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What if both mayor and council president become incapacitated? La Crosse’s Kabat to name successors



File photo - La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat at City Hall.

La Crosse city leaders are going through the books to see what all the contingency plans are, in case this viral pandemic gets worse.


Part of the original plan for Thursday’s city council meeting was to discuss the option of naming a council vice president, in case the president couldn’t perform their duties.

But, while doing that, they decided to change things up a bit. It’s not so much about the council anymore, as it is about the mayor position, itself.

“The civics lessons that are kind of going on right now,” Kabat said Wednesday on La Crosse Talk PM, “in a whole number of avenues and city operations … we do have a very active Emergency Management plan but you don’t necessarily think of, ‘What happens if both the mayor and the council president are not available?’

“So, we’re working on that. Hopefully we’ll have that done, and the council can act on that.”

Kabat said, if he becomes incapacitated for whatever reason, the city council president, who is Martin Gaul, would take over the mayoral duties. After that, however, there’s a plan on the books, but nobody has named those successors, because why would anyone think the mayor and the council president would become incapacitated?

“As we’re digging through our emergency plan, and having those conversations, our current rules allow for the mayor to appoint two successors after the council president,” Kabat said.

Kabat added that, at Thursday’s meeting, he will appoint Police Chief Shawn Kudron and Fire Chief Ken Gilliam to be the Nos. 3 and 4 on the leadership pecking order.

The council committee will meet at 5:15 p.m., the judiciary committee at 5:30 p.m. and the finance and personnel committee at 5:45 p.m. The council meeting will then take place at 6 p.m.

The meetings should be on YouTube here.

Check all the items on the agenda on the city’s webpage here.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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