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La Crosse Mayor Reynolds on cuts in regards to pools, libraries, police, fire



FILE PHOTO: La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds.

Mayor Mitch Reynolds joined La Crosse Talk PM on Monday to discuss city’s budget process and what looks to be cuts in regards to police, fire, libraries and pools. We also talked about how he’s involved in protecting the Mississippi River from piping water to the west.

La Crosse Talk PM airs weekdays at 5:06 p.m. Listen on the WIZM app, online here, or on 92.3 FM / 1410 AM / 106.7 FM (north of Onalaska). Find all the podcasts here or subscribe to La Crosse Talk PM wherever you get your podcasts.

Before we got into any of that, however, we did open with sports, including UW-La Crosse beating UW-Whitewater for the first time since 2005. We also discussed politicians in Madison fighting over how to give the Milwaukee Brewers what’s proposed to be $600 million for stadium upgrades.

In regards to the compact (10:50), Reynolds is co-chair of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI) and one of the talking points we hit on was this notion of a water pipeline to water-starved Arizona.

After that, we talked about Monday’s Board of Estimates meeting (21:00) and how the city will have to make some sacrifices, including possibly closing the South Branch Public Library, potentially closing a swimming pool down the road, and some cost-saving measures within the police and fire departments, including leaving open positions unfilled.

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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  1. Richard Lepsch

    October 10, 2023 at 5:53 am

    Maybe it’s time to cut back the mayor and find someone who can run the city.

  2. The dude

    October 12, 2023 at 5:10 pm

    It finally comes to fruition that people realize “nothing is free”. Our July 2023 shared revenue in Lacrosse County is $2,493,116.80 and we still can’t make ends meet.

    Look back at the dollars spent on housing the homeless in motels. The dollars spent on cleaning up the motels and repayment for damage from the homeless. The police calls, the dollars spent on cleaning and rebuilding of the parks,fencing the underpasses. It is the mayoral POLICY that makes it acceptable to loiter, squat, pan handle, and be a public nuisance.

    Over and above these issues and cost, the local government elects to “spend” or borrow money or muni bonds rather than being fiscally responsible as the private sector has to. It astounds me that there was even a school referendum for $194.7 million when enrollment is going down. In our private lives we typically don’t go our and build a million dollar home when our children move out.

    It just amazes me that spending “other peoples” money is easy until it runs out. Now “oops” we have a budget shortfall and need to cut.

    I hear commentators talk about the state of Wisconsin surplus. When costs go up, or property values go up, tax revenue goes up and creates a short term surplus. Some folks want to tap into it and SPEND or return it. Look at where this leads us to, shortfalls and now cuts.

    In our personal lives we have to have some savings for a rainy day.

    • walden

      October 12, 2023 at 10:24 pm

      You haven’t seen anything yet. This year City property taxes will be increasing $250+ on a $250,000 assessed home. Next year, school taxes will go up another $450 on that same home even though school enrollment is decreasing, as a result of the school operating referendum.

      The accumulated financial impact of these taxes along with inflation and ever increasing assessed values will force more people out of their homes.

      The mayor is on a short leash as an elected official. The school superintendent however is accountable to no-one. The school board has relinquished its oversight duties to the superintendent.

      • Kathy

        October 18, 2023 at 4:44 am

        Very well said Walden! I agree with you, especially after the Homeless had a Hotel FREE all winter and destroyed the rooms leaving more money to be dished out. I’m not cold hearted, I’m all for helping those that really want the help and are grateful. It shows, but to just give people a place to party at getting high all day/night and raise a ruckus nope sorry. Very frustrating.

  3. M. Reynolds

    October 13, 2023 at 12:49 pm

    To all of the listeners, readers, and residents of the city of Lacrosse, I sincerely apologize for the total and utter dis-regard in the use of your tax dollars. I am embarrassed and ashamed in the manner that I have squandered the dollars that you have provided the city for which you have entrusted me the responsibility to spend wisely.

    You may all say “I told you so” but that does not change the fact that I will be again spending your money in 2024 in the same manner that I have been. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity and again I appreciate you full support in the continued spending as I see fit.

  4. Reynolds, M

    October 13, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    The mayor is entitled to influence the spending of your tax dollars. Whether millions are spent on homeless and disregarding the “will of the people”. I am not humbled nor ashamed. I am happy that the residents of the city are blind. But alas, the city has spoken and have provided the elected officials the authority to spend monies as they see fit. Never fear we will keep spending un godly amounts on the homeless and other items and you the tax payer will no longer have a pool, have reduced fire protection, police protection and you will like it. Thanks for the continued votes.

  5. M.Reynolds

    October 13, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    Let me thank all of you for allowing for the spending of all of the hard earned taxes. Please vote fir the same elected officials for the city of Lacrosse. We will continue to reduce the services to the taxpayers while spend the hard earned taxes on people that don’t pay into the system. Agatha you.

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