Franklin School Board candidate refuses to get specific on transgender athletes

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In the upcoming April election featuring one of the most attention-grabbing Franklin School Board contests I’ve seen in my nearly 30 years of living here,  three of the six candidates on the ballot will fill three seats on the board.

One, at the most two of the candidates in a mediocre field are worth consideration. The other four are a waste, too liberal to truly represent the values of Franklin. They each can’t wait to get on the board and be palsy walsy and play footsie with the school district administration.

A disturbing trend in this election has been the refusal and/or ability of the majority of candidates to answer a direct question with a direct answer. One of the guilty parties is Angela Bier, the worst candidate in the race. Here’s a classic example.

One of the hottest issues in America right now is the ridiculous effort to allow transgender athletes to participate in sports, especially girls who used to be boys competing against girls who’ve always been girls. The transgender crowd certainly has its sympathizers. But overall this issue is pretty one-sided based on facts and simple biology.

Franklin School Board candidate Angela Bier can’t debate her way out of a phone book. In public appearances and statements she’s made in the past, and I’ll paraphrase, when presented with a topic, Bier  beats around the bush, tap dances at great length, before finally claiming that if elected she’ll set up some sort of process involving all kinds of stakeholders to investigate to find a solution before she’ll, heaven forbid, commit.

Good God Almighty. Even Joe Biden’s seriously challenged press secretary concedes when she doesn’t know (which is often) that she will “circle back,” a response that takes mere seconds. Bier goes on and on and on and says nothing, except eventually that she, too, will circle back.

On the transgender matter, from recent social media…

No description available.

No description available.
No description available.

Yada yada yada yada.

Nobody asked for a thesis.

WOW. What a powerful statement.

For Pete’s sake you’re a candidate for elected office. State your position succinctly and clearly. Where do you stand. Yes or no.

Bier has no clue which the way the wind is blowing. She’ll have to check on that first before she figures out WTH to do.

Not my choice and she shouldn’t be yours.

RELATED READING:

Who should be the odd man/woman out in the Franklin School Board primary?

Please share with your neighbors and friends.

Why can’t Franklin have a nice dog park?

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UPDATE BELOW

Above: Clay Terrace Dog Park in Carmel, IN.

Franklin doesn’t have a lot of amenities, and that includes a dog park.

Is the city on its way to finally getting one?

At the September 15, 2020, meeting of the Franklin Common Council, the Council reviewed a request by Ms. Shelley Tessmer, a District 3 business owner, to explore the possibility of a dog park on property just west of 6855 S. 27th Street.

The day before the Council met the Parks Commission made a motion to recommend the Council investigate the concept of a dog park as a possible use for land on S. 27th Street. This item was forwarded to the Council at the request of Alderwoman Kristen Wilhelm who represents the district.

The Council directed the City Attorney to look into lease options for a public dog park and report back to the Parks Commission  that has been reviewing the concept ever since. There are concerns about the proposed location that in the past was listed as a Superfund Site because of past contamination.  It was removed from the Superfund list in 2005. The location was designated as “Site Ready for Reuse and Redevelopment” on February 22, 2008.

Because there are a clay cap and monitoring wells in place the Parks Commission made a motion at its February 21, 2021 meeting to return the matter to the Common Council to determine whether or not to spend up to $10,000 for a consultant to determine the viability of the Franklin Superfund Site to be repurposed as a dog park.

City Hall staff has asked Sigma Group, Inc.  to provide a proposal for these services. Sigma is a qualified environmental consultant that has worked with the city on previous projects. A proposed agreement would hire Sigma with a not-to exceed budget of $6,600. If approved Sigma would summarize site conditions, data gaps, recommended additional work, and preliminary site development risks.

The aforementioned business owner Shelley Tessmer believes the site is a good one and has suggested a successful model for Franklin to emulate would be an existing dog park in Carmel, Indiana.  Among other points about the Carmel park Tessmer says, “700 members pay a monthly membership with a one year waiting list to gain an entry key fob.”

I’m not sure how that would fly here in Franklin. This item is one of many on tonight’s Common Council agenda.

One thing is for sure. This won’t be easy or fast. Complaints are predictable. Increased traffic. Noise from the traffic.  Barking. Smells.

Grousing and delays are inevitable. After all, this is Franklin.

UPDATE: Tuesday night, the Common Council approved, with no discussion or debate, a contract with Sigma not to exceed $6,600.

Franklin school board candidate Khan: It’s really very simple. Open schools or not?

There are problems with the overflowing number of candidates on the ballot in April for the Franklin School Board, starting with the majority of them aren’t any good.

I worked in journalism for decades. Asked people a ton of questions. When they didn’t answer I’d ask again, stating I wanted a direct answer to a direct question.

A disturbing trend I’ve seen in my observations of the six candidates is that the majority don’t adequately answer a direct question.

Do they refuse?

Are they afraid?

Are they not equipped?

Do they not have an answer?

Do they have an answer but are not confident answering?

Do they have an answer but don’t want you to know what it really is?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel before this month’s primary asked questions of all seven candidates at the time. They weren’t difficult. This wasn’t tough stuff ladies and gentlemen.

One of the questions was:

How would you assess the district’s plan to reopen schools during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Here was Maqsood Khan’s lame response:

Khan: Franklin Public Schools made a good effort in reopening its doors during the COVID-19 pandemic. I realize it’s difficult for parents who quarantined their kids often because a classmate became infected. But frontline workers, like school nurses and me, got vaccinated. Teachers will too. According to the Jan. 20 Monitor and Transition Dashboard, 0.5 percent of the student population have tested positive — a low rate. I know the district carefully considers four trigger points before deciding to close a school for a two-week period. As a physician, I believe we must continue to wear masks, socially distance and get vaccinated.

I’m not sure what kind of dance around the question that was. Fox trot? Waltz? Cha-cha? Polka?

My reaction on a blog I posted on February 2:

Seems (Khan is) more concerned about preaching about COVID than what school district policy should be.

A simple yes or no Mr. Khan. Schools: Re-open or not? Good idea? Bad idea?

Well this might shed some light.

No description available.

