Mayoral candidates want cooperation at City Hall - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Mayoral candidates want cooperation at City Hall

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- A little over a month until election day and the two mayoral candidates, Doug farmer and Tim Kabat are laying out their plans for the city.

While they plan to tackle the job with different strategies, both candidates want to see more cooperation at city hall.

"It is a weak-mayor, strong-council form of government," Farmer said. "And just by that definition alone, it lets you know there has to be a relationship between the mayor and the council."

The current mayor used his veto nearly 30 times and the council almost always overrode the veto.

"Having the veto, it's a negative type of tool," Kabat said. "I would prefer to sit down ahead of time and be more engaged with helping to work with the council."

Both candidates have worked at city hall in some capacity and each says that experience will help them unite the office of mayor, the council and the community.

"I've spent 26 years in those council chambers. I know a lot of them very, very well and you just don't' get to know people that well in a week or over a cup of coffee," Farmer said. "So I have a very good working relationship with many of them."

"I feel like I also have very good relationships with our current city council members and our department heads," Kabat said. "That comes both from my time in City Hall when I was here working as a professional staff person but also from my time working in Downtown Main Street."

Kabat say she wants to hold regular listening sessions with the community.

"Coffee with Kabat, that or a Mayor's Night Out, that will be focused on our neighborhoods and on our citizens because I want to hear from those people first hand," Kabat said.

Meanwhile Farmer says public input is done through elections and being available to constituents.

"In the end you're either in the phone book taking calls or out there and you either believe in elections or you don't," Farmer said. "And elections force you around, they make it so you talk to people you otherwise wouldn't."

Though their agendas may be different Farmer and Kabat both say the tone in City Hall needs to change in order to get things done in the city.

The election is Tuesday April 2.

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