Has any progress been made in Franklin in the last five years?

This week I scoffed at the very notion that a supposedly legitimate website would actually call Franklin a “boomtown.”

It’s laughable. The major population growth happened many years ago. Rapid business growth?

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I’ve lived in Franklin since 1992. Built two homes here. Have paid obscene property taxes year after year after year. Having a website from far away call this a boomtown when it’s anything but is practically insulting it’s so egregiously inaccurate.

Ballpark Commons has definitely done wonders to open eyes on tumbleweed Franklin. But with Mike Zimmerman’s perseverance that paid off project a rare exception, Franklin has little to say for itself.

I blogged the following in 2014. Five years later, ask yourself if anything has changed.

From 2014:

Do some in Franklin want to torpedo growth?


I’m not sure I buy the hypothesis offered by journalist Aaron Renn when it comes to Franklin that some in authority really would rather not see the community they represent enjoy the fruits of expansion, i.e., economic development.

What I do concur is that the suppositions he makes are worth pondering.

Economic development has been on hold in Franklin for a long, long time. Few in power grasp that obvious fact. Or they don’t understand the severity. Or they don’t care. Or all of the previously mentioned. Year after year after year goes by and nothing changes. Nothing happens.

Writing in Governing.com, Renn submits that in some cases, that’s just how some folks running corporations or units of government want it.

They’re in rackets where people complain about a problem or problems, but do nothing to fix.

Why? Deep down, they don’t want a fix.

They’d prefer the status quo of a unified force that consistently complains. That’s preferable to the changes that would result from…economic development.

Economic progress brought on by economic development rattles the comfortable status quo.

Renn (and others) suggest that people actually benefit from the same old economic doldrums that never improve.

As out of touch economically that Franklin is, I’m not ready to accuse any of our powers that be of being in this boat. But that’s now. I’ll continue to think about it.

Economic development, i.e. retail is stagnant as Franklin is in continuous spinning wheels mode. No one in power seems to be the least bit concerned. There’s no sense of urgency whatsoever.
—This Just In…, December 29, 2014

Now let’s move to 2016. Why? Because I believe my message then is worth repeating now:

The do-nothing group is simply that. They want no part of, well, anything. Shops, grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment… forget ‘em.  I’ll just hop in my car and drive to other communities if I have to. This is why I came to Franklin. Peace and quiet, man. And lots of it. Don’t need no stinkin’ automobiles cluttering up our roads. All that noise. All those people. No, no, no.

And here’s the kicker. Anyone who prefers that Franklin emerge from its cave into the 21st Century and encourages we attempt to develop a place with some life and energy is rebuked. You don’t like our subdued, hum-drum city, then why don’t you just move?!


I’ve called the pro-growth contingent “The Jetsons” many times. They hate seeing surrounding communities that don’t just have grandiose plans, they have plans that become wonderful reality. If this was a prize fight, our neighbors would be Mike Tyson and Franklin would be Pee Wee Herman.

Not only does Franklin seriously lack the economic development fruits many other suburbs enjoy, we have policymakers that either don’t understand the desires of what I would contend is a majority of the populace, don’t have the knowledge or ability to achieve a la Oak Creek, or simply don’t care. Couple our do-nothing approach with our outrageous property taxes. Is it too much to ask that we have some measures of quality of life? I’ve read that we should be content with being over-taxed because of our police and fire and schools. Well guess what? Oak Creek, Greendale, Greendale, etc. has them, too, plus exciting visions of growth compared to our blinders.

If “The Jetsons” don’t like it they can just pack up and move. Clearly “The Jetsons” could say the same to “The Flintstones.” If you don’t like any efforts to dramatically move forward then you can always move. Lots of quiet, rural space out there. Knock yourselves out.

But “The Jetsons” don’t exhibit such rudeness. Instead they ask for help to shape and build Franklin into a better community. And to their credit “The Jetsons” proudly proclaim they’re not going anywhere, that despite their pent up frustrations they still believe in Franklin, enough to stay in the hope that improvements for the city they love will someday be on the way.

