Franklin alderwoman wants a do-over on the Ballpark Commons

UPDATE: I’ve been told Mayer’s resolution failed because no one seconded her motion. She walked out of the meeting upset.

On Tuesday night, September 6, the Franklin Common Council unanimously approved a proposal to potentially spend up to $26.8 million to help finance a mixed-use development including a new baseball stadium. The council voted 6-0 to create a tax incremental financing district (TIF) for the Ballpark Commons.

Alderwoman Susanne Mayer was one of the six aye votes. Suddenly she’s changed her mind.

When the council next meets on Tuesday it will consider a proposed resolution by Mayer to reconsider the unanimous vote taken on September 6. Parliamentary procedure allows any member that voted in the majority to request reconsideration.

What transpired in less than two weeks for Mayer to have second thoughts? Did someone or possibly more than one individual get to her? Is she being used? And if so is it to kill the project that now has momentum?

I’ve heard some rumblings but since I can’t substantiate the answers to those questions I won’t get into what I’ve heard or what I may think is happening.

Consider the possibilities for Tuesday’s meeting. Mayer moves that her resolution be taken up. Who is going to second the motion? If there is a second would that mean the alderman/woman making the motion also changed his/her mind and may no longer be in support of the creation of a TIF?

And how would that vote go down? I can’t fathom the possibility of all 6 council members wanting the entire matter reconsidered.

There’s also the real possibility that no colleague of Mayer is going to second her motion and it falls flat. If I were on the council I personally would want no part of Mayer’s shenanigans.

By the way, this whole reconsideration tactic does occur at governmental meetings, but usually on technical items or minor formalities and rarely on an issue of this magnitude.

Mayer’s aldermanic term, her first, has not been anything to write home about. She’s missed meetings and even apologized to constituents about one of them. At times she has expressed an inability to grasp the issue at hand and has frequently sounded like she doesn’t understand what’s being discussed.

Mayer has some explaining to do. I would urge supporters of Ballpark Commons to attend Tuesday’s meeting and demonstrate solidarity against whatever Mayer is trying to pull.

Hopefully she realizes how utterly foolish she’ll appear if her intentions totally bomb. But given her disappointing track record thus far I’m not sure she does.

18 thoughts on “Franklin alderwoman wants a do-over on the Ballpark Commons

  1. Maybe we ought to listen to what she has to say before you establish an opinion on her position on the matter at hand. I believe everyone has a right to be heard. Should she have spoken up sooner, maybe, but let’s listen to her before you pass judgements. She did drop the ball with my entire subdivision and went on vacation instead of letting us know if a cbrf that was being put up in my neighborhood. I was angry and frustrated with her. But I will still listen to what she has to say in regards to this. People make mistakes. We are all human and yes this is her first term and you can’t hold that against her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This article is written with too much opinion and editorial added to it. Deeming someone as “foolish” is not very journalistic and unprofessional. Just report the facts and let the reader make up their own mind.

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      • Lou, this is a blog.

        A blog is defined as a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites. A blog is not a newspaper story. That’s a very important distinction.

        My blog is not about bake sales and cheerleader car washes. My blog is about a lot of things, including my experiences, observations, opinions, etc. about my local units of government and their representatives. In my posts I refer to what local officials say and do by use of their very own statements (direct quotes), votes, actions and behavior often using links to city documents, other articles, and in the case of the Franklin Common Council, audio from the meetings posted on the city’s website.

        Elected representatives should understand that they are going to face scrutiny. People can and should be paying attention. Transparency is good. So is an informed and knowledgeable citizenry.

        We can all agree that we want our city to enjoy economic growth and prosperity. We can disagree on how to get there.

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  2. I like Franklin because it is a nice quiet place to raise children. If I want noise and excitement, I can drive just 20 minutes to Milwaukee. I would much rather see the 26 million used to improve Franklin schools and parks.

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      • Yes, and we are being asked to pay many millions more on an upcoming school referendum for a new middle school. I supported the high school referendum, but I’m familiar with the middle school and it does NOT need to be replaced. Middle school enrollment is almost flat, increasing by roughly one classroom of students in the last decade. The building itself seems completely functional, with plenty of the large learning spaces for which need has been expressed. Every single classroom is not oversized, true, but having to visit a larger room for an occasional floor activity necessitates tearing down the building? Really?

        …and now the Ballpark Commons. Just as I don’t oppose necessary school referendums (but don’t see this one as necessary), I don’t automatically oppose new taxpayer-supported development. However, I wish Franklin would pick a priority here, instead of coming at taxpayers with roughly 75M in requests for two completely unrelated, major projects at the same time.

        Respectfully, I’d like to hear what Alderwoman Mayer has to say.

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  3. I’ve tried to reach her a half-dozen times over the past 45 days regarding traffic safety and speed control on W Ryan Road. I emailed her multiple times regarding the matter. I have yet to receive any response or correspondence from her.

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    • Nicholas, you can seriously make the argument that this is worse than whatever someone might be pulling her puppet strings about on Ballpark Commons. I don’t believe she’s that cunning to come up with her reasons for reconsideration on her own. There may have been a plant opposed to Ballpark Commons.

      Ignoring a constituent….major error, no excuses. Usually political suicide.

      She’s demonstrated she is not fit for the job. Hopefully a strong candidate will emerge from her district to give her a serious challenge. She’s not good for the future of Franklin.

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