So Khan has a child in virtual. It appears that Khan isn’t wholeheartedly set on in-person schools. Look, if he prefers virtual for a child of his, that’s fine. But that’s rather revealing when the vast majority of parents and school and real experts in America favor IN-SCHOOL learning.

Compare Khan’s above answer to the more definite response given by Angela Christie.

Christie: FPS did an amazing job with their plans for re-opening schools.  They surveyed parents and 79% of parents agreed they felt safe with their children, in class.  As a parent, I felt their safety plan with social distancing, keeping students in the same groups and staggering class transitions was adequate to keep my child safe during their time at school.


I understand the top three winners in April go on to the board. I don’t care. I’m only voting for two.

Christie is the best choice for Franklin’s school board, by far.

A second best is Claude Lewis. He’s a bit above  OK, but I can live with him. Seems reasonable, and I’ve had enough conversations with his son, a former Franklin school board member, to know he’d be a solid advisor to his father.

Khan is out. Like all the others besides Christie and Lewis he’d be in the hip pocket of the school administration and teachers union. Franklin, we don’t need that.

BTW, Khan isn’t alone in dodging questions. Stay tuned.

Franklin girls, let’s win it for Christine

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I knew the Franklin High School girls basketball team was pretty darn good. But I hadn’t seen them in action until watching the You Tube video  of their 57-54 sectional final victory over Divine Savior Holy Angels Saturday that propelled the Sabers to the Division 1 state tournament his Saturday. They’ll face Hudson in semifinal at about 2:10 pm.

This hustling team flies all over the court. Gritty, hard-nosed, and extremely poised, going to state for these girls is no fluke.

Franklin hasn’t been to the girl’s state tournament in a long, long time. I blogged in 2007:

It was the greatest girl’s basketball team to ever play at Franklin High School.

In March of 1999, Franklin entered the state championship game against Kettle Morraine undefeated at 26-0. While the Sabers failed to capture the title, the team was clearly the best in school history.

One of its amazing stars was Christine Rathke, a gutty, hard-nosed player with tremendous hustle and determination, the unquestioned leader on the team.

Christine Rathke, Franklin

In February of 2000, Bobbi Roquemore of the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel wrote, “Over the past four years, Franklin has gone from a doormat to the dominant team in the Southeast Conference. Rathke, a flashy, do-it-all guard, has been the catalyst in the rise of Sabers’ basketball program and has smashed records along the way. Rathke has played all four years on the varsity and owns the school’s all-time scoring mark with 1,446 points.”

Roquemore told of little children in Franklin asking for Rathke’s signature.

“I didn’t expect to be signing autographs, but I like it when the little girls come up and talk to me,” Rathke said. “I tell them what it takes to get to that level.”

After leaving Franklin, Rathke played for Southeast Missouri State University before transferring to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 2002.

On Sunday afternoon, February 16, 2003 at about 1:00 pm, Rathke was driving from a UW-Parkside team banquet heading west on Ryan Road at about 36th Street when a car heading eastbound crossed the centerline and collided head-on into her car. Rathke died at the scene. She was 20 years old.

The driver of the other car was Victor Sanchez, who was 19 at the time and living on the city of Milwaukee’s south side. He was charged with homicide by negligent use of a vehicle. Sanchez was speeding and passed in a no-passing zone at the time of the fatal crash.

Former Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel reporter and WTMJ-AM talk show host and well-known blogger Jessica McBride has confirmed that Sanchez was an illegal immigrant. Another highly reliable source involved in law enforcement has confirmed for me that Sanchez was in the country illegally at the time he killed Rathke. Sanchez is no longer in the United States. He has been deported, not soon enough to save young Christine Rathke.

Rathke came to mind as my blood boiled reading the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel’s report that some local police departments are caving in to a radical pro-illegal immigrants’ group. Voces de la Frontera is asking police departments to develop new policies to prevent officers from asking potential suspects about their citizenship status.

Shockingly, as the newspaper reports, “Some departments are going along.”  (The article is a typical Journal/Sentinel puff piece, relating incidents intended to drum up sympathy for illegals).

We also learned that the Milwaukee Police Department, under the leadership of outgoing Police Chief Nannette Hegerty, implemented its new policy in April. And yet, despite the normally chatty, far from camera shy Chief and her spokeswoman, we didn’t hear about the policy until October 8th.

“Milwaukee police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz released a copy of her department’s policy and confirmed that it was updated in April, but she declined to comment further. According to the policy, Milwaukee officers can question a person’s immigration status or alert federal authorities only in cases of violent crimes, suspected terrorism, street gang crimes or other limited cases.”

This is outrageous on several counts.

The MPD institutes a new policy on procedures dealing with the public, but doesn’t go public about it for six months.

Police officers in Milwaukee are not going to question certain suspects about their immigration status in effect, giving them a free pass for possibly violating the law.

How many other police departments are going to cave to a radical pro-illegal immigrant group? Who’s in charge of protecting our streets, the police, or Voces de la Frontera?

Does Hegerty or any other police chief contemplating this go-easy policy need to be reminded that not long ago, one of their own, a Kenosha deputy was killed by an illegal immigrant?

Rathke’s and the deputy’s killer were both familiar with the criminal justice system prior to the offenses I referred to. Our lenient, politically correct methods let them back on the streets to break the law again, and this time, kill decent, innocent people. These deaths were preventable, but a system that isn’t tough enough on illegal immigrants is partially complicit for these deaths.

In our country, the rights of those here illegally are paramount. It’s disgusting and indefensible. Shame on any police chief or police department that develops a policy to look the other way when confronted with illegal immigrants.

Christine Rathke should serve as a reminder that too many people are in the United States illegally, and yes, a great many of them are not nice people who are only here to try to better themselves. Rathke’s picture should be posted inside every police department to remind our officers that illegal immigrants are here and they are committing violent crimes against the law-abiding citizens our police are entrusted to protect.
Oct. 9, 2007

A tribute to Rathke with her picture and high school jersey is on the wall outside the Franklin gym. A park on S.68th Street is named after her.

Wouldn’t it be inspiring for the Franklin girls to win state in honor of Rathke?

Ranking today’s Franklin School Board candidates

It’s primary election day in Wisconsin. Here in Franklin seven candidates are on the ballot for school board. Six will advance to the general in April where the top three will be chosen to fill three seats.

THE BEST: Angel Christie

NEXT BEST: Claude Lewis

POOR: Ann Sepersky

BAD: Dr. Maqsood Khan

VERY BAD: Dr. Jeffrey Hall and Shuchi Wadhwa

THE WORST: Angela Bier

Final advice: You do not have to vote for three. It’s the primary so I urge voting for just one candidate, your favorite.

My vote Tuesday for Franklin School Board

I’ll get to my vote in a bit after some important reminders.

This Tuesday there’s a cattle call in Franklin for the school board primary. Seven (7) candidates are running for three (3) seats on the board. The top six vote-getters on Tuesday will advance to the general election in April.

You can vote for three candidates, but you don’t have to, and I won’t. This is a very poor field and there aren’t three candidates worthy of my vote that I take very seriously and refuse to flippantly give away.

Since this is a primary turnout will be low. I might be in the minority opinion. Liberal newspapers often editorialize, begging for large turnouts. I prefer the numbers be low rather than having a bunch of people who have no inkling of what they’re doing heading to the polls. Also, and this is critical, when turnout numbers are down, your vote is even more powerful.

Consider this, which most voters don’t comprehend, especially when offered an opportunity to choose, not one but three people on the ballot. Let’s suppose you have a definite favorite for Tuesday, someone you want more than the other six candidates. Your vote for your favorite will carry more weight if you vote for that candidate and no others in the PRIMARY. If others join you in this strategy and vote just for your chosen candidate then he or she will reap a bigger benefit. It’s not that difficult to grasp, and it’s true.

I concede that in thinking about this election quite a bit I thought I would not support any incumbent. Then I began leaning to including incumbent Claude Lewis. So where do I stand now? I’ve made a firm decision for Tuesday’s primary. Read the above headline again. My vote and only vote Tuesday will be for Angela Christie. I believe I’ll be voting for her again in April. I urge other Angela Christie voters to do the same.

One candidate won’t make the cut. Here’s hoping it’s Angela Bier, the worst candidate on the ballot. I’ve not been impressed by her discussions as of late. I’ll paraphrase. When asked a question or presented with an issue Bier usually has begged off, admits she’s not sure of the answer, but says if elected, by golly she sure would investigate and study so she could make the right call. Very weak.  No thanks.

I could live with Lewis. The rest will be WEAC and FPS administration toadies. The vote Tuesday is for Angela Christie. That’s it.

EXCLUSIVE: E-mails show frustration with lack of vaccines in Franklin, elsewhere in Milw. County

This has been a busy and infuriating week for Franklin Mayor Steve Olson as tries to secure Franklin’s share of COVID vaccines for his constituents.

Olson is frustrated and rightfully so at the lack of action and communication on the issue by whom he refers to as “the state.”  I call the culprits Gov. Tony Evers and the WI Dept. of Heath Services (DHS) that Evers administrates.

On Sunday Olson posted on Facebook:

If you’re scheduled for a second dose we’re told that the State is automatically shipping those doses from a different stock. I believe that you will get your second dose as scheduled.

This is a very important announcement from the Franklin Health Department. We have been allocated no vaccines this week so NEW Clinics cannot be held until we get more vaccine. If you have an appointment with the Franklin Health Department for the next two weeks please keep it.

We have enough vaccine for the next two weeks but no more. I believe that this is political.

We believe that only three communities were singled out to NOT get vaccine. In what world do you not send a LOT of vaccine to your most populous county. If the concern is equity, it’s also the county with the most minority population. Call Rep. Skowronski, call Rep. Rodriguez, call Rep. Wichgers, call Sen. Bradley, call Sen. Larson. To say that DHS’s handling of the pandemic and vaccine rollout has been a joke is kind.

TMJ4
picked up on the story on Monday and interviewed Olson.

“This is ridiculous. Our health department’s phones are ringing off the hook and they can’t tell people when we’re going to have vaccines. It’s the lack of information from the state that is just handcuffing everybody and making this whole thing a joke,” said Olson.

Olson is not alone in his outrage and has reached out to concerned elected officials I filed an open records request and the mayor and city clerk forwarded to me 31 e-mails on this matter .  Please follow along for some of the developments.

MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2021

Olson wrote:

Dear Franklin State Representatives:

As a state we’re not effective at the roll-out of this vaccine and getting it in the arms of our constituents.

There are three big issues from my point of view:

  • The state DHS appears to be managing the distribution of the vaccines as though it’s a routine flu vaccine.  There’s no sense of urgency based on the additional requirements added on by DHS to the CDC requirements
  • DHS is about 6 months late in the planning of the distribution and have been effective in NOT communicating with the local health officers.  How can it be that the hierarchy of delivery isn’t already finished?  Instead, the second group of patients isn’t yet identified and when it is decided it still needs to have a weeks worth of public comment.  This is a pandemic!  Are you aware that the group putting together the hierarchy didn’t feel that paramedics should be vaccinated in the first wave?  What kind of logic doesn’t cover the medical professionals that touch the sickest FIRST to be first in line to be vaccinated?
  • There is no financial support for local health departments to hire the appropriate number of qualified vaccinators to be effective once supplies catch up.

My sister lives in East Lansing, Mi.  The grocery stores in her county are vaccinators and are vaccinating NOW.

Here’s a friend of mine’s vaccination certificate.  He’s 67.  Excellent health.  Lives in his own home.  He got vaccinated today on the island of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.

Why is Wisconsin one of the last to get their act together?

