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La Crosse Center board has questions for mayor about downsizing

Brad Williams

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The La Crosse Center board wants to hear more from the mayor, about any plans for changing the building’s management. 

Mayor Tim Kabat has suggested phasing out the position of civic center director, as part of a plan to streamline the city government. 

But board members argue that the building is run well by a four-person management team, and the team should be kept together as the center is going through a $42 million remodeling. 

The board has requested a meeting with Kabat, to ask for more details about his re-organization plan.   

Center board president Brent Smith says cutting the job of building manager could be a short-term remedy for budget shortfalls, but what happens to the civic center in future years?    

“While we’re all thinking about (building manager) Art (Fahey) and the management team, we also should be thinking big-picture as to what does this mean for the center in 2022, 2023, 2025?” said Smith.

Part of Kabat’s plan might depend on whether Fahey and city engineer Randy Turtenwald retire in the next couple of years.

The center board also wants more time to consider possible advertising slogans for the expanded building.

Vendi Advertising has proposed taglines such as “Magnificent River, Memorable Events” and “Meet on the Mississippi.”

Board members are divided on whether to emphasize the building’s location on the riverfront in its advertising, or to downplay the river as a draw for visitors to the center.

       

     

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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