Franklin, when it comes to Northwestern Mutual, are you Carter or Reagan?

Let’s be real. No one is doing cartwheels over the recent announcement that Northwestern Mutual is planning to move out of Franklin in a few years and head to the city of Milwaukee.

There are two simple reactions that can be made.

1) We can get through this and the potential is there to do so, or…

2) OMG. Woe is us. The sky is falling.

Those who prescribe to #1 take the Ronald Reagan approach. The disciples of #2 are of the Jimmy Carter mindsight.

Consider this from a recent column by Clay Jenkinson, the editor-at-large of the website Governing:

On July 15, 1979, (Jimmy Carter) delivered one of the most pessimistic (and perhaps tone deaf) presidential speeches in American history. In doing so, he permanently damaged his political standing and his legacy. Carter failed to understand one of the deepest truths about the American presidency. Successful presidents sing the Song of America — abundance, optimism, boundlessness, opportunity, the best is yet to come.

In 1979, our most earnest president believed that we could not overcome our challenges without a national spiritual renewal. Eighteen months later, the American people sent him packing and elected one of the nation’s most reassuring presidents (Ronald Reagan) in his place.

And now let’s bring in Franklin.

Following the surprising announcementfrom NM, as if on cue, the naysayers erupted.

Outgoing Franklin alderman John (Oh I just can’t wait to be mayor) Nelson brought on the gloom and doom, quoted in the Journal Sentinel:

“No matter how this could possibly be spun this is terrible for Franklin. It’s terrible.”

Well, it’s certainly not peaches and cream. But I don’t see or hear any leadership in those remarks.

As Nelson sits on the lap of his chief confidant with his hand firmly in Nelson’s back, Milwaukee County Supervisor Steve Taylor just couldn’t control himself when approached by the Journal  Sentinel:

“M7 supported and endorsed the poaching of a major employer, proving they will always choose the city of Milwaukee over any other municipality in Milwaukee County.”

Nice going Steve!

Way to alienate yourself from a huge business and employer. I’m told they were very unhappy with your ‘shoot first and think about them later comments.’

But hey. What do I know?

NM’s announcement caught everyone by surprise, including Mayor Olson.

“Northwestern Mutual’s tagline is ‘the quiet company.’ They never talked to us.”

In an interview with the Milwaukee Business Journal did Olson take the Nelson/Taylor gloom and doom attitude?

“The downside is anytime an employer leaves a community it leaves a big hole,” said Olson. “There’s a huge opportunity for any larger concern who is interested in a great quality of life for its workforce and a really nice building location in a central location. Financially, there’s no risk to the city on Northwestern Mutual’s move. It’s a matter of image and making sure the property value of that building stays constant or improves.”

Nelson and Taylor seemed dangerously close to Jimmy Carter.

Olson sounded Reagan-esque.

5 thoughts on “Franklin, when it comes to Northwestern Mutual, are you Carter or Reagan?

  1. John “write citations then amend the law after” Nelson. Surely this clown who has a history of abusing his power and authority won’t do so if elected mayor.


  2. Pingback: My Most Popular Blogs (03/13/2023) | This Just In… From Franklin, WI

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