Respectfully frustrated,

Mayor Steve Olson

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2021

Olson wrote to his health director:

From:
Steve Olson <steve-olson@wi.rr.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2021 8:57 AM
To: Courtney Day <CDay@franklinwi.gov>
Subject: More reading

Get all our vaccine resources for mayors | Bloomberg Cities (jhu.edu)

Courtney

I’m concerned about:

  • Quantity of vaccines available – This is something that has no real answer. We place our order on Tuesdays and are at the mercy of some unexplained algorithm that determines what we actually receive the following week. I was able to get ahead a bit with ordering (I’m about two weeks ahead in my supply right now) – but don’t know how long that will last as we keep increasing clinic sizes.
  • Effectiveness of our scheduling system – We are using the same system as many other Health Departments across the state – Signup Genius. This can be auto populated to our electronic medical record which allows us to print consent forms and have vaccines administered automatically entered in the WI Immunization Registry. The State’s system rolling out in a few weeks is much the same – online registration, but through a Microsoft based platform.
  • Confusion about where to get vaccinated (primary provider, us, Meijer, drug stores) – Again no real answer. Every entity seems to have their own process. Almost exclusively online though. I do know that for hospital systems the sign-up or the information is available on the individual’s electronic record (i.e. My Chart) not through their doctor or on the hospital system website. Also some entities have chosen their own path with regard to who they are vaccinating which makes life harder when someone is not following the DHS guidelines.
  • Confusion between Vac sites and testing sites – We’ve tried to keep the testing site information up to date on the City website. There are two external websites – www.healthymke.com or www.testupmke.com that would also help to clarify the appropriate site for people’s needs. These links are also on our City website.  Although in Franklin we’re now only averaging about 450 tests per week now. Testing does not seem to be a priority anymore at this time.  Having the testing site on 76th and Rawson is a great resource however.
  • Communicating availability – Right now our priority is seniors. We sent calls out this week to the 1200 phone numbers we had collected about the process for clinic sign up at this time. New clinics will get added to the website for scheduling each Monday once we know how much vaccine is coming in. We have 20-30 slots at each clinic held aside for those seniors that truly cannot access the internet to schedule or those stragglers from the 1A group that haven’t gotten vaccine yet.  At this time I will not schedule clinics past our vaccine allotment amount, while I know people are angry at the limited amount of vaccine available I feel they will become more frustrated if we over book and then have to cancel because there isn’t vaccine.
  • Labor to pull off mass clinics – right now we have a very robust list of clinical and non-clinical volunteers, our staff, as well as student nurses from Bryant and Stratton. I have also put an inquiry out to the company we are using for contact tracing to see if we can repurpose some of those staff now that our case numbers are dipping and the possibility of hiring additional temp staff from them with experience to give vaccine. For mass clinics – it will be a joint effort with our zone and staffing will be split with the resources from all four health departments (Greenfield, Greendale, Hales Corner, Franklin).
  • Follow up on second doses – All second doses are automatically scheduled at the time first doses are scheduled. Individuals are given that information when they schedule. We are now also giving them reminders when they show up for their first dose of the date and time of their second dose. We’ve been lucky so far that the State is following through on their promise to send second doses automatically when they are coming due.
  • Getting to seniors without access to the internet
    • In congregate living can we get building managers to help – Carol did call most of our senior living facilities some seemed willing to assist seniors get signed up, others were not or said they had no capacity for this. Unlike flu at this time we’re not planning to travel to apartment sites unless we can get assistance in the scheduling and assurance that individuals scheduled will show up as we need to get those 10 doses per bottle in as fast as possible once the vial is tapped.
    • Find a couple of savy seniors and loan them a laptop for a day as schedulers – We did think about asking some of our more savvy volunteers if they’d be willing to spend some time at these facilities to help people get signed up.
  • Storage capability for the Moderna if the supply gets fixed – We purchased a bigger freezer that will not have any issues storing large quantities of vaccine. In fact once the mass clinic at the Sports Complex gets up and running we will be the storage hub for our Zone’s vaccine because we will have the most storage capacity.

What help do you need? – I’d love it if local public health stopped being the scape goat for all things wrong with the roll out of vaccine. The State’s plan is poorly designed, the federal program with the pharmacies is weeks and weeks behind, there is no indication of where all the vaccine is in the county or any transparency from vaccine providers on how and who they are vaccinating.  But most importantly, without vaccine on hand – there really isn’t anything we can do to improve the situation. The County sent a proposal to the State requesting State Fair Park being redesigned to be a mass vaccination clinic site now that the ACF is being taken down. We requested aid from the State to assist with staffing and funds to operate. Have no idea where that is in the process, but if we can that moved forward that could potentially start pulling many people through – again provided vaccine is available.

Steve Olson
Mayor
City of Franklin
9229 W. Loomis Rd.
Franklin, Wi.  53132

From: Steve Olson <steve-olson@wi.rr.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2021 9:59 AM
To: Courtney Day <CDay@franklinwi.gov>
Subject: RE: More reading

Your last paragraph….

I’m sorry that you feel like the scape goat.  I hope and work toward that not being the case here in Franklin.  You’ve seen my comments in the newspapers and on social media.  I have no problem putting blame where it belongs.

The scheduling is the issue that I hear of locally.  It will get better.  I think the biggest problem is our inability to plan and be public about availability.  What’s pissing people off is…  NO TIMES AVAILABLE.  We need to publicize the fact that we get a limited number of doses on every public facing opportunity we have.

You can have the middle section of the home page if you want it.

S.

From: Courtney Day [mailto:CDay@franklinwi.gov]
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2021 11:19 AM
To: Steve Olson
Subject: RE: More reading

It’s more all of us (Health Officers/Health Departments) getting the brunt of the angst from our communities because the State and hospital systems continue to not answer questions and refer all to us for answers and vaccine. Two things we just don’t have. Bumbled from the State all the way through for sure and they take no responsibility for the mess we’re in. I do thank you for your support and the support of our elected officials.

I am working on a communication to go to our senior apartments, I’ll also get copies to our senior dining folks to add into the lunches and use other communication methods to try to further explain where we are with vaccine distribution. Hopefully this will help to clear some confusion/frustration for this group. They are my first priority right now to get through our clinics as quickly as possible.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2021

From: Courtney Day
Sent: Saturday, February 6, 2021 8:53 PM
To: Benton, Anna C – DHS <anna.benton@dhs.wisconsin.gov>; Schmidt, Melanie K – DHS <melanie.schmidt@dhs.wisconsin.gov>; Sullivan, Ruth R – DHS <Ruth.Sullivan@dhs.wisconsin.gov>
Cc: DHS COVID VACCINATOR <DHSCOVIDVACCINATOR@dhs.wisconsin.gov>
Subject: Vaccine Allotment

Good evening,

I have not received notification on receiving COVID-19 vaccine this week. I’m assuming no news is bad news.  A lack of vaccine this week is troubling on many levels.

