1) Does the city of La Crosse need a city administrator, and would you support another effort to create that position?
The voters' have spoken. We do need to improve the efficiency of our local government. I have the necessary skills and requirements of a City Administrator; therefore I do not think we need one at this time.
2) The city has received frequent criticism for being overly generous with financial incentives for developers. What sort of incentives should be available from the city, if any? How does the city best create a hospitable business environment?
To create a hospitable business environment the city must create a community that has an excellent quality of life and ensure that we have a highly trained and educated workforce. In order to improve our quality of life, we must improve our neighborhoods, schools and parks. In each unique re-development project, the city must consider incentives such as: environmental clean-up, low cost land, and rebuilding infrastructure and utilities.
3) There are growing concerns La Crosse is experiencing a surge in crime, particularly drug-related crimes. How do you plan to deal with the increasing level of criminal activity?
In order to increase the level of safety in our neighborhoods, we need to ensure our police are appropriately staffed. I am in favor of having police on the street and out of their squad cars. I believe the response of our citizens from having police present themselves this way will be positive. When police are out of their cars they are seen by the public as more approachable, I think crime and drug use will drop while using this tactic.
4) La Crosse's fire department is one of the most expensive in the state per capita to operate. Are you happy with the status quo in the department? What, if any, changes you would like to see in staffing, overtime use, equipment purchases or other expenses for the department?
We need a full staff in order to operate to ensure community safety and among our fire fighters. Our emergency services need to continue to be first class. We need to maintain the line between what is affordable for our citizens and ensuring our level of services remain first class.
5) A recent study of La Crosse neighborhoods details the challenges of some of the city's distressed areas. Do you see problems in La Crosse neighborhoods, and if so, how do you propose to remedy those problems?
Yes, there are distressed areas in La Crosse. We must remember that neighborhoods are the backbone of our community. Family supporting, good paying jobs are needed because with this standard of income, people can invest in their homes and our neighborhoods will improve.
6) After years of steady increases, city taxpayers have recently experienced a string of little or no increase in the city's tax levy rate. Will you try to continue that trend, and how will you do it?
We must hold the line on property taxes and fees. We should be looking for alternative sources of revenue such as receiving grants and collaborating with our neighboring communities.
7) In the past year, city department heads have been given the authority to create new fees as they see fit. Should fees supplant and/or add to property taxes collected by the city? Are the fees that have been added in recent years excessive?
I do think we need to invest in our community. If this is done with careful consideration, taxes and fees have the ability to further the growth of our community.
8) Recently, the La Crosse City Vision Foundation, with the blessings of the La Crosse police department, has announced a plan to raise nearly a half million dollars to install surveillance cameras in the downtown for use by police. Do you support the plan? Why or why not?
These cameras give our police an opportunity to fight crime. Cameras effectively enhance our police force's mission to fight crime. With them our community can be made safer and as Mayor, maintaining a safe community is a top priority.
9) Some have complained that the city council often seems to work against the current mayor rather than cooperating with him. How will you get the council to follow your agenda, if they're all opposed to it?
I will show respect for all council members. In order to receive respect, you must give it. Respect includes listening and communicating honestly with our council.
10) What is the last book you read? What is the last movie you saw?
The Road by Cormack McCarthy
Prometheus is the last movie I have seen
I have been the Executive Director of Downtown Mainstreet Inc for three years.