Now that’s the right attitude.
—This Just In…May 10, 2016

And one more. After IKEA came to Oak Creek. Because it’s worth repeating. Because nothing has changed.

From my blog:

I happen to be pro-growth and would have welcomed IKEA. Not everyone in Franklin shares my view. They quite frankly are anti-growth.

Most people understand this is a very big deal. Commentary that exploded on social media demonstrated the factions that exist in Franklin. Here’s a sampling. I’ll begin with the group of citizens that are totally frustrated at Franklin’s consummate inertia:

Went to lunch in Oak creek yesterday and could not believe the progress they are making with bringing revenue to the city. …so many new businesses….I want to know why Franklin isn’t doing this for us! Why to we need to take our business to other cities? ?? The newest place built I believe is the hotel on 76th and Rawson. We have so many empty stores like the sentry building on 76th and rawson. Come on franklin….what’s going on? I want to see progress for the taxes I pay!!!!!!

The sentry is going to be a bounce house place…..because we really need another apparently

I want a Japanese restaurant….please people, I want sushi close by!

Come on Franklin lets wake up!!! we want help with our taxes too!!

I’ve read in the past that it’s really hard for businesses to get any new plan, etc. approved by Franklin…so they go elsewhere.

Yes that is true…..I had a hard time building my.home because builders say Franklin is too difficult to work with. Really??? Wake up franklin, we need progress!

We need help with the property tax situation…

Only 3 more years. I’m outta Franklin and Wisconsin. So done with these taxes!

A hotel so everyone who stays there can now travel to oak Creek and other areas to spend their money in that city because franklin has virtually nothing! Maybe we just need a trolley to Oak Creek since it seems to far to drive !

Franklin is very very picky on who or what business is allowed to be here, I know of plenty trying but we are to high in taxes

Is that why the old Sentry Store is becoming a bouncy house playground. Really!! Picky. No I don’t think so. Blind. Yes. Unfortunately too many elected officially here can’t see the forest because of the trees that are in the way

It’s near all those nice big new houses they can’t put in anything they fight against it

Taxes are outrageous in Franklin and we have nothing here. Not sure I’ll be here much longer if something isn’t done to lower these taxes.

I don’t see any elected officials commenting on here. Election season must be over!! Or they are busy doing studies on the coyote problem.

Wake up and smell the coffee Franklin. Start building let’s see progress

The kids did a mock common council meeting in cub scouts tonight and they made decisions..great decisions and they r 7&8yr olds.

Franklin has repeatedly turned down good businesses to the point where businesses do not want to spend their energy, jump through the hoops and get turned down. It will never happen here.

you build it (Ball Park Commons) they will come! Many of the businesses y’all are looking for (Trader Joes type businesses)require a touch more population density and other infrastructure before they will move in……the luxury apartments and other attractions included in the Ballpark Commons Franklin Proposal will draw additional business to the area…..If you build it they will come.

I have been talking about this issue for ages. I want to see the progress as well.

Can we get someone to lead this city to make it as awesome as it can be, instead of the town in between Oak Creek and Muskego!!!!?????

Then there’s the backwards bunch. The calendars in the homes read 1957. Can’t, no way ever have progress. That would mean more cars. Lights. Activity. People having fun. People spending money. Just..more..you know…people. Yuck. Can’t have that!  Let’s just be Mayberry.

Their intellect is not Jetsons. It’s Flintstones.

If more new buildings in Franklin will cost tax of Franklin more expensive. Let Oak Creek pay more taxes so we can visit If we had more things, it would bring in more people, then the crime rate would go up and everyone would complain about that. Just drive to Oak Creek to dine or shop and enjoy our quiet Franklin area.

Who really cares? People complain about everything these days get over it. Life is too short to complain about stupid shit. Just get in your car and drive not even 1-3 miles.

So tired of hearing about the lack of development here. Oak Creek is so busy (loud with way too much traffic) and if you check their municipal reports there crime rates are much higher. We think that our taxes are a little on the high side but to us it is worth it for the amazing schools and nice quiet safe neighborhoods. That is why we chose Franklin to buy a house in.