  • We have enough vaccine on hand for the four clinics we have scheduled (two first dose and two second dose) and our community looks to new clinics added each Monday which will not happen this week.
    • At this rate  we will be no where close to finishing our eligible populations while the State continues to push forward with a ridiculous March 1 date to add hundreds of thousands more individuals into the eligible category.
  • DHS, healthcare providers, and the media constantly refer individuals to their local health departments to get vaccinated. We cannot do this if we do not have vaccine on hand. Nor can we stand up mass clinics when we have no confidence we will receive any vaccine.
  • At least 3 local health departments in Milwaukee county (the most populous county in the state) are receiving 0 doses this week. If the vaccine allotment is static for the last few weeks… where was the vaccine allocated this week sent? Are those vaccine providers in Milwaukee County?  And how are they ensuring the eligible populations get vaccine?
  • As the “Assurance Role” in our community we deserve to know where the vaccine is so we can refer individuals to those entities for scheduling if we cannot assist them directly.
  • Our credibility as local health departments continues to be ruined by lack of communication from DHS on COVID vaccine supply
  • Finally, those entities not receiving vaccine at least deserve the courtesy of an email or phone call to inform them of that status.

Courtney Day, RN, BSN
Director of Health and Human Services/Health Officer
Franklin Health Department
cday@franklinwi.gov
414-425-9101

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2021

From: DHS COVID VACCINATOR <DHSCOVIDVACCINATOR@dhs.wisconsin.gov>
Sent: Sunday, February 7, 2021 6:06 AM
To: Courtney Day <CDay@franklinwi.gov>; Lori Czajkowski <LCzajkowski@franklinwi.gov>
Subject: No Allocation Notification

Dear Courtney Day,

This e-mail is to notify you that your organization was not allocated COVID-19 from last week’s Provider Allocation Survey, therefore your organization will not be receiving vaccine this week.

Each week, the allocation team compiles information from the Provider Allocation Survey into an allocation model using the General Algebraic Modeling System. The model, which is built using expert federal and state guidance, determines the allocation to providers based on how much vaccine the state has been awarded from the CDC for any given week. The model’s formula incorporates multiple considerations including the SDMAC’s recommendations, the number of doses requested by each organization and priority to vaccinators in communities characterized by higher levels of social vulnerability according to the geographic-level Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) data,

Although the number of enrolled providers continues to increase, Wisconsin’s allocation from the CDC has not increased over the past several weeks.  Therefore, we do not have enough vaccine supply to meet the order requests from all providers. We understand that providers who did not receive vaccine, or received an amount lower than ordered are frustrated. We regret we cannot fulfill your request, and we appreciate your patience as we continue to try to meet the demands to vaccinate Wisconsin as quickly as possible.

Sincere thanks,

The Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Program Team

dhscovidvaccinator@wi.gov

From: Courtney Day [mailto:CDay@franklinwi.gov]
Sent: Sunday, February 7, 2021 12:09 PM
To: Steve Olson
Subject: FW: No Allocation Notification

Good afternoon,

Franklin along with at least two other local health departments (Oak Creek and Wauwatosa) in Milwaukee County will be receiving 0 vaccine this week. All others except Milwaukee seem to have gotten no more than 100 regardless of their request. The below email is what I received this morning from the State. It is unconscionable to me how this is their process. I will send another email momentarily that I sent to my contacts at DHS yesterday – received no response from the individuals I emailed only the automated response below.  All the questions I have remain unanswered and at this point am contemplating more bold action since the State will not respond to me directly, is it possible to get an audience with Mr. Bradley so I can voice my frustrations with the process.  At this time I think it is imperative that the legislators take over the process of vaccine distribution as it is clear the DHS model is no longer working in the best interest of the majority in Milwaukee County.

Also the JS article today (https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2021/02/05/milwaukee-vaccine-appointments-phone-numbers-hotlines-emails/4399254001/) doesn’t assist when they list all the contacts for local health departments to get people access to vaccine and we have none. I have at least 15 emails from this article and probably at least that many phone messages waiting for us.

Later today I will be posting on social media we received 0 vaccine and cannot add clinics this week. I will direct individuals to continue to check other avenues for vaccine appointments and also post the contact information for the State for them to voice their frustration with the process. At this point we have exactly enough vaccine for the four clinics we have scheduled (second doses on Feb 9 and 16; first doses on Feb 10 and 17).

At this point I am at a complete loss on any ability I have to try to rectify the situation or get more information on where vaccine is headed or being stored. Hopefully if I can make some noise on the legislative side maybe that will make a difference.

Courtney

From:
Steve Olson 
Sent: Sunday, February 7, 2021 3:01 PM
To: Sen.Bradley <Sen.Bradley@legis.wisconsin.gov>; Rep.Skowronski <Rep.Skowronski@legis.wisconsin.gov>; Rep.Wichgers <Rep.Wichgers@legis.wisconsin.gov>; Rep.Rodriguez <Rep.Rodriguez@legis.wisconsin.gov>; Sen.Larson <Sen.Larson@legis.wisconsin.gov>
Cc: Mayor Neitzke <MayorNeitzke@GreenfieldWI.US>; Dan Bukiewicz <dbukiewicz@oakcreekwi.org>; Daniel Besson <dbesson@halescorners.org>; Jim Birmingham <jbirmingham@greendale.org>; Todd Michaels <tmichaels@greendale.org>; ‘Courtney Day’ <CDay@franklinwi.gov>
Subject: FW: No Allocation Notification

Legislators:

A few weeks ago I sent most of you an e-mail regarding the fiasco that is the State Department of Health Services and their handling of the vaccine (specifically).

I received NO response from those of you that I sent it to.

