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Mayor Kabat says La Crosse is bouncing back after rough 2020

Brad Williams

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The past year has been trying for Americans, facing a pandemic, racial tensions, and even a riot at the U.S. Capitol, but the mayor of La Crosse says this city has come through those problems well.     

Tim Kabat gave his final ‘state of the city’ message as mayor to the La Crosse city council last night. 

Kabat cited several accomplishments during his 8-year administration, such as reduced crime, providing affordable housing, and community development.

“Our organization, and our community, showed its resilience, its compassion, and strength all throughout last year,” said Kabat.

The final year of Kabat’s tenure as mayor of La Crosse has been dominated by the COVID pandemic. 

Kabat tells the city council that the community has worked hard to control the disease, closing offices, libraries, and swimming pools.

The mayor says it was also difficult to cancel La Crosse’s major celebrations such as Oktoberfest and Riverfest, but he believes the city is looking forward to getting back to ‘more normal’ events, possibly later this year.   

Kabat also says La Crosse has become a more inclusive place in the past decade, replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day, and having the Hiawatha statue removed from Riverside Park last year.

The mayor, who decided not to run for a third term in the April election, thanked the city for “an unbelievable experience for me and my family” to serve as mayor of “this beautiful, vibrant, and caring community.”

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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