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A residency requirement idea may have taken an unexpected turn in the La Crosse city council. Mayor Matt Harter wanted to have new non-union employees living within the city permanently. Didn't go over well with guys like city council member Bob Seaquist, who says forcing employees to live in the city permanently is regressive and hateful and will make it difficult for the city to hire well-qualified employees. Seaquist's counter-proposal: come up with a plan to entice employees to live in the city, rather than force them. Maybe, he says, low interest loans to buy a home in the city or to live in a blighted area.
In some ways, city government in La Crosse isn't exactly representative of the population of La Crosse. At least not when it comes to racial minorities. La Crosse is mostly white. Over ninety percent. But the African American population is around three percent and growing. The Asian American population is about five percent. And there's other minority populations as well. However, we've found very little diversity among full-time city employees. Of about five hundred forty that work for the city, 17 can be classified as racial minorities. 13 of those are Asian Americans. None are African American. Human Resources director, Wendy Oestreich tells us she'd love to hire some more minorities. But they just don't apply for jobs at city hall.
His county has the 4th lowest unemployment rate and 5th lowest property taxes in the state. Throw in an always balanced budget and Lacrosse County Board Chair Steve Doyle says he has all he needs to run for the 94th state assembly district seat.
Doyle announced this morning that he will give the open seat a shot......and says he knows he won't have much time to get his word out as a special election could be called for with a primary in April. But Doyle says if you expect him to spend the most money and sling the most mud....well he's not your guy.
His challengers........so far....Jake Speed and Lynetta Kopp.
Is it time for some reforms at Onalaska City Hall?
A plan to appoint a 'Reform Options Committee' will be introduced at tonight's Onalaska City Council meeting. Mayor Mike Giese wants to be sure that the committee follows city policies.
Giese worries that the plan is not very specific. The resolution calling for a committee suggests that it would study every Onalaska city department, and make recommendations on whether to eliminate or privatize some city services.