As representatives of the more than 36,000 residents of the City of Franklin plus the other surrounding communities I hoped that on behalf of those citizens, that you would at least respond. 

What is the legislature’s plan to fix this problem of complete incompetence at DHS?

Please respond.

Mayor Steve Olson

From: Courtney Day [mailto:CDay@franklinwi.gov]
Sent: Sunday, February 7, 2021 12:10 PM
To: Steve Olson
Subject: FW: Vaccine Allotment

This is the email I sent to DHS representatives last night. No response. I do not believe Oak Creek received a response from their email either.

Very disappointing and frustrating. These questions deserve answers.

Courtney

From: Steve Olson <steve-olson@wi.rr.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 7, 2021 3:17 PM
To: Farnsworth, Brandon <Brandon.Farnsworth@mail.house.gov>
Cc: ‘Courtney Day’ <CDay@franklinwi.gov>
Subject: FW: Vaccine Allotment
Importance: High

Brandon:

I hope you’re doing well.

When Rep. Steil was in town two weeks ago we spoke over lunch about what a fiasco the vaccine roll-out has been.

Putting the State of Wisconsin in charge has been a disaster.

I agree that the State may not be getting the vaccines they ask for and perhaps Rep. Steil can look into that, but frankly I believe that even if the State got all they ask for that they’d end up everywhere but the most populous County and cities in the state.

I didn’t get the Rep’s email or phone so…

I rely on you to ask him to please start putting pressure on the Feds AND the state.

See below.

Thanks.

Steve

Steve Olson
Mayor
City of Franklin

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2021

From: Courtney Day [mailto:CDay@franklinwi.gov]
Sent: Monday, February 8, 2021 8:58 AM
To: Steve Olson
Subject: RE: Vaccine Allotment

I did send the Alders and Peggy an email yesterday afternoon explaining our situation. I know that both Ald. Hanneman and Wilhelm have been fielding questions and posting on social media on our behalf.

The stats for Aurora are most likely statewide. I’m not sure where the individual is getting that info unless it was released by Aurora at some point to the media. I know Froedtert released their numbers as well at some point last week. Even though hospital systems are assisting, it is still proving challenging for our seniors to navigate their online systems or to understand when or how they will be contacted for an appointment. Also many seniors have doctors that are not affiliated with the hospital systems so they truly cannot access these sites for vaccine.

In general we have no idea how much vaccine is going to the hospital systems, we’ve been told the release of this information is at the Governor’s level not with the staff at DHS we are privy to.

Courtney

From: Farnsworth, Brandon [mailto:Brandon.Farnsworth@mail.house.gov]
Sent: Monday, February 8, 2021 10:48 AM
To: Steve Olson
Cc: ‘Courtney Day’
Subject: RE: Vaccine Allotment

Mayor Olson,

Thank you for reaching out.  More than happy to get this to Bryan and make sure that he knows that you are interested in seeing him put more pressure on both the State and Feds. 

As always, feel free to reach out to me directly with anything that you think Bryan and our office should know about.  We are an open door and highly appreciate feedback and constant communication with the local municipalities within WI01.

Respectfully,

Brandon Farnsworth

Brandon Farnsworth
Director of District Operations (WI-01)
Congressman Bryan Steil
20 South Main Street, Suite 10
Janesville, Wisconsin 53545
608-752-4050

From: Fuller, Lucas [mailto:Lucas.Fuller@legis.wisconsin.gov]
Sent: Monday, February 8, 2021 10:06 AM
To: Hoyer-Booth, Andrew G – DHS; Waukau, Hilary J – DHS (HJ)
Cc: steve-olson@wi.rr.com; Rep.Skowronski; Sen.Bradley
Subject: Vaccine Distribution

Hi Andrew and HJ,

We’ve been contacted by local officials who are struggling with the lack of doses they will receive this week.  Specifically, in the case of the City of Franklin, they have indicated they will receive zero doses of the vaccine this week, significantly hampering their ability to schedule any future vaccination clinics and threatening their ability to complete the four clinics they already have on the calendar.

I’ve cc’ed the Mayor of Franklin as well as Rep. Skowronski and my boss.  We are hoping one of you, or someone else on the team at DHS, might be able to provide some transparency or explanation how this happened and what our communities can reasonably expect from DHS moving forward.

Thank you.

Lucas Fuller
Chief of Staff
Office of Senator Julian Bradley
(608) 266-5400

From: Sen.Bradley <Sen.Bradley@legis.wisconsin.gov>
Sent: Monday, February 8, 2021 10:37 AM
To: Steve Olson <steve-olson@wi.rr.com>; Sen.Bradley <Sen.Bradley@legis.wisconsin.gov>; Rep.Skowronski <Rep.Skowronski@legis.wisconsin.gov>; Rep.Wichgers <Rep.Wichgers@legis.wisconsin.gov>; Rep.Rodriguez <Rep.Rodriguez@legis.wisconsin.gov>; Sen.Larson <Sen.Larson@legis.wisconsin.gov>
Cc: Mayor Neitzke <MayorNeitzke@GreenfieldWI.US>; Dan Bukiewicz <dbukiewicz@oakcreekwi.org>; Daniel Besson <dbesson@halescorners.org>; Jim Birmingham <jbirmingham@greendale.org>; Todd Michaels <tmichaels@greendale.org>; ‘Courtney Day’ <CDay@franklinwi.gov>; Fuller, Lucas <Lucas.Fuller@legis.wisconsin.gov>
Subject: RE: No Allocation Notification

Hi Steve,

I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you last week when we discussed this and your regional plan for vaccine distribution.  We are in agreement that what is happening at DHS is unacceptable.  We are monitoring this situation and exploring our options to hold DHS accountable.

As you know, my staff reached out to DHS directly to ask about this earlier today and you were included on the email.  I hope DHS can do better in the future or a the very least, deal with interested stakeholders like the City of Franklin more transparently so you can be better positioned to help vaccinate our communities.

My hope is that DHS would include you on any response to my office, but if they don’t I will certainly reach out to you directly to share their response and discuss the next steps.

