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.



For those who follow Franklin politics, 2015 brought out what is now the worst kept secret. The climate surrounding City Hall goings-on was one of complete dysfunctionality with a handful of Franklin aldermen the major culprits.

During 2015 I received the following e-mail from a Franklin resident that I’m publishing for the first time that captures the sentiment of many citizens frustrated and upset with the behavior at City Hall by our elected officials:

Ms. (Kristen) Wilhelm (Franklin alderman) is definitely a disruptive element in city politics. She has her own agenda and for some reason, has the Mayor in her sights. It's becoming an obscene situation and residents that attend common council meetings are disillusioned by what they see. Most agree that she appears to be a problem but the situation is compounded by inept council members who follow her lead. 

The city of Franklin is becoming a laughing stock which is by design...the less respect I have for them The Common Council and their tactics. Destroying a city to forward an agenda is disgusting and speaks volumes about the characters of the perps.

Keep up the good work and realize that you have a following of good folks who are aware of your efforts. 

The evidence of dysfunction is overwhelming. Even one piece would be devastating and totally embarrassing. However I have a truckload. So get yourself a favorite beverage, sit back, relax and soak in all the following substantiation.

Oh my goodness, where do we start? How about an early April meeting of the Franklin Common Council that certainly had its moments. 
Alderman Kristen Wilhelm saying she might need to resign (more on that later). Alderman Susanne Mayer apologizing to her constituents for her inexperience (begging the question, when will she be experienced?). Alderman Wilhelm grandstanding for the benefit of residents who don’t even live in her district. Alderman Wilhelm upset that hard copies of information weren’t provided for her (gee, Kristen what is the city supposed to with those dozens of pages after they’re printed? Mail them to you?). Alderman Wilhelm (do you see a pattern here?) walking out of the meeting during debate on an issue with Mayor Olson saying her conduct was rude (it was).

Then in early July I wrote:

The tape of Tuesday’s meeting that I listened to is available online and if you listen to as I did you will hear what consumes these meetings, how dysfunctional the Common Council has become, and why nothing of import gets accomplished in our small city.

You will hear the selfish waste of time spent discussing the terminology used in the final meeting minutes when aldermen are present or not present. Here’s what’s happening. When an alderman doesn’t vote on item, the official minutes notes that the alderman was absent. Some aldermen are there for part of the meeting but not all. So they vote on some items, not all. They’re afraid for their own hides that a glance at the minutes might suggest they were gone the entire meeting. So to save their own reputations they argued for other verbiage, like “excused.”

Mayor Steve Olson was right. He said in rather simple but accurate terms a fifth grader could understand but a Franklin alderman could not was that you’re either here or you’re not.

: Franklin aldermen are missing votes by the truckload. They want an easy out. There’s a trend at meetings whereby aldermen ask for certain items to be moved up in the agenda so they can vote and then take a quick sayonara. Alderman Kristen Wilhelm has been walking out of meetings and missing votes and yes, this will be a campaign issue against her if she decides to run again.

NEXT: Midway through the meeting Alderman Wilhelm and Dan Mayer, members of the “Thwart the Mayor At All Cost’s” Club each got up in unison and without word just walked out of the Council Chambers leaving the meeting hanging. This went on for 10-15 minutes. Mayor Olson reminded the audience that the aldermen were being rude and disrespectful to the constituents in attendance.

When the meeting resumed Mayor Olson reminded the aldermen that they simply needed to ask for a recess. Because of the significance of the next item on the agenda, ALL aldermen needed to be in room to hear all the discussion at the same time.

BOTTOM LINE: These aldermen have no respect for their colleagues or their jobs and are playing political and personal games.

NEXT: Following that incident, just as discussion was to begin about Kayla’s Playground, Alderman Wilhelm announced that she had to leave because she was having a “blood pressure issue.”

Final Bottom Line: The Franklin Common Council is becoming more embroiled in petty, personal politics rather than working on and actually doing the important business for city residents. It’s embarrassing and needs to stop.
---This Just in, July 9, 2015

In April, on that particular Monday night when the Wisconsin Badgers were playing Duke for the national championship in basketball, the Common Council was hit with
a triple case of the Franklin Flu.

Two aldermen in particular experienced extremely rough times in 2015. One of them was Susanne Mayer.

Remember she apologized publicly to constituents for missing a critical meeting and her inexperience. Yikes!

Then in May, the alderman struggled with what should have been an easy YES vote.

July brought Mayer's finest "deer in the headlights" performance.

But the undisputed champion of deviating from the norms of aldermanic behavior was clearly Common Council President Kristen Wilhelm.

There was her cellphone.

Mayor Olson had a simple solution.

Had to have been a tough 2015 if Wilhelm was actually talking about resigning.

Wilhelm had me thinking about a very popular TV series.

Wilhelm never did resign and didn't get her cellphone allowance.

All of these ridiculous incidents didn't go unnoticed. What could very well have been, in my view, Franklin's #1 news story for 2015 took place on Tuesday, July 21, and it was beautiful!

So the next time the Franklin Common Council meets, ask yourself, as I did this past year:

Will Kristen Wilhelm show?

If she does, how long before she leaves the room?

Will she stay for the entire meeting or will there be some “issue?”

Will Susanne Mayer leave the meeting?

Will Dan Mayer leave the meeting?

Will Mayer and Mayer form a team and leave the meeting together?

Will either Mayer leave with Wilhelm?

Will Susanne Mayer abstain on any votes? She did four times during one meeting.

Will Dan Mayer yell at anyone during the citizen comment period?

Will an alderman criticize the work of city staff?

Will an alderman make a motion to create more busy work for city staff?

Will Kristen Wilhelm move to amend and amend and amend and amend the minutes of the previous meeting?

And finally, will anything get done?


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