Tim Kabat is the 42nd Mayor of the City of La Crosse.
Timothy Kabat was born at St. Francis Hospital in La Crosse to parents Bill and Loretta Kabat. He spent his first few years growing up on 31st Street on the south side before moving to Holmen, Wisconsin. Tim is the oldest of four and has two brothers and a sister. Tim graduated from Holmen High School in 1984 and was a member of the National Honor Society and lettered in baseball and golf. His father Bill worked for Holsum Bakery in downtown La Crosse and was active in the National Bakery, Tobacco and Confectionary Workers Union. His mother Loretta was president of River City Credit Union in La Crosse.
Tim attended Viterbo College and graduated from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse in 1988 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Tim worked at Menards while attending UW-L and became a manager trainee upon graduation. Tim accepted a manager position with Menards and helped open a new store in Champaign, Illinois in 1988-89. In 1990 Tim was accepted and attended graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, graduating with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning in 1992. Tim’s emphasis during graduate school was economic development and he completed a comprehensive plan update for DeWitt County, Illinois as a part of his studies. While attending graduate school, Tim worked as an intern in the city of Champaign’s Planning Department working on a city building condition inventory and assisting with the city’s comprehensive plan update. It was during this time he met his future wife Christy, who also worked at the city of Champaign.
Tim’s first job upon graduation was with the city of South Bend, Indiana in the Neighborhood Services Department. At South Bend he staffed neighborhood groups and worked on the St. Joseph County housing affordability report. While living in South Bend, Christy and Tim were married on January 21st, 1994. Later in 1994, Tim and Christy moved to West Palm Beach, Florida where Tim worked as an Associate Planner for the city of West Palm Beach. His work at the city included review and analysis of new development proposals in the fast growing region of southeast Florida. While in Florida, Tim and Christy welcomed their daughter Emma. In 1995 Tim accepted a position as the Planning & Zoning Administrator for Sauk County, Wisconsin in Baraboo. Tim worked on a number of projects including drafting a new county-wide comprehensive plan, creation of a county purchase of development rights program as a part of the U.S. Highway 12 improvement project and starting a local reuse plan for the Badger Army Ammunition Plant. In 1997 Tim and Christy welcomed a son, Joe. In 2000 Tim accepted a position with the city of Madison as a Senior Planner. During his time in Madison, Tim helped draft a future land use and transportation plan for a new west-side neighborhood and also worked with neighborhood and business leaders to create a redevelopment plan for the east rail corridor on the city’s Isthmus.
Briefly in 2002-03, Tim worked for The Nature Conservancy in Madison before moving back to La Crosse with his family in 2003 to accept the position of Planning & Development Administrator for the city of La Crosse. Tim’s work focused on the city’s economic development program, administering the city’s small business loans, industrial parks and tax increment finance districts. Tim helped draft the city’s Economic Development Strategic Plan, the City Vision 2020 Downtown La Crosse Master Plan and the La Crosse Metropatterns Report. Tim helped form the La Crosse City Arts Board, researched and drafted a policy for the city’s economic development incentives program and led the efforts to create the La Crosse Strategic Plan for Sustainability.
In 2010 Tim accepted the Executive Director position with Downtown Mainstreet Inc. (DMI). During his time at DMI, Tim has promoted downtown events, assisted small businesses and new start-ups, implemented clean-up and beautification programs and helped grow memberships and participation in the organization by over 60%. Tim has also served as the interim executive director for the La Crosse County Historical Society and as an Associate Lecturer at UW-La Crosse teaching a microeconomics and public policy class in the economics department. Tim currently serves on the Board of Directors for the La Crosse County Historical Society and is a member of the Downtown La Crosse Rotary Club. Previously Tim served as a member of the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board and on the Hmong Mutual Assistance Association’s fundraising committee for the La Crosse Area Hmong Community and Cultural Center.
Tim has presented at state and regional planning and downtown conferences on topics ranging from reuse of historic buildings for employment to La Crosse and sustainability and has been recognized with a DMI “Making a Difference” award in 2004 and a La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership award in 2005.
Tim and his family love the outdoors, hiking and camping whenever they can.
Tim looks forward to continuing his public service by serving as the Mayor of the city of La Crosse. He is excited by the city’s opportunities and challenges—ready to help strengthen and revitalize our neighborhoods, help grow jobs and our businesses and work to improve city hall operations and transparency.
Boards and Committees