Wisconsin News

City council fails to override Mayor Harter's veto

LA CROSSE, Wis. - La Crosse's Committee of the Whole will continue on in 2013. La Crosse's city council failed to override a veto of Mayor Harter's, that keeps the monthly Committee of the Whole meeting from ending.

The council originally voted to get rid of the monthly meeting, which serves as a public forum, for a three month trial run.

Those for getting rid of the meeting say it's about streamlining city government, and making it easier for residents to have their voices heard by their representatives.

"Sometimes to accomplish the simplest things, it can be a matter of zoning or getting a design approved. And hear our staff have to tell these people, 'You're going to have to go to the board of public works, and then the city planning commission, and then you'll go to a standing committee. And then you'll have to go to the committee of the whole, and then you'll still have the council meeting after that,'" said council member Jai Johnson during Thursday night's meeting.

In Mayor Harter's veto he said doing away with the committee of the whole meeting does not improve the legislative process.

Council members against getting rid of monthly meeting say it would take away a chance for residents to speak to the entire council. But even they can agree that something needs to be done to improve the sometimes drawn out process.


"I think what is important and I do agree with what you said in the message, that we do have to improve our processes here. I doubt if there is anyone sitting here who doesn't think the city, and the council specifically, can make our operations more efficient," said council member Douglas Happel.

La Crosse residents can expect things to remain the status quo, with Committee of the whole meetings taking place on the second Tuesday of every month.

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