

And this is really scary, Franklin taxpayers. Janet writes about NEXT YEAR’S SCHOOL BUDGET, “Most likely there will be a much higher tax levy.”

Are you kidding me?? This tax-happy bunch hasn’t come close to figuring out this year’s budget and they’re already salivating about A BIGGER TAX INCREASE NEXT YEAR???!!!!

There was no FranklinNOW reporter in the audience. That’s because 19 of the CommunityNOW reporters were recently let go. Are you paying attention, Franklin school board members? We are in a recession. People are losing their jobs and you keep jacking up their taxes. How do you expect them to pay them? You either don't know or don't care.

The absence of FranklinNOW reporters at these meetings allows these modern day Jesse James’ to try to get away with any effort to screw the taxpayers. That’s why it’s important that Janet Evans who has a blog uses it effectively to keep us informed on the big issues. Then she has to vote the right way.

She did both last night and I commend her.

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