Be careful what you wish for! More isn’t always better! Sure Oak Creek is getting a lot of new stores & restaurants However that also equals more crime and more traffic:(

You may want your kids growing up in a crime infested, high traffic area but we moved to Franklin for the low crime, peace & quiet, no low income housing, etc.

love the piece and quite of franklin. yes a few new little stores would be nice , but if i had to choose , it would be Franklin, Oak Creek is starting to look like a city , to much traffic, and along with that come crime.

If we had more things, it would bring in more people, then the crime rate would go up and everyone would complain about that. Just drive to Oak Creek to dine or shop and enjoy our quiet Franklin area.

God help Franklin. I’m afraid that’s all Franklin’s got.
—This Just In…, May 3, 2016


Today’s highly interesting read (07/17/19): The Arrogance And The Ignorance

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Today’s read comes from Derek Hunter, a Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist.

When they were spending their time attacking Republicans, Democrats weren’t bothered. What’s an embarrassing anti-Semitic comment orquoting a Nazi sympathizer (of having your chief of staff wearing a shirt glorifying a Nazi collaborator,as AOC’s did) when their vitriol is directed toward Republicans? Sycophantic journalists, who use their preferred nickname “The Squad,” either ignored or defended these “misunderstandings.” It’s all fun and games when your enemies are taking all the fire.

But Frankenstein’s monster always returns to the castle and destroys it.

Read the entire column here.

Moon landing photos

I posted these on my blog July 20, 2014.

1) Apollo 11 crew Mike Collins, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, June 27, 1969. Photo: Getty Images

2) Moonbound Apollo 11 clears the launch tower on July 16, 1969. NASA photo

3) American broadcast journalist and TV news anchor Walter Cronkite keeps his eyes on his monitor as NASA’s Apollo 11 mission touches down on the moon, July 20, 1969. CBS photo

4) An estimated 10,000 people gathered to watch giant television screens in New York’s Central Park and cheer as astronaut Neil Armstrong took man’s first step on the moon on July 20, 1969. Photo: AP file

5) One of the first steps taken on the Moon, this is an image of Buzz Aldrin’s bootprint from the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon on July 20, 1969. Photo: NASA

6) Armstrong and Aldrin raise the U.S. flag on the lunar surface. NASA photo

7) United States astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands beside a solar wind experiment next to the Lunar Module spacecraft on the surface of the Moon after he and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first men to land on the Moon during the Apollo 11 space mission July 20, 1969. Photo: NASA via Reuters file

8) Astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module Pilot, is photographed walking near the Lunar Module during the Apollo 11 Extravehicular Activity in July 20, 1969. Astronauts Neil Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot, succesfully completed the United States’ first lunar landing mission 45 years ago. Photo: NASA via Getty Images file

9) This view from the Apollo 11 spacecraft shows Earth rising above the moon’s horizon. AP photo

10) Lunar module plaque: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” NASA photo

How would you describe Franklin?

I don’t mean in a lengthy paragraph or two.

I’m talking brief, concise.

In the past on many occasions I used the term “Tax Hell.”

Oh my. A golden oldie. Ancient news. I’m 93.6% certain he doesn’t feel that way anymore.

In 2014 I also called Franklin a “retail sieve.”

2019: Franklin still is. The city needs to get down on its hands and knees and thank Mike Zimmerman.

Regular readers know how I’ve been critical of growth-dead Franklin. City officials are in denial. Our economic development director is kept in a cave, and has said and done virtually nothing to advance Franklin. But she’s the mayor’s hire so, you go figure.

The absolutely last descriptive term to describe Franklin in my view would be:



Are you nuts, crazy, out of your mind, one French fry short of a Happy Meal?

But that’s what the website GOBankingRates is claiming.

Their main focus isn’t Franklin. No sir.

