What will be your top priority if elected as Mayor of La Crosse?
The biggest thing is recovery from the pandemic. Right now, supporting small businesses in my eyes is the number one priority. We have to be a little bit creative in finding funds for them. I don't know if we can tap into the reserve fund that we have for the city or not, but I know for sure that we can definitely suspend some of the fees and licenses, get creative with some of the permits and relax regulations so that we make it easier for small businesses to survive the next year or two.
What do you think is the city's most urgent economic issue and how do you propose to address it? I think recovering from the pandemic of course but not just for small business. I think everyone needs a little bit of relief. It would be nice to see our property taxes freeze for the next three to four years. Even for people who don't own businesses, they did get hurt with the economy, the way things are. There are some sectors like big companies that did prosper last year. I think most of the regular people have felt the pain. We should start looking into ways of bringing people downtown and around the city, try to jumpstart tourism again, bring all the players to the table. We have to work together to get out of this slump we're in.
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? We always need to improve. With that said, I think we're doing very well as a community. We need to celebrate our different cultures. We need to eliminate fears and prejudices and just encourage acceptance. I think celebrating our differences would bring everyone together. We can continue the police outreach and all of the community efforts that they're doing, maybe just encourage them to do a few more of these. I know they had the neighborhood parties but I know we can get them to be a little more visible around the community.
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - A La Crosse business owner is making a bid to become the next mayor of the city.
Greg Saliaras operates Soula’s Cuisina located on Main St. in downtown La Crosse. Saliaras has lived in La Crosse for the last eight years. He said he loves the city, but has felt firsthand the effects of the pandemic on small business in the downtown area.
"I know there is a need for change. People need to get involved. Complaining does not help unless you are willing to put in the time in to do some things different and work for some change. I think we are going to work for a little bit of change and we’ll see what happens," said Saliaras,
Saliaras will begin his campaign on Tuesday by starting to collect signatures to appear on the ballot.
Mayor Tim Kabat plans to announce his intentions during a virtual news conference on Tuesday. Kabat is currently serving in his second term.
As reported in September, City Council member Jessica Olson said she was considering a run for mayor. On Monday, she confirmed her intention with a statement to News 19 that reads:
"I am running for Mayor because La Crosse needs new leadership to move us forward. We need a more coordinated and effective strategy to reduce homelessness. We need to make good business decisions to recover economically in the wake of COVID 19. My background and experience will enable me to hit the ground running as Mayor. With servant leadership as the core of my philosophy, I look to the difficulty ahead with energy, enthusiasm, and compassion."Jessica Olson - City Council District 8
The mayoral election in La Crosse will take place in April 2021.
Learn more about the other candidates for La Crosse Mayor: