“Masks by themselves do not prevent anything”

Franklin’s Director of Health and Human Services Courtney Day said the following at Tuesday’s meeting of the Franklin Common Council:

“Masks by themselves do not prevent anything. The best practice is to make sure you’re washing your hands and staying physically distant from someone.  Masks can certainly help. If you are asymptomatic and you might have the chance of impacting somebody else by being too close to them. Certainly they can help but this is not the only way this can spread and it’s not the only way to prevent spreading it.

“By and large there are far, far, far many things that people do that are a little bit riskier when they’re wearing masks because they forget about washing their hands or they get hot so they pull it down or pull it up, or they wear it around their ear or take it off with their hands and then lick their hand, all sorts of things that you’re not thinking about because you think the mask keeps me safe.”

Franklin receives transportation aid

Gov. Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Secretary designee Craig Thompson Tuesday announced more than $160 million in transportation aid for local governments as part of the governor’s 2019-21 biennial budget. Local governments will receive quarterly payments this week. Quarterly payments for cities, towns, and villages are sent the first Monday in January, April, July, and October.

The city of Franklin is receiving $350,993.36 in aid. BTW, Oak Creek got $682,464.46.

Let the road work begin.

Announcement details.

Don’t do it, Mayor Olson

I am a big fan of my mayor, Franklin’s Steve Olson. Supported and voted for him in all of his mayoral elections. I think I might have even blogged a few times about that.

He’s been a friend since I first moved into Franklin in 1992. That, BTW, would be two new houses built here and an obscene amount of property taxes paid.

At this point astute readers can correctly assume there’s a ‘but’ coming.

But it’s only natural that Olson and I wouldn’t always be simpatico. That’s called life. As I pointed out during Olson’s last term there were occasions when Hizzoner made public statements that weren’t even close to Joe Biden gaffes, but also to some extent raised eyebrows.

At tonight’s meeting of the Franklin Common Council (still going on as I post) after getting a COVID-19 update from Franklin’s public health director, the sudden order issuing Courtney Day, Olson mentioned Milwaukee’s Intergovernmental Cooperation Council (ICC) would be holding a meeting this Monday. What does that mean?

The Intergovernmental Cooperation Council (ICC) includes the mayor, village president or administrator from each of the 19 municipalities inside Milwaukee County (including Mayor Olson). The ICC meets to share best practices in delivery of public services, to discuss ways in which to save tax money and enhance services through cooperative efforts, and to discuss and advocate for change in state and federal law that are of common interest to ICC members.

It was mentioned at tonight’s Franklin meeting that the city of Milwaukee is considering an all-out mask mandate that would require all residents to wear a face mask in public after leaving home and when visiting any indoor space. The ordinance would apply to anyone older than 2 years old. Face masks would be required outdoors when a resident comes within 30 feet of another person outside of their household. It also would require face masks for all city of Milwaukee employees.

If you were a betting person do you think this will approved or not?

Mayor Olson said at tonight’s meeting he believes the ICC on Monday will consider a resolution for the member communities to approve an ordinance similar to the city of Milwaukee.

Here’s what happened next.

Olson said he’d be “inclined” to go along if the ICC resolution was innocuous, whatever the hell that means. But he would not support a resolution that was just like Milwaukee’s.

Good grief, Steve. Not exactly an “A” grade in Political PR 101 for you.

Let’s rewind the tape:

Olson said he’d be “inclined” to go along if the ICC resolution was innocuous, whatever the hell that means. But he would not support a resolution that was just like Milwaukee’s.

What should Olson have done?

Mayor Olson said at tonight’s meeting he believes the ICC on Monday will consider a resolution for the member communities to approve an ordinance similar to the city of Milwaukee.

But he would not support a resolution that was just like Milwaukee’s.

That would have been 100 times better.

I’m not trying to make life miserable for my friend. But he’s now on record saying he might, emphasize, might support, in his  words, an “innocuous” mask ordinance. Again, we’re talking Franklin, folks. A 10-year old in her backyard on July 4th playing with sparklers could cause a neighborhood panic. Whatever the ICC proposes should get ZERO consideration, not even the tiniest of thought Olson might be pondering.

Two final thoughts:

1) Please don’t complain to the mayor. He’ll do what’s right (Fingers crossed).

2) Please Mayor Olson. Stand up on Monday. Vote NO whatever the hell the resolution is (as non-bindig as it may be).

ALSO: At the meeting tonight health director Courtney Day, sporting a mask, told the council, including Alderwoman Shari Hanneman who had a mask up to her eyeballs, that masks aren’t all that efficient. She urged washing of hands and social distancing as much better safeguards.



Yet another example of why Franklin’s business climate is so poor

The headline in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sounded pretty positive:

A famous local fighter plans to open a wrestling academy in a former custom auto body and paint shop in Franklin

Good idea, right? take a vacant building and convert it into a promising small business.

Ah, but this is Franklin we’re talking about. Someone or some people have to come along and piddle on the idea.

Former Olympian and welterweight world champion Ben Askren (pictured above) has applied to the city of Franklin for a Special Use to operate a wrestling gymnasium and instruction use facility. The full Franklin Common Council takes up the matter at its meeting tonight (Tuesday).

By its own wording the city sends a clear message it plays hardball.

The packet for tonight’s meeting says the council will consider a motion to approve a resolution imposing conditions and restrictions.”

If approved the facility would be subject to the following conditions and restrictions:

  1. That this Special Use is approved only for the use of the subject property by Benjamin M. Askren, Askren Wrestling Academy, LLC, successors and assigns, as a wrestling gymnasium and instruction use, which shall be developed in substantial compliance with, and operated and maintained by Benjamin M. Askren, Askren Wrestling Academy, LLC, pursuant to those plans City file-stamped April 1, 2020 and annexed hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit A.
  2. Benjamin M. Askren, Askren Wrestling Academy, LLC, successors and assigns, shall pay to the City of Franklin the amount of all development compliance, inspection and review fees incurred by the City of Franklin, including fees of consults to the City of Franklin, for the Benjamin M. Askren, Askren Wrestling Academy, LLC wrestling gymnasium and instruction facility, within 30 days of invoice for same. Any violation of this provision shall be a violation of the Unified Development Ordinance, and subject to $15-9.0502 thereof and $1-19. of the Municipal Code, the general penalties and remedies provisions, as amended from time to time.
  3. The approval granted hereunder is conditional upon Benjamin M. Askren, Askren Wrestling Academy, LLC and the wrestling gymnasium and instruction use for the property located at 9760 South 60th Street: (i) being in compliance with all applicable governmental laws, statutes, rules, codes, orders and ordinances; and (ii) obtaining all other governmental approvals, permits, licenses and the like, required for and applicable to the project to be developed and as presented for this approval.
  4. Classes shall not begin before 5:30 PM or continue after 9:00 PM on weekdays.
  5. Class size shall be limited to 36 students.
  6. Class times shall be staggered by 30 minutes to allow for adequate turnover in the parking lot.

Why must classes be held beginning at 5:30?

Why can’t he hold classes during the morning and afternoon?

Why the limit on students? COVID perhaps? Still, it’s a limit on their ability to business.

Staggered class times mean time lost that could be instructional resulting in lost revenue.

BTW: Any violation of the above restrictions can result in a fine of up to $2,500.

There are other conditions as reported by the Journal Sentinel.

I’m not surprised. This is Franklin’s well-deserved crummy reputation.




Franklin’s public health director hands down orders, advice

From Courtney Day’s e-mail Monday to Mayor Olson and members of the Franklin Common Council:

Good morning,

It’s been a long weekend in the world of COVID-19 in Franklin. As is the case in the rest of the State and the Country, Franklin has seen a tremendous uptick in cases since the middle of last week (37 new cases since July 2). This has put a tremendous taxation on my staff, many of which are part time employees, to transition back to COVID as our full time work.  You will see in the Council packet tomorrow my finalized request to bring on additional staff through a contract with a temp agency to assist us with the COVID follow-up work using the money we received from the CARES Act funds.

