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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.

Franklin stadium debate is quite beneficial

Not too long ago I received the May edition of “Franklin Neighbors” in my mailbox. The Content Coordinator wrote, “We are always looking for your favorite recipes and your favorite pictures of the dog, the cat, or the pet rabbit.”

The Drudge Report it ain’t.

I also read that the publication accepts submissions. So I immediately sat down and composed a piece and sent it off right away. It was written and submitted before Franklin aldermen voted unanimously to reject a proposed Memorandum Of Understanding to build a minor league baseball stadium that would serve as a catalyst for a downtown Franklin district.

I was told that “Franklin Neighbors” would probably publish the piece in the June edition. However, it might not be as timely. Even so, I thought it would be good to share in the event it doesn’t make the cut.

Franklin stadium debate is quite beneficial
By Kevin Fischer, Franklin resident and blogger

It’s the talk of the town in Franklin: Should the city agree with a developer to build a minor league baseball stadium? The same developer in conjunction with the city of Franklin and Milwaukee County opened The Rock, a popular sports and entertainment complex in 2013, and would construct the proposed ballpark near the site of The Rock.

Opinion in Franklin is divided. Some see a gigantic boost in the city’s quality of life with job creation and a welcome economic impact. Others question the possible economic benefits. Still others frown on the added noise, traffic, and congestion, preferring the quiet, slower pace of Franklin from decades past.

No doubt the stadium issue could become contentious and divisive. Even so, this topic could be one of the best pieces of news to happen in Franklin in a long time for the following reasons:

1) Franklin is predominantly a quiet, sleepy, lazy hamlet. That’s not necessarily bad. The stadium discussion will infuse a giant dose of excitement around these parts. That’s not necessarily bad, either.

2) The stadium issue reduces inertia by getting people involved and thinking.

3) Franklin residents as a whole are not politically motivated. Not by a long shot. They’d prefer to spend ho-hum days and nights at home with little to worry about. The stadium issues forces political motivation. Again, that’s not bad.

4) About 3 out of every 4 Franklin voters stayed home during the April 1 election. Wanting more information about the stadium may send residents who don’t know who their mayor or alderman is seeking to find out who the key players are. That knowledge is power. Because now you know who to contact. And your voice, if you choose to exercise it, matters.

5) Ever been to a Franklin Common Council meeting? Of course not. They’re normally empty. Suddenly an issue like the stadium might result in more citizen participation via attendance.

6) Do you talk to or interact with your neighbors? If not, this might be a reason to start.

7) It’s not just about you. People outside Franklin are following and are very interested. Our ballpark question puts us on the regional map and is a wonderful advertisement, if not a picture print by Currier and Ives. Folks have to be thinking, “Someone wants to build a ballpark in Franklin? Hmmm.”

8) Isn’t it great, not to be talking about a bank or gas station or drugstore (nothing wrong with those) but about a fun, exciting stadium? Yes, there is tremendous opportunity in Franklin.

9) This discussion results in community introspection. It causes residents to reflect on what quality of life components Franklin has, is lacking, needs or wants. A whole dialogue can erupt for the betterment of all.

10) Debate, if civil and thoughtful, and I think it can be in Franklin, is always healthy.

So, no matter where you stand, get in the game. Don’t stand on the sidelines. You, your neighbors, and the entire city will be much better off because you did.

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