Let's start discussing the elephant in the room, shall we... A large motivating factor to the inception of Franklin Community Advocates (FCA) was the proposed Strauss Brands, LLC (Strauss) expansion for District 6. As we dug deeper into the nuances of this proposal, which admittedly came at us, as a community, very unexpectedly (despite our opposition's claims otherwise), many of us became aware of the poor practices employed by our local government, the blatant disregard for our Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), as well as the callousness for the citizen's desires as a whole for our community. This has fueled many to get involved (even if to examine and question the existing procedures), in many areas and at various levels, with the inner workings of our city. We have spoken with a large number of Franklin residents, as well as residents from Muskego, who would assuredly be impacted by this expansion. From these initial steps, we have agreed we need to put into place a group of community advocates to bring the awareness of such dealings to public light and from there to organize our efforts to have the most impact for change. This is the short version of the birth of FCA.
So where do we go from here? Well, we have organized a legitimate, nonprofit charitable organization (FCA) under the IRS tax code 501(c)3 allowing donations to our organization to be tax exempt. We are spreading the word via this website, through our Facebook page and Nextdoor group, as well as our newly formed Twitter account. But frankly, this is not enough. Development on this expansion has been in the works long before many of us ever knew Strauss was looking to expand their current operations in what are many of our impacted residents' front and backyards. We attended public hearings and meetings to protest, both verbally and written, our opposition to this proposal. We have been ignored. The denial of the special use permit has been overturned with a reconsideration motion and subsequent vote made by Alderwoman Shari Hanneman and currently Strauss is able to move forward, legally, with Phase 1 of their expansion. Quite honestly, the overall behavior of the key players in this expansion has been anything but above board. Therefore, we recognize as a community we need to quickly ban together to bring forth ethical practices, fair decision making and transparency to our local government.
How do we obtain ethical practices, fair decision making and transparency in our local government? Very simply, we push for it to happen. If you believe this is an issue you can stand behind and one you can sink yourself into I invite you, no I implore you, to reach out to us. We are welcoming to all who want to hold our local government accountable to us, the residents and taxpayers. After all, they work for us; thereby, they need to answer to us. And, make no mistake, we intend to make them answer! Join us in taking back our community to make it the community we desire, a community focused on quality of life for the people of Franklin as well as our bordering neighbors.