Wisconsin: Madison

  • 5-year change in population: 6.1%
  • 10-year change in population: 13.2%
  • 5-year change in owner-occupied housing units: 1%
  • 10-year change in owner-occupied housing units: 5.6%
  • 5-year change in per capita income: 11.7%
  • 10-year change in per capita income: 22.8%

In Madison, the 10-year percentage change in the population of 13.2% exceeded the national average of 7.45%.


Population. The website said “Boomtowns are considered the fastest-growing cities in America due to rapid business and population growth.”

When it comes to Franklin, designating it as a boomtown couldn’t possibly be due to “rapid business growth.”

What business growth? And rapid? What were they smokin’?

Label this one: FAKE NEWS

Planning to use your AC this Week? Is it already on? SEXIST!

Where I live, well, the weathermen/women are always right when the climate becomes uncomfortable.

Wednesday: 85

Thursday: 93

Friday: 99

Saturday: 89

Sunday: 84

Our AC will definitely be working.

Thus, I’m a sexist.


Taylor Lorenz, who writes for The Atlantic,  recently tweeted out:

Air-conditioning is unhealthy, bad, miserable, and sexist. I can’t explain how many times I’ve gotten sick over the summer b/c of overzealous AC in offices.

She tweeted again.

Dying at all the men in my mentions having a literal *meltdown* because I suggested raising office temps a few degrees in the summer. No amt of AC on the planet will help men online.

And again.

Like buy a fan. Ur not gonna die lol. I should be able to wear dresses in the summer and not get hypothermia. Weird that making women slightly more comfortable and productive at work causes so many men to have a mental breakdown.

The liberal NY Times started it all.

I am not ashamed. I will be sexist the rest of this week.


Today’s highly interesting read (07/16/19): Trump’s Bold Truth-Telling About ‘The Squad’ Makes Free Speech Great Again


“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.”
Tweet by President Trump referring to four female House members of color

Cue the critics.

John Nolte at Breitbart has today’s read:

The truth is that Trump never brought up skin color, gender, or “people of color,” which means there was nothing racist about his tweets. Nothing nativist. Nothing xenophobic. His tweets focused on only one thing: behavior — the appalling behavior of the harridans, their indefensible bigotry, their open hatred of Jews, their unforgivable use of equivalence to compare the American military to al Qaeda and our border enforcement to Nazi concentration camps, their un-American crusade to prioritize illegal immigrants over American citizens and legal immigrants.

Trump told the truth. Trump defended America. This is what a president is supposed to do.

Read the entire piece here.


God love Festa Italiana, and we do, but c’mon

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Fireworks start approximately 10:45 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday nights (No Friday fireworks, and people are not happy about that…BOO!).


Are you kidding me?

This is supposed to be family friendly. They expect families with small children, even babies (yes, they’re out there) to stay up to 10:45?

German Fest not much better. 10:30 on Friday and Saturday nights.

The latest pro-life news (07/15/19)


Don’t miss our closing heartwarming story every week!

From Pro-Life Wisconsin:


From WI Right To Life:


‘Dad-vocate’ for Down syndrome children offers powerful pro-life example

Pro-Life leaders tell White House summit of online censorshipMORE

OPINION: Pro-life Groups Should Join Effort at the Border


How a ballet dancer overcame her scoliosis: “Giving up was not an option for me”


Today’s highly interesting read (07/15/19): I went to the border to help people. Members of Congress were shocked when I asked them to help, too

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Today’s read is from Abby Johnson is the director of And Then There Were None, which helps abortion workers leave their jobs and find life-affirming ones. She’s also the author of “Unplanned”, which has been made into a feature film of the same name.

Rep. Vincente Gonzalez, D-Texas, who donated $1,000 to the center, according to the monitor, walked by our 18-wheeler as we were just getting ready to start unloading and we asked him again to help.

Donated diapers for respite center in McAllen, Texas. (Courtesy of the author)

With a dismissive wave of his hand, he smugly said “I’ll send someone” and then walked to his air-conditioned car and left. No one from his office came to help. Are you surprised?

Read the entire column here.