As always, feel free to continue contacting my office if we may be of assistance.  In this case, since Governor Evers oversees DHS directly, I would also encourage you to contact his office to share your concerns about the distribution process.

Thank you.

Julian

From: Mayor Neitzke [mailto:MayorNeitzke@GreenfieldWI.US]
Sent: Monday, February 8, 2021 9:56 PM
To: Steve Olson
Cc: Ament, Dave; Andrew Vickers; brooks@smwi.org; Bryan Kennedy; Catherine Roeske; Charlene Klein; Dan Besson; Dan Bukiewicz; Dan Devine; Dennis McBride; Douglas H. Frazer; Eido Walny; jarchambo@wauwatosa.net; Jim Birmingham; John Stalewski; Ken.Tutaj@stfranwi.org; Knutson, Alec; Mark.Johnsrud@stfranwi.org; mayor@ci.mequon.wi.us; mhall@browndeerwi.org; President Siegel; presidentrozek@villageofshorewood.org; Rick Petfalski; skulik@halescorners.org; sbotcher@villageoffoxpoint.com; sreilly@ci.waukesha.wi.us; steveander@gmail.com; ponto@ci.brookfield.wi.us; Tami Mayzik; Thomas Pavlic; tlaborde@vil.river-hills.wi.us; Wanda Montgomery; Courtney Day; Darren Rausch

Subject: Re: In case you haven’t seen this

“More doses”?

Following up on our ICC discussion today, it certainly seems necessary to provide some semblance of transparency as to how many doses are available and where those doses are actually going.  It’s beyond obvious that there is a significantly deficient supply to feed the delivery infrastructure that already exists.

Maybe I’m missing something, but wouldn’t it be a more prudent and efficient strategy to satisfy the local health departments’ requests at a level consistent with their existing infrastructure to administer those doses before creating more infrastructure/sites (that will be provided with a supply well short of what they have the capacity to administer).

I know Greenfield is allocated just a small fraction of what we could “get out the door”-about a 100 doses a week.   We could do 600-800 a week.

Meijer also administers the vaccine here.  We’ve learned that they get about the same. There may be other providers that we’re not even aware of.  The large healthcare systems are also administering. I’ve heard their doses are limited, as well. I’ve  talked to residents that have signed up on multiple lists across the entire delivery spectrum.  This isn’t efficient.

Wouldn’t it make sense to get the limited quantities to local health as a primary conduit at least for now, and build the Meijer, Walmart, CVS, Rock County-like stuff, etc network as the secondary overflow (and possibly primary source) once sufficient doses are available?

Just sayin’

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 8, 2021, at 8:42 PM, Steve Olson <steve-olson@wi.rr.com> wrote:

?

Gov. Evers announces new vaccine sites as doses increase (tmj4.com)<https://www.tmj4.com/news/coronavirus/gov-evers-announces-new-vac

cine-sites-as-doses-increase?fbclid=IwAR1fjT4Xn05gJ_5F0HzXa7axjbFa-YPJvhYZ_y

fxsAynFYRsJ7bbHld7Pvs>

Steve Olson
Mayor
City of Franklin
9229 W. Loomis Rd.
Franklin, Wi.  53132

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021


State Senator Julian Bradley (R-Franklin) and others wrote a letter:

February 9, 2021

Via Email and Mail

Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake
Department of Health Services
1 West Wilson Street
Madison, WI 53703

Secretary-designee Timberlake,

As you begin your work at the Department of Health Services, we are writing to ask you to
communicate more transparently and proactively with the public, local officials and the state legislature than your predecessor. We fully understand that COVID-19 presents unique challenges to the Department of Health Services, but the work of our partners at the local level has been complicated unnecessarily by the lack of transparency and poor communication from DHS.

We have been contacted by numerous local officials throughout our districts who are very concerned about the distributions of vaccine from the state of Wisconsin. They have repeatedly learned about distribution plans and other key developments through media accounts. This leaves local officials poorly positioned to help share information and address challenges.

Specifically, several communities in Milwaukee County will receive no vaccinations this week. This will significantly hamper their ability to schedule any future vaccination clinics and threatens their ability to complete the clinics they have already scheduled in their area.

We have copied these local leaders and Governor Evers on this letter by email and hope to work with you to ensure the efficient and transparent distribution of vaccines to our local partners.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance ensuring effective and clear communication with local leaders.

Thank you.

Senator Julian Bradley
Representative Chuck Wichgers
Representative Ken Skowronski
Representative Mike Kuglitsch

From: Janis, Nick [mailto:Nick.Janis@legis.wisconsin.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 1:20 PM
To: steve-olson@wi.rr.com
Subject: RE: No Allocation Notification

Hi Mayor,

Our office received word through DHS that Franklin will be getting vaccines this week. I don’t have an exact number of doses, but DHS is aware that communication needs to be better; they should be reaching out to the city.

Please let me know the outcome of the contact with DHS. We can always go back to the department to continue to advocate for our neighbors.

In service,

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Nicholas A. Janis

Office of Senator Chris Larson
Room 20 South, State Capitol
Office: 608.266.7505
District: 414.368.0135
Preferred Pronouns: He, Him, His

From: Steve Olson
Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 4:21 PM
To: ‘Janis, Nick’
Subject: RE: No Allocation Notification

Thanks Nick!

Our health officer received two calls.  First saying that they mis read her application and didn’t know she was with a health department.  The second call was an excuse that they changed the algorithm and it impacted some and they’re going to change it back.

Incompetence.

Steve

From: Rep.Rodriguez [mailto:Rep.Rodriguez@legis.wisconsin.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 2:29 PM
To: steve-olson@wi.rr.com
Subject: RE: No Allocation Notification

Mayor Olson,

To my knowledge, my office did not receive the previous email from you regarding the vaccine rollout.

I would echo Sen. Bradley’s sentiments regarding the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine rollout. The rollout has been disappointing and the Legislature has been looking for ways to improve it. However, the vaccine distribution plan is being developed by the executive branch. Legislators made a proposal in December that would have established legislative oversight of the vaccine distribution plan. Gov. Evers rejected our offer to provide input on the plan, and the responsibility of developing a vaccine distribution plan continues to lie with the executive branch.

