Connect with us


La Crosse County Republican Party shares unsourced flyer on homeless in parks; City council member Janssen discusses “no camping” amendment



Republicans in La Crosse County are publicizing what appears to be an effort to prevent homeless people or others from camping in city parks.

On its Facebook page, the La Crosse County Republican Party shows a picture of a flyer with the headline ‘Save Our Parks!’

The flyer shows no affiliation to any group and mentions a council plan at a park that is not on any city agenda.

La Crosse City Council member Barb Janssen was on La Crosse Talk PM on Monday and said the council is actually discussing the opposite.

Last week, the council tried amending camping rules in parks to allow for better enforcement.

“So the amendment to the ordinance provides a little more detail to what would actually be considered camping,” Janssen said. “It also makes changes so that we don’t have to have a physical sign that says “Park closed” or “No camping.” “It seems that those signs keep disappearing.

“It’s actually just making some fine tuning to the current ordinance that the parks do close at 11 p.m. and there is no camping. There never has been camping allowed in parks and we’re not doing anything new, we’re just making it easier to enforce.”

In the spring of 2022, Houska Park was designated a campground and, therefore, camping was then allowed there, but that ended last fall and cleanup for the park began last spring.

The city council did not vote on amending the camping ordinance at last week’s monthly meeting, instead putting it off until next month so it could go through the committee process.

The amendment had been, as Janssen described, “short circuited” to go straight to the city council for vote last week.

“My understanding is they felt that it was urgent to get this taken care of,” Janssen said. “I personally felt that, because it was such a controversial item, that it needed the full time allocation for public input, so that’s why I recommended that we refer it and that did pass.”

The camping bill is on the Judiciary and Administration Committee’s agenda for July 5. It defines camping and campsites and adds verbiage that it’s illegal to camp after 11 p.m. whether there’s a sign there or not.

Janssen noted that the ‘No camping’ signs “keep disappearing.”

So far, there are 14 letters on the agenda in support of the amendment and 38 in opposition. At last week’s meeting, 30 people submitted letters to the council in opposition and nine more came to the meeting, while six wrote letters in support and two supporters came ot the meeting.

Meanwhile, the flyer shared (shown below) by the La Crosse County Republican Party states, “The council is now considering a counter proposal to establish officially designated homeless encampments in public parks throughout the city such as Weigent Park!”

But, nowhere on any committee agenda, at this point, does it show the council looking to recreate anything like a Houska Park campground or “encampments.”

The La Crosse County Republican Party also called the news release of a city-county joint effort to take a leadership role in helping homeless “essentially nothing.”

The party also then criticized the release, stating, “What doesn’t the plan mention? “Oh… let’s see. Maybe the main causes of homelessness? -Drug and alcohol addiction. -Mental illness.”

Over the past week, Janssen, La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds and both the city of La Crosse homeless coordinator, Brian Sampson, and La Crosse County Supervisor of Prevention and Community Programming, Isaac Hoffman, have discussed the situation in various ways — from the city council’s perspective to the city-county announcement of creating a five-year plan to help the homeless.

Facebook post shared by the La Crosse County Republican Party.
Continue Reading


  1. Carol Herlitzka

    June 21, 2023 at 6:10 am

    We should not allow homeless people in our campgrounds or parks. If children are involved, send them to a motel! Children should be able to have a full bathroom and bedroom to use. There parents should take the responsibility to teach them to pickup after themselves.

    • Sue

      June 21, 2023 at 3:10 pm

      Where should they go?

  2. Ken

    June 21, 2023 at 8:18 am

    It’s gotten quite bad, they are even camping at Powell Park now. The problem is that this scares people and children away from using the parks for their intended purpose. Please fix this issue! Send them somewhere else than our parks!

  3. mary

    June 21, 2023 at 1:37 pm

    the fact that they are not made to take care of the areas they are staying is a big problem. some of them do not care if they leave their garbage, needles, human waste… there needs to be a place big enough – like the salvation arm type area – that they can go and get out of the elements, store their belongings, get a shower or a meal, apply for jobs, get resources to help with addiction. If they do not want to abide by the law, then that should be when it is treated as such. The city has already spend a lot of money just for sheltering just a few (like the motel for a winter) … that money could have been used as a permanent solution. The reason people do not want them staying at places like goose, hillview, or church basements is because they are not made to help themselves. Why not? I was told by law they do not have to clean up the places they stay without getting paid for it. If they go with the parks like goose.. they should assign them a spot and if they do not take care of it and keep it clean, if they use drugs, or anything else that any other people would get ticketed for… they should not be allowed to be there. They should have to clean the rest rooms and showers they use. there needs to be security so there isn’t the human trafficking and meth making ect that was happening at the motel. I feel most want to help. but they are tired of the rules not applying to the homeless.

  4. Kent Porter

    July 7, 2023 at 5:36 am

    They just lay around all day , making a trip to Kwik Trip to pick up some booze , wash up in the restroom , then back to the Park for some meth smoking and heroin shooting , then just lay around all day and do it again tomorrow , while little kids are finding heroin needles in their alleys and yards , These people need drug and alcohol treatment , they need to get jobs , and if they don’t want to do that then they can sit in jail and get sobered up !!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *