What will be your top priority if elected as Mayor of La Crosse?
The number one priority for me will be seeing how our people are doing. We have people that have lost jobs, we have evictions that are now put on hold, and with the election not being until April things could change. So, it's really assessing how are our people doing, how are our resources aligned to help them, and then moving that forward so we can get our economy back up and running.
What do you think is the city's most urgent economic issue and how do you propose to address it?
COVID has accelerated how much we're buying online and that has had a significant impact on our local economy.
The number one thing we have to do is to start assessing how tourism comes back. We really need to assess what it looks like to open back up to visitors in a very safe way because that's what fuels our restaurants and our accommodations who combined saw a $70 million hit. We have to really focus on refueling our economy -- that's a major source of revenue for us. Otherwise, that puts a significant burden on our tax base to support all the services that are needed.
What is your assessment of community/race relations and policing in La Crosse? Do you think improvements are necessary and if so, what would they entail?
Obviously, we have individuals that are concerned with our policing. It's extremely critical that we listen to those concerns, that we understand, that we find solutions that are going to address why that's happening so we create solutions that will have an impact.
We do have a police and fire commission that looks at all of the concerns. I think the survey that's happening right now is a great opportunity to gather feedback.
And we have a new police chief and I've heard great things about him being willing to adjust.
In short, I think everyone is willing to come to the table and find some solutions so that we don't have people who are feeling that they are underrepresented or mistreated by a system that's designed to keep us all safe.
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Vicki Markussen, the former head of the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce, said she was in the running for mayor.
She said she's running to help lead the city out of the COVID crisis with a unified approach. "I'm really looking forward to rallying the spirit of the people of La Crosse around the tremendous challenges and the tremendous opportunities ahead of us," she said.
Learn more about the other candidates for La Crosse Mayor: