It’s not easy being the mayor of Franklin these days. Steve Olson must deal with a below average Common Council (that’s being diplomatic) whose members operate under the false notion that they’re experts on policymaking, business and industry, public safety, public health, city planning, design, architecture, job creation, job retention, environmental protection, and now the latest, sound engineering.
For some time the sound emanating from Franklin Field has been problematic. The Franklin Common Council at its meeting Tuesday night had an opportunity to, as Mayor Olson put it, “fix the problem, not study it.”
Olson requested authorization for the city to contract with Shen Milsom Wilke to perform an analysis of the Franklin Field sound system. Olson, who has a wealth of personal work experience on sound, called Shen Milsom Wilke “world renowned experts in sound and audio.”
When the item came up on Tuesday’s agenda Franklin Alderman Dan Mayer who with Kristen Wilhelm are the two worst aldermen on the council immediately moved to kill Olson’s suggestion (seconded by Wilhelm) and order city staff to develop a comprehensive plan to resolve sound issues at the site.
During discussion Mayer took a direct jab at Mayor Olson when he remarked, “I think it’s up to staff and not just some contact we met at Walmart.”
Maybe Mayer’s sarcasm was a futile attempt at humor. Regardless, he said it, on the record, for all to hear. Stupid doesn’t come close to describing Mayer’s comment. Try asinine. Absurd. Illogical. Preposterous.
Shen Milsom & Wilke was started in 1986 and has grown to become an international company with a worldwide staff of over 230. From their website:
We identify potential acoustical issues at the earliest point possible and bring forth all available options for team review, discussion, & coordination.
Our projects range from extremely sensitive environments, such as studios, performance spaces, laboratories; to the corporate and learning environment involving boardrooms, executive offices, collaboration spaces, open plan areas, classrooms, etc. Solutions have to work within the framework of a project and team.
Our Acoustical services include:
- Architectural Acoustics
- Mechanical Noise & Vibration Control
- Structural Dynamics
- Environmental Analyses
- Performing Arts Acoustics
- Community & Industrial Noise Control
- Open Plan Offices
- Environmental Acoustics Modeling
At one point during the meeting a city official acknowledged he didn’t believe city staff had the expertise to provide what the aldermen were considering.
Didn’t matter. The council voted 6-0 to approve Mayer’s motion.
Mayer’s mentality and that of his colleagues should be appalling and frightening to Franklin residents. The aldermen firmly believe everything is all about them, that they are the experts. Truth be told, they’re not experts on anything.