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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.

Economic development news in Franklin

The above blog title is not a misprint.

I’ve been accused lately of being on an economic development “rant.”

Let’s just say my frequent postings on the topic are my form of an awareness campaign. It’s like a radio or TV commercial. Sometimes the target audience needs to hear it many, many times before the message actually sinks in.

On Monday, Franklin’s Committee of the Whole will consider an economic development strategic update from Ticknor and Associates the firm made to a 1999-2000 plan. The Common Council is also expected to take up the matter Tuesday. Here’s an excerpt from the Ticknor and Associates updated plan:

The city of Franklin wishes to examine the market and planning feasibility for developing new office and industrial parks and to update the best places for greater office, industrial and retail development.

Franklin remains a strong economic development corridor with enviable demographics and five major non-residential development corridors. The Franklin Business Park has been one of Wisconsin’s most successful industrial developments. The community is now home to the Northwestern Mutual Life campus.

Success produces quality jobs for Franklin residents and diversifies the local tax base.

Now is an opportune time to consider future development potential and ways for the City to further stimulate high-standard quality non-residential development.


Our team brings market understanding, process savvy, and facilitation and communication skills that will be very important to this project.

You can read the entire proposal here.

My initial reaction? Ho hum. There will be a task force and public meetings and studying and visits to sites, etc., etc., etc. Far too often in my political observing have I seen similar efforts wind up in binders buried in filing cabinets. This one will cost the city $38,500.

A real skeptic or doubting Thomas could wonder why Franklin is opting to go with the same firm it used 15 years ago. It’s not like we’ve been reaping the benefits of their “market understanding, process savvy, and facilitation and communication skills” ever since.


However, to borrow a much-used phrase, it’s a step. Even for Franklin, that’s progress. The keys will be the following:

1) Details. What will the findings be?

2) What recommendations will come out of those findings?

3) Will the recommendations be good for the city?

4) Action. Can and will the city execute?

History dictates that we’ll be disappointed. But I’m keeping an open mind. I wish this endeavor success.

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