Mayoral candidates face-off in first debate - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Mayoral candidates face-off in first debate


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)—The candidates for mayor of La Crosse made their case to voters at the first debate Thursday night. It was the first of a series of debates between the two mayoral candidates, Doug Farmer and Tim Kabat.

It was a full house at the Unitarian Universalist fellowship building. The debate was moderated by UW-La Crosse professor Joe Heim. though the questions came primarily from the audience.

Among those questions: what do the candidates want to do with the mobile oil site? Both candidates agree it should become a residential area, with bike and walking paths.

And quite a few of the questions evolved around improving neighborhoods and making the city safer.

"We've got to have more new housing so our neighborhoods become a destination for families and where they wanna live," Kabat said. "And they have to be safe as well. So if we can work with our La Crosse Police Department create a more effective community policing model where we have our police officers out of their cars more often, walking the beat."

Farmer says he wants to see revitalization of existing neighborhoods.

"We have to rehabilitate the parts of the neighborhoods and the city that need help and need our attention and tonight I said we should spend $3 million in that effort in the next two years," Farmer said. "And we have to preserve what we have. And preserving what we have is inspection codes but also we need to have enforcement of the quality of life crimes. That's public urination, people parking in the allies so we can't get out, public drunkenness."

The spring election is set for April 2.

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