1) Does the city of La Crosse need a city administrator, and would you support another effort to create that position?
The City needs a manager. Either you vote in a strong Mayor, or you hire an Administrator. An Administrator who you will make a millionaire out of quickly. But the status quo is not acceptable.
We are spending taxpayer dollars that total $130 million in debt, paying $18.6 million in debt service (interest) per year. At the same time there are no accurate totals of principle payments or of interest.
Or a Spread Sheet that itemizes ‘projected’ yearly cost of either. When too much of these debts are amortized up to 20-27 years. Then we do not collect contractual legal mandated information on the project
that requires it. Dysfunction at it’s best.
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?
I have heard criticism from all in sectors in this City, including City Planner Kirch. In regards to gifts of millions to existing millionaires. I attended a Meeting run by City Planner Kirch where he had voiced the
same opinion on several points. Sadly after the fact! Where as before that ‘Meeting’ we amortized TIFs far too long. In many cases 20-27 years. In a unstructured ’pick n chose’ selection process of repeat
recipients, behind closed doors, and without documents. An incubator almost designed to beg for questions and corruption?
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?
I believe that millions of tax dollars are being wasted or spent poorly in Lacrosse. I also believe that there is not one leader (elected or hired) that has taken a lead on the natural evolution that Lacrosse
is now experiencing. Funding for Court, Incarceration, and Enforcement is surely to grow rapidly in the next decade. There are like size cities to cite that have gone through this period we are facing and learn
from them. Instead of facing yet another “emergency”?
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?
I believe that all incoming Firemen should be denied early post retirement health coverage. All Fireman should also revert back to the original/intended true employee/employer Wisconsin Retirement System
contribution split. Also there have been allegations that some Fireman are gaming the System. Calling in sick, having friends fill in at time-and-a half pay. Then following via versa, and so on. I am not stating
this is true, but an impartial Board should look into this possibility. A rhythm if you will. Or managed if you like better.
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?
I believe the Department/Program John Florine ran for the City (Re-Hab) for years was merit filled. I believe that low interest loans to construct individual housing projects are more than cost effective.
I believe TIFs have not been used for original ‘blighted area’ outlines, etc. I also believe that TIFs have been an abomination for the working class, elderly, and poor.
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?
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?
Lacrosse for similar size cities in WI sits on the highest wrung of Mill Rate, Per Student Costs, Fire Cost, and now we hear recently Health Cost. While at the same time we sit on the lowest wrung for
Per Capita Income. Quite frankly I believe our Council feels they cannot raise property tax. So we find ourselves in pretending that these fees, licenses, permits are warranted. I have seen at least a $604 increase
in these added charges recently. Or a 46% rise in my property taxes if you were to add them that bill? Unacceptable!
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?
I would need to ask ore questions- - Does the feed from these individual cameras feed to one location? If not who would collect and maintain this footage if there is any? - Who would maintain these cameras? -What is the projected life/warranty of this system? -What project3d costs for the city would be possible in the future?
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 would approach Tribune Hierarchy and ask them for a regular part of the Editorial Section. So that we could ask ’both’ sides of a expenditure/resolution/project/program to give their opinion on same. -I would pull information and share it in every way possible with Taxpayers. -I would work to make sure that we do not vote on any given project or program until it was introduced/available/ in entirety at least one
full cycle of the Council. So that any Taxpayer in Lacrosse has time to peruse same. -I would as that our City be able to produce accurate full cost tallies of projects programs with a couple clicks of a mouse. -I would make sure that when anybody uses City Code to bring business/meetings behind closed doors it is warranted.
10) What is the last book you read? What is the last movie you saw?