As we have been doing our contact tracing over the weekend, we have discovered several clusters within this newest group of cases. And while it can not be pinpointed with 100% certainty that bars are where individuals contracted the virus, bars are a common theme in the movement of many of our cases while they were infectious and in particular bars that have had live music seem to be the biggest draw. Today I will be issuing orders to the Umbrella Bar, Croatian Beer Garden, and Polonia Beer Garden to cease all live music and entertainment until further notice.

We are working closely with the Milwaukee Milkmen regarding the positive cases identified within their organization. In partnership with the Milkmen, Ascension, Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, FHD will ensure the rules of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball as well as the guidelines from CDC and Wisconsin Department of Health Services are now fully adhered to moving forward.

I’ve attached an updated letter for the community reinforcing the need for people to increase their own personal responsibilities related to COVID transmission especially if they are venturing out in the public more frequently.  As always feel free to reach out to me with questions or concerns.

Courtney Day, RN, BSN
Director of Health and Human Services/Health Officer
Franklin Health Department

July 6, 2020

To all that work, live, and play in Franklin:

Summer is in full swing as we pass through another holiday weekend. Typically summer in Wisconsin is marked with picnics, backyard parties, sporting events, and festivals, but 2020 and the threat of COVID-19 has changed or cancelled many of our summer plans. I am proud that the Franklin Health Department has had the opportunity to work with so many local businesses in every sector of our community to put COVID-19 safety plans in place to protect workers, patrons, and the general public. The hard work and dedication of these businesses and our residents have allowed us to begin to enjoy some of the activities we missed earlier this year.

However, with an increase in opportunities outside the home comes an increase in the risk for contracting and transmitting COVID-19. In many areas of the country and our own State the numbers of those testing positive for COVID-19 have begun to trend upwards. Unfortunately, over the last week, we are now starting to see this trend creep into Franklin as well proving that COVID-19 is still very present in our area. So, while the warm weather may be calling us to venture out in Franklin or other parts of the State, it is even more important than ever that we all play our role in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

If you’ve decided to leave your home for recreational opportunities, (going to dinner, catching that movie, firing up the grill for a backyard barbeque, or participating in group gatherings) please note Franklin Health Department still strongly recommends the following before going out to protect your family, friends, and neighbors:

• Stay home if you are feeling ill.
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds (or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available).
• Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow.
• Maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet between people not from your household.
• When possible, use a mask or face covering in public settings especially when you
cannot ensure 6 feet of physical distancing.

More information can be found on the City of Franklin website (www.franklinwi.gov) and the Franklin Health Department Facebook Page, or call us during regular business hours at 414- 425-9101.


Courtney Day, RN, BSN
Director of Health and Human Services/Health Officer
City of Franklin Health Department

Franklin could learn a lot from Waterford

On the 4th of July our family made the short drive to Waterford to watch their parade since our community, Franklin, voted to shut down the city on the holiday. Franklin did a big fat zero to celebrate America’s birthday.

What a pleasant experience in Waterford.

The parade started…ON TIME!

For years I’ve hammered on the Franklin officials that run our parade for a complete inability to run it smoothly.  They could mess up a one-car funeral. So imagine how they handle a parade with dozens and dozens and dozens of units.

I’ve lived in Franklin here since 1992 and have yet to see a parade that wasn’t marred by long annoying gaps. Organizers hate the criticism and do absolutely nothing to make corrections.

In Waterford the gaps were about a handful and they weren’t very long at all. How nice and how simple to pull off. I suspect if parades return next year Franklin will continue their unorganized ways, turning a parade in the hot sun and humidity from an hour and change into an hour and a half or more filled with inexcusable delays.

If there was any justice this 4th of July…

“The idea sounds almost un-American. The Fourth of July was always a time for communities to come together, daylong celebrations with patriotic parades in the morning and fireworks finales to cap it off. This year, people are being urged to stay home. If they want a show, watch it on TV.”
The Associated Press

America’s birthday party this year will be about as thrilling as a funeral parlor, definitely as quiet. That’s because elected officials and yes, public health directors in communities all across the nation decided it was best if the citizens of the best, strongest, most resilient country on the planet stayed home and anguished in fear. They canceled everything. America shut down. No celebration. No festivities. No nothing.

Here in Franklin, home of the lame, the afraid, those without vision or creativity, the Common Council spent less than 20 minutes at a public meeting before throwing up their hands in surrender style and unanimously proclaiming Independence Day was officially dead in our city. Lifeless. Deceased. Expired. Gone. Lost completely.

They tried so hard to put on an event (I say BS). That group couldn’t wait to get to their special meeting, vote, put a bullet in the horse, adjourn and go home with nary an alternative offered.

Likewise, cities, towns and villages across the US, with very few exceptions, decided to call it quits, throw in the towel. They had their reasons. In Franklin the powers that be didn’t want crowds and actually said out loud they’d prefer not to put pressure on people like the police, as if they couldn’t handle the responsibility. Nice.

The tax money set aside for Franklin’s celebration? What happens to it? No one has said a word so far.

If there was any justice this 4th of July and I ruled the country and I had a magic wand I would decree loudly and proudly that any and all officials who stole Independence Day from captive American citizens longing to emerge from their home prisons to engage with friends and fellow citizens must be quarantined to their own homes for the entire day on the 4th and refrain from partying in any form or fashion. If we can’t celebrate because of you, then you have to suffer as well.

But life isn’t fair.  A colossal bust on the 4th. Just another slap in the face this cruel 2020.



Franklin has kept an eye on HOC and must continue to do so

From their website, “The Milwaukee County House of Correction is an honorable organization of committed officers with the integrity to adapt, overcome and achieve. We will maintain and ensure a safe and secure environment that consists of correctional programs to rehabilitate and re-introduce our citizens back into the community.”

Due to COVID-19, the House of Correction is limiting visitations to video video visits only until further notice.

In May UrbanMilwaukee.com reported:

After an outbreak in April, Milwaukee County’s House of Correction (HOC) is reporting zero new inmates or staff currently testing positive for COVID-19. The number of inmates showing symptoms and testing positive began to rise suggesting an outbreak was spreading through the correctional facility in Franklin. At the end of April, with help from the National Guard, the HOC tested every single inmate in its custody and every staff member working at the site. At its peak, which came with mass testing at the facility, the HOC had 105 confirmed cases. Currently, it has 85 inmates that are recovering and zero new cases of COVID-19.

The HOC has dealt with the outbreak by putting a cap on the number of individuals that can be housed in a dormitory. Daily cleaning and sanitation has been stepped up or doubled. 

Right now, the Army Corps of Engineers is finishing construction on a surge facility at the HOC for inmates in the area to go if they test positive for COVID-19.

The population at the HOC has been reduced by nearly 50 percent during the pandemic. In January 2020 there were approximately 1,100 inmates at the HOC. Now there are 626. 

The court has issued a number of release orders, using criteria it developed with law enforcement officials. Approximately 138 inmates were released under these orders. And, a number of Huber work-release eligible inmates have been put on electronic monitoring, on top of the HOC’s existing electronic monitoring program.

Sounds like the HOC took all the necessary precautions and that’s good news given what’s happening in other parts of the country. HOC must continue its due diligence. According to Stateline:

COVID-19 has raged throughout U.S. jails and prisons, where people live together in close quarters and there is little opportunity for social distancing, a lack of basic sanitary supplies and high rates of chronic disease.

While inmates mostly stay behind concrete walls and barbed wire, those barriers can’t contain an infectious disease like COVID-19. Not only can the virus be brought into jails and prisons, but it also can leave those facilities and spread widely into surrounding communities and beyond.

The effect may be most pronounced in jails, which mainly house those who are awaiting trial or inmates serving short sentences. Those facilities tend to have more churn than state and federal penitentiaries, with greater numbers of people entering and leaving, thereby increasing opportunities for the disease to disseminate.

Two new studies show that jails can contribute enormously to coronavirus case totals outside their walls. While COVID-19’s spread inside the facilities has been widely reported, the research demonstrates just how great an impact it can have in communities outside.