Sunday, June 04, 2023

Apathy or deliberate disinvitation?


One of my favorite TED Talks is The Antidote to Apathy by Dave Meslin, a Toronto-based activist. I think of it every time I try to read a legal notice in the back of the La Crosse Tribune about some demolition or zoning change request. I think about it when I see lots of invitations for input that doesn't seem to actually make it into the things being inputted about. I think of it when I ask someone about how to ask for something to get into the budget. ("Which budget? Oh, that happened months ago!" is the usual answer.) Meslin points out that if government really wanted people's input, they would ask for it in easy to understand language, they would make it easy to provide the input, and they would be transparent about what happens after you provide input.

I thought of it today when I got an email from a friend asking for public input to have $50,000 put back into a budget for signs identifying the Route 1 bike trail that goes from Onalaska, through La Crosse, and down to Goose Island. And, by the way, the Onalaska section of this route was signed YEARS ago.

But, which budget? Who do we provide input to? Where and when are the sessions? ! I had no clue and was too lazy or uninformed to figure it out. But thanks to another friend who also follows these things, here is the information. There is one public hearing Monday, June 5 at 6 p.m. and there will supposedly be one on June 12 at 6 p.m. but there won't be notice of that meeting until the day before, another great way to ensure no one knows about or attends it. You may also email comments to Andrea Trane in City Planning ( so that they will become part of the record.

The meeting is open for in-person attendance and will also be conducted through video conferencing.

To join the meeting click this link (or typing the URL in your web browser address bar):
Meeting ID: 889 9160 7803; Passcode: CPC23; Call in: 1-305-224-1968.

The meeting can be viewed by visiting the Legislative Information Center
( and clicking on the "In Progress" video link to the far right in the meeting list.

If you wish to speak on an agenda item, arrive early to sign up before the meeting begins. If attending virtually and you wish to speak, contact the Department of Planning, Development and Assessment at the email or phone number below so we can provide you with the necessary information to join in.

Members of the public who would like to provide written comments on any agenda may do so by emailing, using a drop box outside of City Hall or mailing the Department of Planning, Development and Assessment, 400 La Crosse Street, La Crosse WI 54601. Questions, call 608-789-7512.
  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Agenda Items: public hearing
    • 23-0663 Discussion, possible action and public hearing on the 2024-2028 Capital Improvement Project Budget.
Notice is further given that members of other governmental bodies may be present at the above scheduled meeting to gather information about a subject over which they have decision-making responsibility.
Requests from persons with a disability who need assistance to participate in this meeting should call the City Clerk's office at (608) 789-7510 or send an email to, with as much advance notice as possible. 
The list of unfunded requests starts on page 238 of the detailed report draft (hope you are a speed reader!) The Route 1 Signage is line 905 on page 239 in the Planning and Community Development - Neighborhoods section. 

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