Franklin wasn’t invited

This week the state Assembly Community Development Committee heard from municipalities about actions they have taken to improve the look and feel of their communities.

They were invited by the committee’s Chair, Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) to tell the story of their community’s efforts to make good first impressions, develop brands and provide for a welcoming and vibrant downtown.

Image result for image, photo , picture, elm grove wisconsin

Elm Grove’s  Village Manager David De Angelis emphasized “community engagement of civic organizations, the creation of a dedicated foundation for quality of life projects, developing a consistent brand, giving proper recognition and developing sustainable financing for any enhancements” helped enhance the village’s downtown.

Downtown Oconomowoc

Oconomowoc Director of Economic Development & Tourism Bob Duffy said that “in order to succeed in downtown revitalization, implementation is key including adoption of ordinances allowing for outdoor seating and efficient approval of restaurants and other businesses. Activity and progress become contagious.”

James Fenlon, Little Chute Village Administrator emphasized the power of Little Chute’s brand, which is symbolized by the windmill anchoring the Village’s downtown and the need to take the long view. “There are no shortcuts,” Fenlon said.

Rep. Allen’s goal is commendable: build stronger and more resilient communities throughout the state and help Wisconsin attract the talented workforce of tomorrow.

He plans to invite other communities for additional informational hearings. My guess is Franklin’s phone won’t be ringing.

9 thoughts on “Franklin wasn’t invited

      • I’m not talking about a bureaucrat. I’m talking about an actual development leader on staff that shepards development into place and challenges the bureaucrat’s lack of leadership. Since Bruce and John left all Franklin has now are “code readers.”

        You are correct that Franklin doesn’t have re/developed “asset” to offer up to the Committe. Time will tell if Ballpark Commons will offer the kind of “unique energy perception” that Oak Creek’s Towne Center does.

        Franklin DOES have Opportunity sites though take under Oak Creek’s leadership and Community Development direction would be phenomenal for the City:

        1. Franklin’s Crossroads – Franklin has an unnecessary quasi-Interstate running though it that should first and foremost be dismantled and turned into boulevarded, 4-lane Main Street with street building, high density development and a town center surrounding O’Malley’s Lake with a new City Hall and Community Center that would rival Oak Creek’s.

        2. St. Martin’s Village – this area in a diamond in the rough and a redeveloper’s wet-dream that with the right developer could be turned into a downtown Cedarburg.

        Unfortunately the community isn’t willing to take the, now Oak Creek-proven, risks this type of CORE redevelopment.


      • As much as I wanted the job and throughly screw-up the opportunity by being overly aggressive in “educating” myself in what Franklin needed to compete with Oak Creek, I can’t blame Cali lack of production over the past year. She’s a marketer of economic opportunities rather than an economic developer of opportunity.

        Problem is there isn’t anything of real economic significance for her to market – Franklin doesn’t have a “WOW-factor” and it’s leadership isn’t willing to take HUGE, Oak Creek-proven, risks. They were looking and got and Consensus-builder rather than a Evolution-challenger as a director and gave her zero power to effect real change. You seriously can not blame her.


      • When a person doesn’t produce, yes I can blame her. She bungled the entire logo issue, costing the city needlessly. I’m willing to be corrected. Tell me one accomplishment she’s had.

        She’s an Olson hire, meaning anything she’s not done is the state’s fault.


      • Also…keep in mind that she has less than a half million dollar, non-discretionary budget to “develop” multi-million economic growth.


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