Despite his refusal to work with us, improving the vaccine rollout remains a priority, which is why the Assembly passed a bill recently that would help Wisconsin with the vaccine rollout and give preference to those over 60 years old to get the vaccine. It is my hope that once this bill makes it to the governor’s desk he will sign it into law.

I understand Sen. Bradley’s office will be liaising between you and the Department of Health Services. Please let me know if my office can provide additional assistance with this.

Best Regards,

Jessie Rodriguez
State Representative
21st Assembly District

Franklin mayor’s vaccine frustration is misdirected

May be an image of Steve Olson

I get a kick out of the folks here in Franklin who claim I “carry water” for Mayor Steve Olson. Honestly, these fools aren’t hurting my feelings or causing any loss of sleep.

True, I like and respect the mayor, a lot. And far more often than not we’ve been sympatico. But in the world of politics, especially today, a leader will never get even the staunchest supporters to concur 100% of the time.

This week finds our mayor quite upset, and rightfully so. On Sunday he wrote on Facebook:

This is a very important announcement from the Franklin Health Department. We have been allocated no vaccines this week so NEW Clinics cannot be held until we get more vaccine. If you have an appointment with the Franklin Health Department for the next two weeks please keep it.

We have enough vaccine for the next two weeks but no more. I believe that this is political. We believe that only three communities were singled out to NOT get vaccine. In what world do you not send a LOT of vaccine to your most populous county. If the concern is equity, it’s also the county with the most minority population.

Then he agreed to an interview with TMJ4 where he repeated his anger.

“This is ridiculous. Our health department’s phones are ringing off the hook and they can’t tell people when we’re going to have vaccines. It’s the lack of information from the state that is just handcuffing everybody and making this whole thing a joke.”

And this tactic by the mayor is part of a pattern that has driven me nuts for more than 20 years. Note the part of his quote to TMJ4 I emphasized.  He’s done this since Jim Doyle was governor. He uses the term “the state” when it’s really the governor and his administration at fault. Yet he refuses to single the governor out and blew a great opportunity to do so.

A much better quote would have been:

“This is ridiculous. Our health department’s phones are ringing off the hook and they can’t tell people when we’re going to have vaccines. It’s the lack of information from Gov. Tony Evers and his Dept. of Health Services that is just handcuffing everybody and making this whole thing a joke.”

There’s no getting to the stubborn mayor about this who refuses to target our clueless governor. He maintains the vaccine fiasco is “the state’s fault.”

Oh really? “The state” includes Gov. Evers, his Cabinet, staff, all state agencies and their staff people, more than 130 state legislators, and an army of state employees. Dear Mayor Olson, would you kindly care to narrow it down?

That’s easy. The damage here lies with Gov. Evers and his administration. But Olson would rather toss grenades at the Legislature that is controlled by the GOP, filled with members who haven’t returned Olson’s phone calls and e-mails and kissed his ring to his satisfaction.

I suggested since TMJ4 already did a story that he continue putting the pressure on with a full-blown news conference with his heath director and invited area legislators to draw more awareness to the absurdity of the governor’s vaccine distribution. The mayor’s reaction? Nice idea, but I’ll do this my way. I’m sure he feels his plan is the best because in his mind the city is never ever wrong.

Meanwhile, Franklin, state of WI, America, are you ready?


What’s happening this week might be just the beginning of more problems. Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts” reports:

New COVID-19 variants will force state and local public health agencies to expand their efforts in tracking and responding to the new strains.

More contagious variants add to the struggle agencies already face to trace contacts, manage health care across jurisdictions, communicate with the public and vaccinate residents. The stakes are huge: Public health officials worry that if more transmissible variants take hold, an even more dangerous surge could lie ahead, compelling public officials to impose new restrictions, possibly including shutdowns.

“If a new variant takes over and we’re not doing everything we can to prevent it from taking hold, it’s almost like a new pandemic,” said Lori T. Freeman, CEO of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, a Washington, D.C.-based membership organization that represents local health departments. “Public health departments could be in danger of being overwhelmed if we don’t take control to adequately control the variants.”

Dandy.

Who should be the odd man/woman out in the Franklin School Board primary?

This month’s primary in Franklin has seven candidates running for the school board and the top six vote getters will advance to the general election in April to fill three seats. So one candidate in the February 16th primary will get booted. Who should it be?

There are some people running that quite frankly aren’t all that appealing. I’d say most on the list. But one individual in my view surely needs to be eliminated. That’s Angela Bier.

Remember she told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Franklin has long needed an improved high school gymnasium and associated facilities.  This should be a public-private partnership, maximizing fundraising arms of the district to leverage motivated private entities’ philanthropic missions.  If public funding via referendum is still required, we must commit to robust public access to the space for recreational programming.”

We already spend a fortune on our schools. Another referendum to increase spending and taxes is absurd (It should also be noted that candidate Jeffrey Hall wants to go on a referendum spending spree. Check out his answer in the Journal Sentinel article referenced above).

And check out this video from January 30, 2017. Candidates for an open school board seat appeared before the board who asked the candidates questions. At the 9:00 mark Angela Bier is asked a blunt question by then-board president Janet Evans about ACT 10.

Again, scroll to 9:00.

Bier’s response shows she’s out of touch with the majority of Franklin. For the record, in the June 12, 2012 recall election, while Bier was voting against Scott Walker, 10,883 Franklin residents voted for the governor (64.92%). Tom Barrett got 5,831 votes or 34.78% (Source: Franklin City Clerk).

ACT 10 that Bier opposed saved the taxpayers of Wisconsin 4,850, 117,044 in school costs as of last March, the 9th anniversary of the legislation.

Superintendents across the state used ACT 10 to reform public schools in the areas of merit pay for teachers; flexibility for hiring, firing, and management;  and greater collaboration with teachers.

Bier’s response to another question raises eyebrows. She supports “funding educational alternatives outside of the traditional brick and mortar public school building.” I’m not sure what that means and I may not want to know.

The majority, almost all of the Franklin School Board candidates are too liberal for this conservative district. Bier tops them all. She should not be on the ballot come April.