Q&A with Tim Kabat
1. Why do you want to be mayor?
La Crosse is a great city with a lot of opportunity. La Crosse also has challenges that need our attention and action. By working together, we can help our city grow and improve. I have the experience, knowledge and background that would make for an excellent mayor and I feel strongly that our community needs leadership with a clear vision for strengthening our economy and our neighborhoods.
2. What experience do you have that makes you qualified to be mayor?
I have spent most of my professional life in service to the community. My most recent experience as Director of Downtown Mainstreet Inc. has showed me that good paying, family supporting jobs are critically important to our neighborhoods and our community.
3. What will be your top three priorities for the City of La Crosse if you’re elected mayor?
My first priority is to strengthen our economy by working with our local businesses to create jobs and hold the line on property taxes.
My second priority is to strengthen our neighborhoods so that La Crosse is a city where people choose to live. Neighborhoods are the backbone of our community.
My third priority is to improve city hall customer service and communication by promoting mutual respect, transparency and collaboration.
4. What are your long-term goals for the City of La Crosse?
My long-term goals include increasing the number of good paying, family supporting jobs and expanding our tax base by growing our existing businesses and recruiting new complimentary businesses. I also will enhance and promote La Crosse's excellent quality of life by focusing on the arts, education, our natural resources and neighborhoods. And finally, as Mayor I will make city hall customer service and operations first class, so that our citizens and taxpayers receive high quality services that they can afford.
5. The current mayor and the City Council have had disagreements about several city issues lately. If elected mayor, what will you do to work with the City Council?
As Mayor I will promote mutual respect, transparency and collaboration in working with the City Council. I will also listen to our citizens and taxpayers. I will show respect to all City Council members and listen attentively, as this is how to be an effective leader.
6. How will you balance the city budget?
As Mayor I will work with our citizens, departments and city council to develop an effective and efficient city budget. We cannot cut our way to growth and prosperity and we must look creatively for alternative revenues including grants, sharing resources with other jurisdictions and collaborating with our neighbors.
7. Are you in favor of raising property taxes?
No I am not in favor of raising property taxes because there are too many people and families hurting right now. We must invest in our city and work to provide the most efficient and effective services that our taxpayers can afford.
8. How long have you lived in La Crosse?
I was born in La Crosse and grew up in Holmen. I have lived in La Crosse for over 13 years.
9. What do you like most and least about living in La Crosse?
What I like the most is that we have so much going on in La Crosse for a city of our size. Every weekend is full of so many events, festivals, and family activities. We have great arts and night life, excellent education and health care, natural beauty and opportunities to enjoy nature, and wonderful neighborhoods. But what I like most are the people. The people of La Crosse care about and give back to their community like no other place I have lived.
I don't feel that La Crosse is currently living up to it's fullest potential in economic development, certain challenged neighborhoods and City Hall.
10. Tell us about your family.
My wife Christy is an adjunct English professor at Viterbo University teaching writing and sustainability. My daughter Emma, 18, is a senior at Logan High School and my son Joe, 15, is a freshman at Logan. We love to get outside whenever possible, camping and enjoying nature.