Kabat preps for new job as mayor

Published On: Apr 03 2013 06:17:36 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 03 2013 07:08:53 PM CDT

As Tim Kabat watched the results come in on election night, he was blown away by his two-to-one margin of victory over opponent Doug Farmer.

"We had kind of a nice family moment with my wife and kids right there, saying, 'Okay, this is happening,'" said Kabat with a laugh.

It's been just over 100 days since Tim Kabat announced he was going to run for mayor.

Now that election night has come and gone, he said his new focus is preparing for his first 100 days in office.

“We want to make sure that we have a really good plan for the first 100 days so we can hit the ground running," said Kabat.

That means one-on-one meetings with department heads and council members within the next week, with a focus on neighborhood revitalization and crime reduction.

He also plans to meet with current Mayor Matt Harter to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Harter said his best advice for Kabat is to make sure he listens to the people who elected him to office.

"Well, I would say always consult with the people. Keep the people's will in mind because that's what our government is set up to do, is to serve the needs of the people," said Harter.

As Kabat gets ready to start his new job, he's also preparing to leave his current one as the executive director of Downtown Mainstreet Inc.

The nonprofit's executive committee met Wednesday afternoon to talk about the search for his replacement.

"Well, I'll quote one of our board members. And he said that, 'Only 99 percent of him was hoping that Tim would win the election,' because that 1 percent knew that we'd have to find a replacement," said DMI Board President Mike Keil.

Keil said it's possible the organization could hire an interim director while the board searches for a permanent one to fill Kabat's shoes.

Kabat said he's confident the board will be able to find a director who will carry on DMI's current momentum -- but there will be some challenges.

"We still have work to do. There are still storefronts that are vacant that we want to work on seeing some new businesses created. Renovating the upper floors and getting new housing downtown," said Kabat.

Even though DMI may be losing its leader, it's gaining a good friend in the mayor's office.

Kabat will be sworn in as mayor on April 16.

Harter said he's going on a big vacation starting the very next day. Then he's going to work in the private sector.