Franklin’s fight over a planned expansion of Strauss Brands isn’t over.
The backstory (Reader’s Digest version): This year Strauss, having outgrown their small Franklin facility, announced plans to expand in Franklin, after the city of Milwaukee had rejected their endeavor to build there. This was not exactly a secret.
Originally, the Franklin Council voted no. But under entirely appropriate procedures, the Council voted to reconsider the vote to reject, approved reconsideration, and then approved expansion to move forward.
The most vocal and organized of the Strauss opponents, one Marcelino Rivera (pictured above) has been unable to accept what’s transpired. Hasn’t taken this well…at all. His approach to battling this job-creation economic boost for the city has been like a bull in a China shop.
This is the same Marcelino Rivera who once attempted to organize an illegal protest right outside the home of Franklin Mayor Steve Olson and his neighbors. Franklin Police had to intervene.
Rivera has appeared at Franklin Common Council meetings to testify (and still does), packed with plenty of arrogance, rudeness, and sarcasm. Almost had to be escorted out of one meeting by Franklin Police.
His latest effort is a frivolous, meritless lawsuit against the city of Franklin on behalf of his new group, Franklin Community Advocates (FCA), hoping to derail the Strauss project, claiming it will reign plague after plague upon Franklin. Rivera has even petitioned folks to contribute donations to what could easily be a losing prospect. Naïve Koll-Aid drinkers, step right Marcelino’s way.
Through an open records request I obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed by Rivera and FCA against the city. More on that in a bit. But first let me expound on Rivera’s repeated thoughts about ‘transparency.’
First, in a notice posted online about a petition against Strauss, Rivera wrote:
“Strauss Brand lacks transparency even though it is one of its core values.”
On Facebook Rivera wrote:
“Additionally, City of Franklin Director of Health and Human Services, Courtney Day has failed to be transparent. In August, more than 100 people protested after 30 workers were fired after they complained about lack of COVID protections. She did not speak to the public at any of the meetings but instead has been absent and submitted the below letter last month. Her husband did also speak in favor of the slaughterhouse on 11/2.”
In another Facebook example, Rivera wrote:
“You (Franklin Mayor Olson) are selling this as the same operation just in a different place but yet you say ‘the building is larger and the future expansion is larger.’ Which is it? I have included images of the future expansion as well. This looks like the building will be double what is being proposed yet you want to tell your many lies and you aren’t being transparent with 36,000 taxpayers you knowingly stated you ‘have a responsibility to’.”
Transparent. Strauss-hater Rivera doesn’t practice what he preaches.
Back to the official lawsuit. There’s a lot to digest but for now I couldn’t help but notice the complete lawsuit that the city sent to me is different from the one posted by Rivera and FCA on their website.
The names of the plaintiffs in the legal action have been redacted. Erased. Blacked out. Transparent?
What are Rivera and the plaintiffs trying to hide? Especially when some (if not all), testified in person, in public against Strauss’ proposal?
Don’t the 36,000 taxpayers in Franklin have the right to know from FCA and its website begging for support and financing who is suing them?
The deceptive Rivera is hypocritical when it comes to being transparent.
Above photos: jsonline.