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At this point, the job description for the next mayor of La Crosse is kind of vague. He or she will still have a veto pen. Will still lead city council meetings. Can still make appointments. And those mayoral proclamations will never go out of style. After that, it gets a little fuzzy. Depends on whether voters approve hiring a city administrator through a binding referendum in April. That would change the job description of the mayor. It would also change the pay. After a final city council vote last night, the next mayor's pay would get cut in half if the administrator is okayed. Current mayor Matt Harter could still vote the pay cut. And he might; he's adamantly opposed to the idea of hiring a city administrator.
This spring will likely be decision time for the Forest Hills clubhouse in La Crosse. The city's doing an evaluation of the building to see if it's salvageable for renovation or should get torn down. The first steps of that process are underway
Steve Carlyon is the city's park, rec and forestry boss. He figures remaining asbestos abatement now at just a few thousand dollars. It's clear that he would prefer to restore the century old building to retain a link to the course's past. But replacing might turn out to be way more cost-effective.
How about getting a separate bill in the mail for garbage pick-up? That's apparently among the coming suggestions from a task force on garbage and recycling. The Onalaska and La Crosse committee is getting close to making some formal recommendations. And then, says county sustainability coordinator, Nich Nichols, councils in both cities will have to act pretty quickly due to soon-to-be-expired garbage pick-up contracts
Other local municipalities may also get involved in the garbage changes in order to streamline the entire county but, so far, just the cities of La Crosse and Onalaska are involved.
(AP) The Duluth Vikings? That's the vision of a Duluth state senator who says his city would be ideal for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium. Actually, Sen. Roger Reinert says the proposal he gave Gov. Mark Dayton Thursday would keep the Minnesota Vikings name. The Democrat's proposal is a long shot at the Capitol, where the stadium effort is focused on rebuilding downtown Minneapolis. Reinert says a 500-acre site southwest of the city's downtown and along the St. Louis River is perfect. He points out that the Green Bay Packers are about as far from the much larger Milwaukee media market as Duluth is from the Twin Cities. Reinert says a Duluth stadium could be partly funded by new tax revenue from lifting Minnesota's Sunday restriction on liquor sales.
(AP) The Democratic leader of the Wisconsin state Assembly says a new projection showing Wisconsin faces a $143 million budget shortfall illustrates irresponsible action by Gov. Scot Walker.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca issued the statement Thursday in reaction to the new estimates from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Barca says Walker's policies have left Wisconsin fiscally unsound and caused the state to fall behind on the road to economic recovery. Barca says Walker's economic plan isn't working. Walker views the new figures differently, saying he believes the state is headed in the right direction after Republicans made tough budget choices last year to balance a $3.6 billion shortfall. Barca is considering running against Walker in a recall election.