On the April 7th ballot in Franklin there’s an election for an open seat on the Franklin Common Council. Alderman Steve Taylor is not running again, so after a primary voters are left with Shari Hanneman (I support her wholeheartedly), and current Franklin School Board member Larry Gamble.
Let me point out both are solid, decent people. Do you know what that means to me as a voter? Absolutely nothing. I know tons of solid, decent people. But I’d never vote for most of ’em.
Now, to a portion of a blog before the primary for this seat in February:
I don’t live in Franklin’s 4th aldermanic district. However I’m very interested in the outcome of their election for a new alderman.
Current officeholder Steve Taylor is not running again, and three candidates have emerged. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in traditional newspaper fashion, asked the candidates to respond to simple questions on pertinent issues. Let’s take a look.
1) Former Franklin School Board Member Alan Alexsandrowicz. From the newspaper:
“Alexsandrowicz was on vacation and unavailable to provide answers to any of the questions before this story’s deadline.”
That’s not going to help Alexsandrowicz, missing out on some free publicity. But even if he had supplied answers he’s demonstrated he’s not qualified. Read why here. I think he’s dead meat.
2) Current Franklin School Board Member Larry Gamble.
Good guy. Former small business owner. Military veteran. From the newspaper:
What new perspective or skills can you bring to the council?
Gamble: For the past three years, I’ve served on the Franklin School Board where we have maintained high academic achievement, built a new middle school, and done so while lessening the tax burden on Franklin property owners.
Sorry, but that’s just wrong.
BTW, In February 2017 Gamble was appointed, not elected, appointed by the Franklin School Board to fill a vacant seat on the board. Then in 2018 Gamble along with newcomer Claude Lewis were the only ones to file for election and were elected unopposed.
How sweet for Gamble. Nice deal if you can get it.
Back to the newspaper. Gamble claims he has served on the school board “while lessening the tax burden on Franklin property owners.”
False. Absolutely false. The Franklin school property tax levies approved in 2017, 2018, and 2019 while Gamble has served on the school board all went up, albeit by less 2%. Still, those increases increased the tax burden on Franklin property owners. They didn’t lessen the tax burden because Franklin’s burden went up, not down.
Gamble was not truthful and was misleading in his response to the newspaper. For me, that’s an automatic disqualifier. Plus, I don’t want an individual serving on two entities with tax and spending authority.
Today on a Franklin Facebook page Gamble engaged in a civil online discussion with my wife who has a Facebook account. I don’t. The lefties on social media have their undies in a bundle about this arrangement when it’s rather simple. My wife and I lovingly are simpatico. When she writes online I concur. When she submits for me, I write that it’s me posting. A concept apparently too difficult for the hateful left to comprehend.
Now, back to Larry Gamble’s back and forth with my wife today.
Larry Gamble posted:
My wife posted in response to the above campaign piece:
You have kept our school taxes low? I don’t think so. That’s why you shouldn’t be on TWO taxing bodies.
Gamble: Franklin student enrollment has gone up 9% since 2013 when other districts report declining enrollment. Yet, in our school district, we have reduced our impact on taxpayers by 18% while maintaining high performing schools in our city.
Jennifer: With all due respect, do you expect people to believe that? Any time you want to come over and look at my school tax bills since you made the school board just let me know.
Gamble: I would be happy to discuss this. The biggest impact in rising taxes in Franklin is the needless reassessment of property every year. Statutes only require once every 5 years and to keep the valuations approximately 90% of value.
Jennifer: Larry, the biggest impact in Franklin school taxes is school spending that is out of sight. It’s the biggest bite in our property taxes every year. Nothing personal, Larry. We don’t live in your district. But if we did we’d vote for Shari.
Gamble: I’ll agree with you that school taxes are 43% of your tax bill. The state puts the acceptable limit at 45%. All three years I’ve been on the school board, we have not voted for raising taxes to CPI levels just to increase revenue. I don’t take it personally because I know I’m voting for limiting the tax impact on residents.
Back to me. That whole 45% deal is crapola. Not true. So now he’s inventing stuff to further his election campaign. As for that exchange with my wife, it proved unequivocally that Larry Gamble just doesn’t get it. As a member of the school board he has gone native. He has bought in to whatever the administration feeds him. He has no finger on the pulse of the taxpaying public.
Again, here’s what he wrote to my wife:
I’llagree with you that school taxes are 43% of your tax bill. The state puts the acceptable limit at 45%. All three years I’ve been on the school board, we have not voted for raising taxes to CPI levels just to increase revenue.
Oh, that’s a beauty. I increased your school taxes, not by an obscene amount, but obscene, down just a pinch. And when asked where he got the whole 45% idea from he wouldn’t answer. Why? Because it’s not true.
Frankly, I don’t trust Gamble to be in charge of not just one, but two pots of tax money. He’s like the rest of the Franklin school board, and I mean all of them, that once they got into office forgot about the taxpayers as they continuously play footsie with the administration.
Finally, God love my wife. She did pose this to Gamble on Facebook today:
Friendly request. Would you please send me the budget amendments you made to the annual school budgets proposed by the FPS administration since you came onto the school board that would have reduced spending and reduced taxation, as well as the outcome of those, if any, amendments.
Earlier today Gamble was quick on the trigger. Let’s see how fast, if at all, Gamble responds now.
UPDATE: Gamble never responded to the request for any budget amendments he made.