LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Since voters in La Crosse rejected the idea of hiring a city administrator in the spring, some on the council have looked for alternative ways to identify inefficiencies in city government.
Tuesday, the idea of bringing in an independent consultant took a step forward.
The council's committee of the whole decided to put off a final decision on whether to spend about $125 thousand for the service, but instead voted 15 to 1 to recommend the full council vote to establish a research committee.
That committee would come up with proposals as to what services the consultant would provide, and then those proposals would be brought back to the council which would vote on whether to hire someone.
"We're looking at operations, expenditures, at revenues coming in and I think what happens next is taking a good look at what we're doing here," said Mayor Matt Harter.
"That should come first before going further down the road of expending any funds towards a consultant," the Mayor said.
Council Member Doug Happel, of the 15th District, said he supports the hiring of a consultant, despite objections from La Crosse's Tea Party – two members of which spoke Tuesday night, arguing department heads should be able to identify inefficiencies on their own.
"We have excellent department heads. I have the utmost respect for what they do," Happel said.
"But the inefficiencies are within the departments," he added. "So we need someone from the outside looking at all the departments together, rather than having one department say you can cut from another department and it eventually becomes a circle with everybody pointing at each other."
The final vote on adopting the amendment will come Thursday.
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