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No censure, no reprimand, not even a fine for La Crosse mayor Matt Harter. A sharply divided city council voted to follow the city's ethics board and not punish the mayor for his ethical malfeasance in meetings with the county solid waste director last year. Not the outcome wanted by just less than half of the city council who voted to censure the mayor. A punishment sought by Jai Johnson who said it was the least that the council should pursue in rebuke of the mayor's actions.
Although no punishment for the mayor from the city council, he has agreed to pursue an ethics certification from Viterbo.
Those voting for censure, proposed by 4th district city council member, Jai Johnson(failed on 8-7 vote): Johnson, Andrea Richmond, Chris Olson, Eric Schmidt, Bob Seaquist, Marilyn Wigdahl and Dick Swantz.
Voting to uphold the recommendations of the Ethics Board and the Judiciary and Administration committee(passed on 8-7 vote): Al Wagner, John Satory, Bob Seaquist, Doug Farmer, Bruce Ranis, Bernie Maney, Tom Sweeney, Lorraine Decker
If you get hurt in a racetrack accident at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, it's not the Speedway's fault.
That's what a state appeals court says in a ruling today. The court is upholding a La Crosse County court decision supporting the Speedway in a lawsuit filed by two men hurt eight years ago by a racecar that entered the infield. Charles Beer and Darin Toot tried to sue the Speedway for damages, claiming the liability waiver was void, and contrary to public policy. But the circuit court and appeals court both ruled that the release form is valid.
It's been awhile since there's been this many primary elections in La Crosse city council races. At least ten years since there were as many as the five primaries on Tuesday's ballot. That's half of the total number of council seats on the ballot in April and two of those are uncontested. City council members Doug Farmer in district 10, Bruce Ranis in district 12, And Lorraine Decker in district 15 all face two challengers on Tuesday. In district 7, three are running to fill a seat left vacant when Mike Larsen quit in the fall. District 13 has three looking to replace Bernie Maney who just recently announced he was done with a fifty year run on the council.
Much of the work of one local group is on hold after a move in Madison this week. The DNR has temporarily curtailed conservation grants during a review of the state's land stewardship program as mandated by the Walker administration. Those are grants that are heavily used by the Mississippi Valley Conservancy and there's a number of projects in the works right now, says MVC director, Tim Jacobson that may require those grants. His group has used over six million dollars in state grants to protect from development over three thousand acres in the region.
As we told you this morning, the applications submitted to the Wisconsin PSC by the group CapX 2020 were rejected due to inaccurate and missing information about the high voltage power line project. A group that opposes the entire project, The Citizens Energy Task Force, claims that CapX 2020 is not concerned about the effects the power line will have on Wisconsin tourism and landowners.
Not true says Tom Hillstrom. He says they have worked with the Wisconsin DOT for a year and a half now to choose those two routes and the rejection of their application was expected.CapX2020 is a massive ultra high voltage power line project that would come from the coal burning plants in the Dakotas traveling across the Mississippi River – crossing at Alma then traveling south to Holmen and Onalaska, over homes, through the La Crosse area and on to Madison. Once in North La Crosse, CapX is proposed to link into a line that would be built by American Transmission Company called the Badger Coulee Line. This line could travel through scenic southwest Wisconsin farmland and the Kickapoo Valley Reserve as it barrels into Madison – and then to the East, aiming for Chicago and beyond.