Dave Pautz, for 24 years, has been one of the most influential and positive forces for parks in the city of Franklin. Few did more for Franklin parks than Pautz.
There’s an old phrase. No good deed goes unpunished.
On a July night in 2015, while the vast majority of Franklin was enjoying the summer evening elsewhere, Pautz was in the extremely small crowd of citizens attending a Franklin Common Council meeting. With no fanfare Pautz stood up and proceeded to do the unthinkable.
Pautz dared to walk up to the microphone and during a designated citizen comment period the Franklin parks commissioner brazenly exercised his First Amendment rights and shockingly… expressed an opinion.
Pautz criticized the Council for being dysfunctional with behavior that was impeding the city’s growth and progress (The insightful Pautz, while taking a chance, was spot on).
Pautz was yelled at and interrupted unceremoniously three times by the thin-skinned Alderman Dan Mayer who was blatantly out of line.
Fast forward to Tuesday night (last night) where the Council met to, among many other items, consider Mayor Steve Olson’s reappointment of Pautz to the Parks Commission due to Pautz’s term expiring. The move had to be approved by the Council and it failed. More on the actual vote in just a bit.
Please click here for the reason Pautz’s reappointment was rejected, despite any moonbat theories that are circulating. The entire plot to oust Pautz was petty and personal.
In municipalities all around Wisconsin, mayors, village presidents, and town chairmen nominate individuals for volunteer positions on commissions and boards. The nominations are based on ability to serve and/or past experience /performance. Usually, barring extreme circumstances, the appointments are granted.
Not in Franklin.
Prior to the votes by the Council Tuesday on the mayoral appointments including Dave Pautz, Mayor Olson, clearly anticipating what was about to take place, said the following on the record:
These are citizen volunteers to the city of Franklin.
I have reappointed 99% of these because of the work they have done, not because of the personalities of these people.
I’ve sat this table for many, many, many years and have voted on many people who I personally would not have put back on a board but who served well and did their jobs so I vote in favor of them.
Classy. Professional. Proper. In the best interests of Franklin.
Unfortunately too many on the Council didn’t see, understand, care for the obvious, the right thing to do.
Alderman Steve Taylor, the bull in a china shop, spoke next. Taylor said he agreed with Mayor Olson. Not really because he then expressed a lack of confidence in Pautz without giving an iota of specifics.
Alderman Dan Mayer who savagely attacked Pautz as documented in the above link then said he met with Pautz after Pautz made his remarks at the open meeting, but that the two hadn’t worked out issues, though he, too, refused to be forthright and offer specifics.
The screwing was in full operation.
From the City Clerk’s office on the Pautz nomination:
The first motion was:
Alderman Taylor moved to deny the Mayoral appointment of Dave Pautz to the Park Commission for a 3-year term expiring 4/30/2020. Seconded by Alderwoman Wilhelm. On roll call to deny the appointment, Ald. Taylor and Ald. Wilhelm voted Aye; Ald. Barber and Ald. Dandrea voted No; Ald. Nelson and Ald. Mayer Abstained. Motion failed.
Then there was a second motion:
Alderman Barber moved to confirm the Mayoral appointment of Dave Pautz to the Park Commission for a 3-year term expiring 4/30/2020. Seconded by Alderman Dandrea. On roll call to confirm the appointment, Ald. Dandrea and Ald. Barber voted Aye; Ald. Wilhelm and Ald. Taylor voted No; Ald. Mayer and Ald. Nelson Abstained. Motion failed.
As a result the move to reappoint Pautz was dead. By state statute Pautz can’t come up for an appointment for one year.
Stay with me here. Analysis on the above motions coming, but first, I asked Pautz for his reaction and he provided the following.
After 24 years on the Parks Commission, I can walk away feeling a sense of accomplishment. Much was done to improve the parks throughout Franklin. The ultimate compensation for all my efforts is the sound of children laughing and playing at all city parks and especially the Kayla’s Playground. More than anything else, I am proud of the way I was a part of bringing Kayla’s Playground to fruition. Along with Mayor Olson, Shelly Runte, Janet Evans and numerous volunteers while facing opposition from Kristen Wilhelm, Steve Taylor and others who had sinister agendas, we were able to fight off the petty personal attacks from those listed. The process of how this came about continues to demonstrate how certain individuals on the council need to be held accountable for their lack of integrity.
Thanks, Dave for those comments and your decades of service to Franklin.
I listened to the tapes of Tuesday’s meeting. It’s clear as can be the sabotage of Pautz was planned in advance.
Beginning with career politician Steve Taylor. He was angry over the comments made by Pautz in July of 2015. Taylor wasn’t even on the Council at the time!
Taylor could not provide specifics as to why he made the motion to deny Pautz reappointment. Of course not because he didn’t have any!
While Taylor was desperately trying to sound relevant, isn’t it interesting that Alderman/Woman/Person Kristen Wilhelm, normally an out of control Chatty Kathy at meetings, sat back silently and let others do her dirty work.
Wilhelm worked behind the scenes to orchestrate Taylor’s successful recall of Alderwoman Janet Evans. As Taylor made the parliamentary procedures Tuesday night against Pautz while Wilhelm stayed away from her microphone it’s entirely plausible this was agreed upon payback between Taylor and Wilhelm, as Wilhelm is still seething immaturely from Pautz’s public statements nearly two years ago.
That brings us to Dan Mayer, also part of the anti-Olson cabal who claimed he had no choice to abstain. Cowardly. More on that ahead. Mayer said he had a meeting with Pautz, that he, Mayer, apologized, and that the meeting went well. That was reported by what was once FranklinNOW.com. If so, why the abstention, and without explanation? We know why.
And new alderman, John Nelson. He, too, abstained. Pressure from the cabal? Later in the meeting Nelson had enough whatever in his mind to nominate Steve Taylor for Common Council President. A 5th grader could connect the dots.
It’s evident Pautz was correct in July of 2015. There’s collusion, collaboration before meetings, to torpedo Steve Olson’s agenda that has been approved by voters more than once.
As for the abstentions, for too long here in Franklin some elected officials have, on more than one occasion, voted to ABSTAIN on items before them when it came time to make a final decision.
Not aye or no.
Doesn’t happen all that often, but in my view, once is too often.
To borrow an image from the holiday season, that’s like having…
Sitting in their chairs.
When I vote for alderman, I do because I want a voice. I want representation, even if my representative and I don’t always see eye to eye. I certainly don’t want my alderman to abstain during a critical vote. The official might have well just stayed home. Better yet, let someone else take over who might have a better understanding of the issues and the job.
The council members are elected to make decisions. Tough ones, but even so, MAKE them. And I submit this wasn’t difficult at all. There were about two dozen appointments for consideration Tuesday. Suddenly on the Pautz appointment you abstain?
Dan Mayer acted cowardly Tuesday. So did John Nelson. Not a good start for Nelson in his first meeting. He needs to decide if going forward he will be an independent voice and thinker, or a puppet.
BOTTOM LINE: Some, enough elected city officials have disgustedly put themselves, personal egos and pettiness ahead of why they supposedly took office. That is to work for the betterment of the city of Franklin.