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.
UPDATE BASED ON STEVE TAYLOR'S COMMENT BELOW:
I thank Steve Taylor for his response. Last November I received information from a reliable source in Milwaukee County government about the override vote on the Flexible Savings Account veto. I had reason to trust that information.
Today (Wednesday) I received a follow-up from my source saying Steve Taylor did vote to sustain the County Executive’s veto. The Journal of Proceedings I requested today from Milwaukee County verifies that. A vote to sustain was the correct, commendable vote. And so, naturally, I regret the error.
My original source also reiterated the other points are true. No one on the County Board, including Taylor, stood in defense of lowering taxes and the failure to sustain did go to benefit the supervisors themselves. If someone had stood up to publicly object and speak out, that action would have been a great service to taxpayers, not to mention a good floor speech.
As for knowingly attempting to discredit Steve Taylor, I find it odd that if I was so wrong so often in the past, why didn’t Taylor speak out then? Why didn't he object to my previous posts about his votes on the city budgets, city spending, public safety, campaign donations, and his proposed dog leash ordinance, among others?
No one has tried to deliberately twist anything. In this particular instance I posted misinformation and I repeat I regret doing so. The fact is many thought we had a true conservative in our ranks and we were sadly disappointed. That has been the motivation for my blogs.
A few days ago I came across some information I had in my files that I hadn’t written about, but is now worth sharing, even though it’s nearly five months old. The info concerns Milwaukee County supervisor (and soon to be former Franklin alderman) Steve Taylor. It’s very revealing, though it merely enforces what I’ve been saying about Taylor’s lack of solid conservative credentials for a long, long time that many others have now picked up on.
Please follow along.
NOVEMBER 12, 2013: The Milwaukee County Board approved a 2014 budget with a property tax freeze sought by County Executive Chris Abele. Steve Taylor voted against the property tax freeze budget. The budget approved by the County Board contained a property tax levy of $279.3 million, the same as the previous year.
NOVEMBER 20, 2013: Abele issued 39 vetoes to the budget approved by the County Board. In his veto message, Abele wrote about one of those vetoes, “My intent is to: Dedicate $1.6 million, which was used to fund the Flexible Savings Account, to lower property taxes…”
Abele wanted to cut $1.6 million from the budget supervisors approved that they earmarked for health savings accounts for employees. Instead, Abele wanted the $1.6 million to go towards property tax relief. Understand, Abele’s veto of a $1.6 million health care flexible savings account subsidy would have cut next year's property tax levy to $277.7 million.
NOVEMBER 21, 2013: The County Board, that will never be confused as a fiscally conservative body, voted to override 38 of Abele’s 39 budget vetoes, including the veto of the $1.6 million to fund the Flexible Savings Account. Taylor was one of the many supervisors voting to override that particular veto.
The action by Taylor and the other supervisors resulted in a budget that had a property tax levy, not of $277.7 million as Abele wanted, but $279.3 million.
Taylor voted to override a budget veto that would have lowered Milwaukee County property taxes by $1.6 million. Instead, and without any discussion that day from anyone on the Board, the money goes to fund health savings accounts for employees, including supervisors like Steve Taylor.
But Kevin, last week’s election is over. This is moot, isn’t it?
On the contrary, it’s significant. The vote to override demonstrates once again that Taylor isn’t what he claims or campaigns to be.
More important, Taylor and the other supervisors who voted to take care of county employees like themselves are still full-time board members until April of 2016. They get to craft and vote on the county budget later this year and again in 2015.
As a Milwaukee County property taxpayer, when those budget deliberations take place, do you trust any of them, including Taylor, to be fully in your corner?
Milwaukee County voters overwhelmingly chose wisely on last week’s referendum. Franklin voters also made the right choice in Aldermanic District 4.