What will be your top priority if elected as Mayor of La Crosse? My number one priority is that the people of La Crosse are taken care of and the small businesses of La Crosse are taken care of. To make that happen, it's going to make that happen. It's going to take more than just a one option answer. It's going to go into affordable housing, it's going to go into looking at the homeless situation and it's going to go into how we keep small businesses running after the COVID itself is done because we're still going to have the financial backlash afterward.
What do you think is the city's most urgent economic issue and how do you propose to address it? As far as helping small businesses, the city itself has done a pretty decent job. They've raised over $500,000 in grants which are fantastic. I'd like to see some other big business step in. I'd like to see Kwik Trip do something. I think they've such an amazing business and done so much for some of the people. I'd really like to see them help the city out more right now. A big thing is going to be communication. It's unfortunate when you look at these grants that we've had for small businesses, you look at the CARES Act grant and it was kind of a big flop here in La Crosse. Shenanigans was the big one that got $360 some thousand dollars and not another small business in town. To me, that's almost like a crime. I think council people that are in their districts need to be going out and talking to businesses and talking to the people to find out what they need and also educating them on the options that are out there. At a city level, we're kind of set right now. The only other thing we can do is start reallocating some of our funds from the budget but for the first year, that's going to be tough. We already took 4 point some million dollars in the budget to help out with the deficit that we had. It's going to be really tight this year. We're really going to have to focus our budget on what's necessary and there are some areas in our budget that I think we can trim and focus on too small business.
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? I think improvements are necessary. That's a big reason why BIPOC has been doing so much in the area. I hope the city uses them as a valuable resource for a lot of the information and ideas that they have. When it comes to the policing portion of that, it's unfortunate that we need to continue to reeducate the people that we hire to protect us. I think that there needs to be a little bit more of an audit on that system where education is very important when it comes to race relations, but I think it's much more important on a younger level because those are the building block, so we don't have the issues that we're having now with some of the adults that are working for the city. Basically, at this point, where the world is right now, if there is any type of racial injustice that's caused by a city official, they should be done. We should really only be hiring the people that we know won't have those issues. There are people who just have a mentality that is just incorrect, and we need to go through and really test them and find out where they're at, and if they can't do it we need to replace them with someone who can.
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Businessman Chris Stolpa attempts to bring a new perspective to the Mayoral position with his campaign.
Stolpa has lived in La Crosse his whole life and used to own a bar and restaurant in the city.
He said his small business experience helped him develop a thick skin and get to know real people in the community.
Though he said he respects the other candidates his main campaign effort revolves around his "non-career-politician" background.
"I don't have that aspect where I'm coming in with some pre-conceived notions of things already," Stolpa said. "I'm really here to be molded by the city and with the people and the business and what the city itself wants which I think gives me a little bit different of an angle."
Stolpa said the city should not spend money on big projects, but rather focus on grant development and communication for small businesses.
Learn more about the other candidates for La Crosse Mayor: