This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Some rare fiscal sanity in Franklin

According to FranklinNOW, Franklin school district employees were very upset when the Franklin School Board voted last week to reduce their retirement benefits. Their reaction, arguably, was natural. However, it was also out of touch.

It probably wasn’t the intention of FranklinNOW reporter John Rasche, but his article demonstrated that the entitlement mentality in Franklin’s public sector is alive and well.

For the longest time, public sector employees have had it relatively easy when it came to their compensation.  They’ve requested increases, and they got them with nary a whimper from those who have voting power and especially in Franklin, almost complete silence from the taxpayers who foot the bill.  Last week was a different story.

FranklinNOW reports the Franklin School Board voted 4-3 to give long-term employees the current retirement benefit with the proviso they were eligible by July 1, 2013. “Employees that did not qualify by that date would receive the benefit but would be required to pay the same percentage of the premium for health insurance as active employees.” This move would “reduce the costs by 60 percent, resulting in $41 million savings.”

Even Business Manager Jim Milzer who normally is never shy when it comes to pulling the trigger on spending recognized the need to take action.

"Based off projections, the cost of health insurance extends beyond what the district budget can afford. We need to cut down on costs because our budget can't continue the way it has been."

The vote by the School Board was correct and necessary. Workers left the meeting not understanding and/or caring about the economic realities of today. Did any even reflect for one moment on that favorite mantra of theirs, “It’s for the children?”

The vote by the School Board was correct and necessary.

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