I recall a time former Franklin alderman Steve Taylor didn’t really care for me.
Like this moment several years ago at a Franklin Common Council meeting, videotaped by Franklin resident and former Franklin blogger Bryan Maersch.
That’s a pretty fast, short clip. Taylor mentioned “two or three” people (Franklin bloggers).
Let’s get real. Taylor was exclusively referring to yours truly since I had the habit on my blogs of mentioning Franklin as a “Tax Hell” about as often as I changed my socks.
When Taylor first moved into Franklin I had already built two homes here. Established myself. Was well aware of the city’s history. Knew the players.
And soon after I started a blog. Lots of topics, including my self-appointed role as a watchdog for Franklin politics: Mayor, Common Council, and the Jesse James gang (that would be your obscene tax grabbers, the school board).
A watchdog couldn’t help but notice Taylor. No need for great detail. Just replay the above video.
No need for a lengthy retread. I questioned Taylor’s conservative credentials.
And I questioned his votes, and behavior at public meetings.
But never, and Taylor can vouch for this, never was it personal between us. Wrote that repeatedly on my blog. Whether it was in public…
Or as a guest in my house…
It took a lot of years for me to suddenly my take on Steve Taylor. My change of heart prompted by a mega-funded political smear campaign is well-documented on this blog. A simple search here will do.
I believe my total change of heart shocked people. Why? Not only social media but my own private e-mail was void of commentary ripping me for my unexpected turn.
My paltry support in the form of blogs in Taylor’s dying attempt to face millions of dollars in multiple smear campaign literature pieces left daily in mailboxes wasn’t enough. He lost to a challenger who simply sat back, said nothing, and let the smears do the work for her.
Occasionally Taylor guest blogged for me. And why not? I considered his voice compelling.
Taylor told me and others he wasn’t going away and wasn’t going silent. And then…
Taylor is no longer on the Franklin Common Council.
Is there a greater voice for common sense on the council?
Is there a better talent for cutting through the crap at Common Council meetings than Taylor?
Does anyone have a better grasp of procedure at how meetings are supposed to run than Taylor?
Does anyone come to meetings, and I listen to them all, who not only knows what’s going on but also has a firm recollection of what happened at previous meetings more than Taylor?
From a strictly interesting standpoint, Taylor brings life to meetings that are for the most part dull, dull, dull.
As a radio reporter for umpteen years that defended on audio sound bites I can assure you unlike the nothing reporters that cover Franklin politics only when there’s an ‘r’ in the month that Taylor was a walking treasure chest.
I’ve been accused of not attending meetings. I choose instead to listen to the meeting audio tapes.
Why would I give up precious personal time with my family to listen to Alderwoman Kristen Wilhelm drone on and on and on to profess to be the greatest, and spout off meaningless question after question after question, whimper and cry, storm out of meetings, and throw stones at Mayor Steve Olson’s attempt at economic progress for Franklin?
No, you won’t find me at meetings. Wilhelm claims as a result I’m a persona non grata. For you high school dropouts, that’s an unacceptable or unwelcome person. Apparently 99.99% of my fellow Franklinites are in the same boat.
So now Steve Taylor will no longer be at Common Council meetings at the head table. After years of monitoring Taylor, and just when I found him to be so interesting, so compelling, so provocative, he’s gone.
I will still listen to meetings, but c’mon.
Damn you Steve Taylor.
You will be missed.