Going through some old blogs of mine I stumbled across these from early July 2010. In honor of America’s birthday, I began a special series over the past few days featuring, in my view, the Top Ten of what’s best about Franklin. Read and see how they might compare to today.
10) FRANKLIN’S UNMET BUT GREAT POTENTIAL
At one time, our tiny town was the fastest growing area in southeast Wisconsin. The economy put the brakes on. We’ll bounce back, and we can then work on reaching our very best.
We have well-intentioned leaders at City Hall. They are to be commended for ebbing public servants. If only they’d read the papers and watch the news more often. We are in a recession. Time to stop taxing and spending was a long time ago.
We have great businesses, just not enough. We need more. Could we pull back on the obnoxious rules and regulations?
We have good restaurants, just not enough of them. We need more. One or two great ones would be nice.
Ditto for retail stores.
Schools? We’re not MPS by any means. But our schools could use improvement, especially in student achievement. The management of our system, especially our School Board, needs something close to a miracle to provide any sort of leadership.
Franklin could really be amazing, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility. We’re not there yet. That’s one of the reasons I blog.
9) COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Franklin really loves Franklin.I’ve seen itat parades,fundraisers, and athletic events.Here’s an example.
This past March, I was the timer for the Franklin-Hamilton boys basketball WIAA playoff game at Hamilton. By some weird WIAA quirk, Franklin was the home team, so when Franklin scored early, I put the score up for home. Hamilton fans starting getting uneasy, yelling at the scorer’s table, so, to make things easier, I asked the PA announcer to explain that even though Hamilton was the visitor, they would be HOME on the scoreboard. OK, that has nothing to do with my point, except this. Franklin should have been home. Even though Hamilton was by far the better team and, at the time, a favorite to go to state and win, and they were playing on their own gym floor, Franklin fans far outnumbered Hamilton fans.
They were there en masse with their Franklin colors and behaved, as they always do, in a classy manner.
Multiply that by football, girls and boys basketball, soccer, etc., and throw in Little League. Franklin cares.
8) FRANKLIN IS NOT VERY CONTROVERSIAL
Oh, we have our moments. But despite what some irresponsible bloggers who love to dwell in rumor, innuendo and speculation (anything but facts) love to write, Franklin is pretty quiet.
Our biggest blemishes that actually got the attention of a sleepy public the last few years:
Boomgaard. This is the best your PR group could come up with?
Mayor Taylor, a political figure, and his staff, that work for a politician, may have engaged in political work in a political building popularly known as City Hall. Let’s face it. Our city, politically, is just about squeaky. Even if it wasn’t, an apathetic public would never notice. There is no graft, corruption, malfeasance, white collar crime.
Things generally are pretty ho-hum around here, so quiet that some reckless writers have to invent controversy in a feeble attempt to make themselves relevant.
The Franklin School Board? That’s another subject. Eventually, they’ll pay for going too far, violating open meetings laws and lying to the public about tax levies and budgets. But this is a positive list. Don’t expect to see their names come up.
7) FRANKLIN IS CONSERVATIVE
Not only politically. Franklin cares deeply about families and neighborhoods. There’s tremendous civic pride. Franklin is decent, humble, hard-working, a values-oriented community.
We’re not exactly a rock ‘n’ rollin’, rootin’ tootin’ town, and that’s ok.
6) FRANKLIN HAS A DELIGHTFUL RURAL-URBAN COMBINATION
Is it the right mix? Depends who you ask.
Some say we’re not enough Flintstones anymore. Some say we’re not enough Jetsons.
There’s enough of each, I believe to satisfy.
5) CITY HALL HAS WONDERFUL SUPPORT STAFF
City employees are aces.
Deserving special recognition: City Clerk Sandi Wesolowski. We’re glad to have her back from the State Elections Board (now the Government Accountability Board). Madison’s loss is our huge gain.
Also, City Attorney Jesse Wesolowski. I’ve heard city insiders say he’s the best municipal attorney in the state. That one is hard to argue with.
We have no striking landmarks or breathtaking natural wonders. However, Franklin is a city with clean neighborhoods and streets. People care about how their properties look and manage and care for them appropriately. Franklinites are fine stewards and it shows.
3) OUTSTANDING POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS
Time and again we hear reports of their excellent work. And some city officials actually thought about cutting their budgets last year?We owe these departments our support and gratitude.
We’re not crime-free, but you get a strong sense of security and safety living here. That is due, in large part, to the work of our fine police chief and officers. Franklin residents also care deeply, regarding public safety as a top priority.
I wouldn’t advise it, but there are plenty of places in the 53132 zip code where you could leave your doors unlocked. OK, Chief Oliva, stop cringing. But you get my point.
More proof comes in state data on violent crime released today.
Number of Violent Offenses and Percent Change in Franklin, 2008-2009:
Percent change: -14
Percent change: 0
Percent change: +60
Percent change: -40
Percent change: -21
And finally, #1
Years ago, the state of Wisconsin and a special task force studied potential sites in Milwaukee County to build what was essentially a “sex predator house,” a facility to house multiple released sex offenders. It became apparent the target was Franklin with its wide open spaces.
Franklin residents, normally apathetic politically, rose up in arms. Neighborhoods sprouted anti- sex offender yard signs like weeds. A public hearing was held at State Fair Park, considered to be the largest attended state public hearing in Wisconsin history, packed with Franklinites who clamored, not in our city.
State Senator Mary Lazich authored two-fold legislation to disband the task force searching for a site for the predator house and kill any funding for such a facility. The legislation was approved and signed into law.
Subsequently, Franklin residents strongly supported local proposals to enact tough ordinances restricting where released sex offenders could live. The ordinances also restricted the whereabouts of released sex offenders.
After the Common Council approved the ordinances, they were challenged in court by a released offender that moved illegally into Franklin. A historically liberal judge that had rendered rulings in favor of sex offenders deemed the ordinances to be constitutional and the sex offender that challenged the laws had to move out of the city. The Franklin ordinances served as models for communities statewide.
When proposed state legislation would have struck down Franklin’s ordinances and similar laws around the state, residents again stood tall to defend their neighborhoods and communities, and the effort to kill our laws in Madison failed.
Franklin is on record and the entire state knows all too well. You mess with our children, and you better be prepared to fight. What an outstanding quality all of Franklin can be extremely proud of.
1) OUR PASSION TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT FRANKLIN
1) OUR CHILDREN COME FIRST
2) WE’RE PRETTY SAFE
3) TOP NOTCH POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS
4) CLEAN CITY
5) SUPER STAFF AT CITY HALL
6) RURAL-URBAN COMBO
7) WE’RE CONSERVATIVE
8) FRANKLIN LACKS CONTROVERSY
9) COMMUNITY SUPPORT
10) GREAT POTENTIAL