Council's New Gang of 5 Seek Mood of Cooperation at City Hall - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Council's New Gang of 5 Seek Mood of Cooperation at City Hall


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- Tim Kabat will be sworn in as the new mayor of La Crosse April 16. 

But also on-tap to be sworn in that day are four new, first time members of the common council. 

Dempsey Miller won the open council seat in District two. Ryan Cornett won an open seat in District 3, and David Krump and Peg Jerome won open seats in Districts 6 and 10, respectively. 

In the only other contested race on the ballot, Katherine Svitavsky retained her District 5 seat.

"It's a very different dynamic on the council now, especially with the new mayor," Svitavsky said. "I'm excited to see how it plays out." 

Cornett, a student at the UW-La Crosse, said the city's growing drug problem inspired him to run for office. 

He also acknowledged the five victors of Tuesday night's contested council races have begun to form an alliance. They all celebrated Kabat's victory together at the Bodega Brew Pub downtown. 

"We all worked very hard in this race," Cornett said. "We want to bring some new ideas and some younger blood to the city council and work together to solve the issues we have in the city."  

A common theme among all members of the council's new gang of five is collaboration. 
"The last couple years we've seen a very visceral mood in city politics," Cornett said. "So we need to work together and get things solved." 

"Hopefully the new council will be one that can work together," Jerome said. 

"We have to make sure to have intelligent conversations about each district," said Miller. "Great communication and great leadership -- those will be our goals." 

Krump, making his second run for office after losing to eventual winner Jill Billings in the 2011 democratic primary for the 95th assembly seat, said he is hoping to better market the advantages of living in the city of La Crosse to moving further away to the surrounding suburbs. 

He also said he believes the key to a successful spell on the council is to set long-term goals from the outset. 

"Councils obviously have to maintain fluidity to handle divergent issues as they arise that are timely," Krump said, "but I would like to see an agenda." 

"We need some type of metric to measure how, after four years, we gauge our success," Krump said.  

Meanwhile outgoing mayor Matt Harter provided a few words of wisdom to all incoming elected officials. 

"As long as whoever is elected continues to look to the people for advice and look to the people for leadership of the community, about where those people want the community to head and the vision they want to maintain for our community, I think any elected official cannot go wrong," Harter said. 

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