I haven’t picked on Franklin’s most egregious tax and spenders for some time. Well, guess what?
The Franklin School Board Follies return Wednesday night (tomorrow). At the risk of boring my readers to death:
Annual Meeting of the Electors
8255 W Forest Hill Ave, Franklin, WI 53132, USA
Despite this exercise being a complete , ridiculous, outrageous farce, it’s actually quite serious. The “electors” vote to approve the school property tax levy for the next school year that will be part of the local property tax bill sent to residents later this year. To be fair this process goes on statewide. But do we have to work hard to make it a bigger atrocity than it is?
Who are the electors, you might ask?
That’s easy. In addition to the actual school board members, they’re the public citizens who actually attend this charade of a meeting held mid-to-late August, when no one is aware, paying attention, interested, and understandably enjoying the last days of summer, possibly vacationing. How convenient for the tax and spenders who prefer to do their damage in virtual silence.
This link will allow you to see and hear last year’s Annual Meeting of the Electors. One of the most crucial meetings of the year for the School Board, including a budget presentation, lasts all of 22 minutes.
You will note at the very start that School Board President Janet Evans refers to meeting as that of the “Elector” and not “Electors.” Evans thinks this is humorous and lets out a chuckle. Sorry, but this isn’t the least bit funny. The one “elector” in attendance that night last August, a joke in itself, was representing some 35,000 Franklin residents, and thousands of taxpayers. The system obviously is atrocious.
I’ve always supported Evans. But I miss the old Evans, when she was a blogger on the now-defunct FranklinNOW website and wrote and spoke her mind. Then when she ran and got on the school board she said as I reported on my blog that she wasn’t there to be anybody’s friend, that she was there to do a job. BRAVO!
Times have dramatically changed. Evans went native.
In the case of that 2018 meeting, the lone elector was voting on the property tax levy decided upon by the school board. This was also a farce.
You see the school board previously had been presented a budget and subsequent tax levy by the Franklin Public Schools administration. In lemming-like fashion the school board went along with what had been handed to the members, and without debate, questioning, scrutiny, or measurable if any budget amendments, they rubber stamped the budget and tax increase in front of them.
Why? Because they could. No one in audience. No one paying attention. No press to cover.
This is a major flaw in how we operate in Franklin. The school administration is supposed to work FOR the school board. Unfortunately in Franklin it’s the other way around. The Board acts like they have to answer to the administration and they bow to the administration’s every whim. No one voted for the any administration official, a fact apparently lost on our school board. As a result, members are weak and cowering, especially so at budget time.
Back to the farce of an “Electors” meeting. Time is set aside for a presentation about all the wonderful objectives the school system engaged in the past school year. Cleverly designed to appeal to the electors or elector to vote YES for the proposed tax increase.
During this presentation the administration trots out Business Manager Jim “Sominex” Milzer to hypnotize anyone who dared to give away their sanity and attend the evening with a not-at-all dazzling array of facts and figures.
Then comes the quick vote for a tax increase, BOOM, and it’s over. In less than half hour wallets all across Franklin have been raided. When the surprise comes in mailboxes in December:
This has been occurring since I first moved into Franklin in 1992. The same damn thing is going to happen Wednesday night, because Franklin isn’t watching, and the school board knows it.
I long for once, just once, when 50-100 people storm this meeting and cry out for fiscal responsibility. School board members would turn into puddles. Folks, our schools are not getting the short shrift.
Oh, and BTW, those I’ve criticized? Their knee jerk reaction will be frustration, anger, how dare he, what a jerk instead of:
Maybe he has a point (s).
Maybe we should listen.
Maybe we should consider.