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.
In any election like Tuesday’s primary, a voter can’t expect to get everything the voter wants. This voter came pretty darn close.
For many years the conservative city of Franklin has contradicted itself by filling the Common Council and School Board with mostly tax and spend liberals. The stark reality only comes home to roost for residents when their property tax bills arrive. By then, it’s far too late. The damage is done, and your wallet has just been pilfered as friends and relatives in other municipalities laugh in your face, incredulous that you would a) live here and b) do nothing and just sit back and take it.
Conservatives and property taxpayers in general finally got some relief when Governor Walker’s budget reforms resulted in local savings all across the state. Try as they might, aldermen on the Franklin Common Council did their damndest to ruin our good fortune by increasing spending by a whopping 25%. Imagine our savings if they’d just for once budget responsibly. The school property tax levy actually went down, again no thanks to the local pols. Even so, the school portion of the property tax bill continues to be the deepest assault on our hard-earned funds.
This election cycle seems more encouraging with more citizens engaged and, here’s the key, paying attention. Just ask Judith Bialk.
Entering Tuesday’s primary, Bialk was an incumbent on the Franklin School Board seeking a second three-year term. Bialk contributed little to any discussion, offering the same on policy proposals. She excelled at rubber stamping the school administration’s every wish. Her rationale to be returned to her seat was that she was entitled. Oh, and she wanted to give back to the community in some fashion.
Voters were not impressed. Bialk finished sixth among six candidates. I was hoping she would not advance to the general and she won’t.
My support is always with whom I believe to be the most conservative candidates. In the school board race, a clear choice was Janet Evans. At the 11th hour after figuring I’d only vote for Evans, I decided to also vote for the newcomer Aimee Schlueter. Evans finished first, Schlueter third. Both are positioned well in the general.
Not surprising is Donald Petre’s second-place finish. Primaries bring out the red meat supporters. The union-backed Petre surely had teachers, their spouses and the school system establishment turn out. However, more voters will head to the polls in April, the same day as Wisconsin’s presidential primary. As a conservative, I feel confident to a certain degree, not overly so, that Evans and Schlueter can win and provide even greater fiscal stability to the school board.
I couldn’t vote for Milwaukee County Supervisor. As I stated I was initially in Donald Schwartz’s corner. Admittedly I, like most Franklin residents, knew practically nothing about the Hales Corners official. I knew about the same when it came to Oak Creek alderman Ken Gehl who didn’t contact me until late in the campaign. I managed to expose Schwartz’s true political stripes. It’s ok to be a liberal. Just be forthright about it and tell us.
Again, I can’t vote for this position, but after learning what I did about Schwartz, I suggested my choice would be Gehl, if I lived in the 9th district. Schwartz didn’t survive which should be a lesson to him and other potential candidates who would withhold critical information. You really shouldn’t try and snow the voters.
This sets up an interesting general election between Gehl and Franklin alderman Steve Taylor, a tax and spender who masquerades and campaigns as a conservative, but is not. Moving Franklin Forward? If he happens to come to your door, kindly ask him how his efforts at economic development by committee are going.
So I didn’t get everything I wanted Tuesday, but I got most. I’ll take it, and like a whole lot of other folks, I’ll be paying very close attention between now and April 3.