On Tuesday, retiring Franklin Alderman Dan Mayer was presented a city proclamation and rightfully so for his service. Commendably, Mayer was cited for his work as a firefighter and fire chief.
But where I end my hand-clapping would be for any mention about his nine years as an alderman on the Franklin Common Council. I’ve often referred to Mayer on my blog as Alderman NO for his stubborn and stupid obstructionism to the Ballpark Commons and, can you believe it, Kayla’s Playground.
Short-sighted Mayer’s consistent and bull-headed opposition to common sense efforts to improve Franklin were guided by pettiness, not to mention personal animosity. He doesn’t like Mayor Olson. Ergo, he was going to try in any way possible to kill anything Olson wanted to move the city forward.
Not long after Mayer’s proclamation was presented one of his staunch supporters, my alderwoman and the absolute worst on the Common Council, Kristen (diarrhea of the mouth) Wilhelm, another Olson hater, gushed all over Mayer on Facebook.
Wilhelm complemented Mayer’s “integrity, listening skills and ability to clearly communicate,” along with his “levelheaded demeanor, tolerance.”
I often question Wilhelm’s judgment because, well, let’s face it. Her brilliant analysis (to her) is always wrong.
Let’s go back to a time when Wilhelm’s revered Mayer wasn’t what she described.
Keep these words in mind:
Ability to clearly communicate
From my blog, July, 2015:
I’ve blogged extensively about the highly questionable behavior on the part of some Franklin aldermen at Common Council meetings, and their actions have not gone unnoticed. Tuesday’s meeting opened with the Franklin Parks Commission Chairman lashing out at four aldermen, accusing them, not just of “petty political bickering,” but collaborating before meetings and “collusion.”
I listened to the audio of Tuesday’s meeting. During the opening citizen comment period, Franklin Parks Commission Chairman Dave Pautz ripped Kristen Wilhelm, Dan Mayer, Doug Schmidt, and Susanne Mayer.
Pautz began by expressing his disappointment over a move by the four to table all of Mayor Steve Olson’s aldermanic appointments to various boards or commissions at the July 7 Common Council meeting. He mentioned that Alderman Wilhelm thought that she should remain on the Parks Commission because of her experience and not be moved to another position. That’s where we pick up many of the remarks Pautz made on the record:
I wish Ms. Wilhelm was here (she was excused from the meeting) because I would remind her that she’s missed 6 of the last 12 (Parks Commission) meetings.
What smacks to me and I see this pattern consistently when I listen to the audio or attend these meetings…there seems to be a cabal of four of you aldermanic representatives that vote in unison.
It’s highly apparent and I don’t know if you realize this, it’s becoming more apparent that you guys are collaborating before you come to a meeting.
I would remind you that that there are open meeting laws in the state of Wisconsin.
And if it ever came to be that the citizens decided they’d had enough, they could find cause of action. They could subpoena your e-mails, your phone records. And don’t think that can’t happen.
Pautz then mentioned that the four aldermen all moved to prevent confirmation of the mayor’s appointment of Alderman Janet Evans to the Planning Commission. Pautz continued:
It’s rather obvious to the community what’s going on around here. I think there’s collusion going on between some of you.
It’s becoming more and more evident so you may want to temper your demeanor.
The mayor ran on his agenda of growth. The people of Franklin decided that’s what they wanted vs. his opponent who ran on a different agenda.
So I don’t understand why the Council feels that is their duty to usurp the power of the mayor simply because they don’t like his agenda.
And I think it has to stop because Franklin is becoming a laughingstock in this area.
Every city around us, Hales Corners, Muskego, Oak Creek, they’re kicking our butts on development because we sit here and squabble over points of rule. And process.
I wish a certain alderman (Wilhelm) was sitting here tonight to listen to this.
Pautz then said he had been approached to sign the recall petition against Janet Evans and couldn’t believe the lies the petitioners were making. He also said he believes there’s been an effort on the part of some aldermen to aid the process of the recall, calling that “disgusting.” Pautz continued:
If you want I could name the four individuals that I feel are part of it but I won’t.
At that point, Alderman Dan Mayer interrupted and yelled at Pautz, “Name them!”
Pautz immediately responded, “I don’t have to.”
Mayer yelled again. “Name them!” Back to Pautz:
You. Schmidt, another. Susanne Mayer. Kristen Wilhelm, the leader. And that’s my opinion as a citizen of Franklin.
I think it’s time you guys start doing what’s right for the city and stop this petty political bickering.
Pautz then referred again to the attempt to block Janet Evans’ appointment to the Planning Commission when those opposed offered no reasons why. Mayer again interrupted and yelled at Pautz, “Did you ask?” Back to Pautz:
Are you attacking me as a citizen because I’m (voicing) an opinion?
Mayor Olson banged his gavel and asked that the citizen be allowed to speak. Pautz concluded his remarks.
I’m warning you right now the audio is very damning. It’s time to grow up as a city.
Earlier in his comments Pautz urged fellow citizens to listen to the audio of meetings that can be found on the city’s website. Pautz said if you do, you’ll be “somewhat shocked.”
Bravo to Pautz for having the courage to stand up in public face to face and say what many also believe to be true but would never discuss at an open meeting.
—This Just In by Kevin Fischer, July 22, 2015
Mayer later apologized. Some apology.
In April 2017, the Franklin Common Council voted to accept or deny Mayor Olson’s recommendation to keep Pautz on the Parks Commission.
From my blog:
Prior to the votes by the Council on the mayoral appointments including Dave Pautz, Mayor Olson, clearly anticipating what was about to take place, said the following on the record:
These are citizen volunteers to the city of Franklin.
I have reappointed 99% of these because of the work they have done, not because of the personalities of these people.
I’ve sat this table for many, many, many years and have voted on many people who I personally would not have put back on a board but who served well and did their jobs so I vote in favor of them.
Classy. Professional. Proper. In the best interests of Franklin.
Unfortunately too many on the Council didn’t see, understand, care for the obvious, the right thing to do.
Alderman Dan Mayer who savagely attacked Pautz said he met with Pautz after Pautz made his remarks at the open meeting, but that the two hadn’t worked out issues, though he, too, refused to be forthright and offer specifics.
The screwing was in full operation.
As a result the move to reappoint Pautz was dead. By state statute Pautz can’t come up for an appointment for one year.
I asked Pautz for his reaction and he provided the following.
After 24 years on the Parks Commission, I can walk away feeling a sense of accomplishment. Much was done to improve the parks throughout Franklin. The ultimate compensation for all my efforts is the sound of children laughing and playing at all city parks and especially the Kayla’s Playground. More than anything else, I am proud of the way I was a part of bringing Kayla’s Playground to fruition. Along with Mayor Olson, Shelly Runte, Janet Evans and numerous volunteers while facing opposition from Kristen Wilhelm, Steve Taylor and others who had sinister agendas, we were able to fight off the petty personal attacks from those listed. The process of how this came about continues to demonstrate how certain individuals on the council need to be held accountable for their lack of integrity.
BOTTOM LINE: Some, enough elected city officials have disgustedly put themselves, personal egos and pettiness ahead of why they supposedly took office. That is to work for the betterment of the city of Franklin.
Fast forward to today.
The oh so wonderful Dan Mayer and his followers stabbed a long-time dedicated devoted public servant in the back.
Dan Mayer is gone. I’m glad to see him go. As an alderman he was the worst. Michelle Eichmann will be a major improvement in his place. Eichmann’s election is a major blow to egotistical, she’s never wrong Kristen Wilhelm. Mayer, Wilhelm’s seat mate and obedient cheerleader, is gone.
Happy days are here again.