Kabat busy, excited on first full day at the top of city hall - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Kabat busy, excited on first full day at the top of city hall

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- Tim Kabat arrived at City Hall at 9:30 Wednesday for his first, full day in office. 

Kabat was sworn is as Mayor of La Crosse Tuesday evening. 

Among the biggest benefits of occupying the mayor's office on the sixth floor is the sweeping view of downtown La Crosse's from its window. 

"We have a great city, that's for sure," said Kabat while admiring the view. 

"I'm going to miss the view at 5th and Main streets, because that was really nice for people watching and there was always a lot of activity," he said of his old office at La Crosse's Downtown Main Street, Inc. 

"But this is also a really nice view," Kabat said. 

The Mayor spent his first full day in office meeting with representatives from various city departments. 

"I told my assistant, we need to sit down with each department individually so that I can learn what's going on," the Mayor said. "We're going to be doing a lot of listening and not very much talking." 

Kabat said he believes it's important to familiarize himself with each department before he and the council begin crafting a city budget. 

"The city's biggest policy document is the budget, so we really want to do that right," Kabat said. "We are going to have to get creative in how we fund some of our programs because we're limited by the state in what we can do when it comes to the tax levy." 

"So it is going to be a challenge," he said. "That part of it is daunting." 

Kabat said he's particularly concerned with providing the police and fire departments adequate resources to operate with. 

"Police and fire are very critical and each one is down a number of positions from the last several years," the Mayor said. "So if we want to continue providing first class services we've got to look for ways to do that. There's got to be some creativity  -- whether it's obtaining funding through grants or a more regional approach." 

Kabat said he envisions a so-called "regional" approach to involve police and fire departments from around the area working in close collaboration. 

But Kabat said even amidst what promises to be a hectic first week, he'll still find time to enjoy being the new mayor. 

"It's starting to sink in," Kabat said. "I've done the log in to my computer and signed all the IT agreements." 

"I'm a city employee now," he said, "it kind of feels that way." 

 

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