The sermon nearly five years ago is etched in Mike Desmond’s mind and on his heart.

“I was at church one day at Viterbo (University), and Father Tom O’Neill — I swear he was looking right at me — said, ‘What have you done to help people in this community this week?’” Desmond recalled in an interview.

“I thought, ‘What have I done this week?’”

The late Rev. O’Neill’s question pricked Desmond’s conscience as he pondered whether to quit his job as a development officer for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to become executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse.

“My initial reaction was no — I was 55 and on state benefits. I could ease into retirement,” he said.

“But I was pulled here with the idea of making a difference in kids’ lives,” Desmond said as he sat in his office just off the gym at the Terry Erickson Club. “I believe God gives us the power to change what’s wrong in the world, and that’s how I ended up here.”

The Boys and Girls Clubs position has been a “perfect fit,” Desmond said. “People and experiences have showed me there is more joy in helping others. I have more joy, more happiness and more fulfillment than I’ve ever had in my life.”

Desmond has made many other contributions to his native La Crosse — from his 25 years of coaching at his alma mater, Aquinas High School, to the litany of boards and commissions on which he serves.

Desmond’s decades of selfless service earned him the title of the Tribune’s Person of the Year.

“Mike Desmond would be a strong candidate for Person of the Year just for his work with the Boys and Girls Club,” said Tribune Executive Editor Chris Hardie. “But it’s his willingness to take leadership roles in other important community issues that pushed his nomination to the top.

“It’s one thing to talk about the challenges in our community, but it’s another thing to do something about it. Mike is willing to invest the time and energy to do something about it,” Hardie said.

Desmond is a reluctant honoree, but believes it may help spread a message that community involvement is important.

“That’s a huge transformation for me,” he said. “There might have been a time I’d have enjoyed the hoopla, but getting recognition is inconsequential now.

“Experiences in my life and people in my life have taught me that it’s not about me,” said Desmond, a member of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

The two people who nominated Desmond to be the Tribune’s 12th Person of the Year — Jane Klekamp and Keith Belzer — wanted to make it about him just this once.

“I think what makes him especially worthy this year is that he has taken personal and professional aspects of his life and connected them to evolve into a very compassionate, effective policymaker,” said Klekamp, Justice Support Services manager for La Crosse County.

Klekamp has gotten to know Desmond since he began serving on the county’s Criminal Justice Management Council in 2008.

“He didn’t volunteer just to be on the council, but he works at it,” she said. “He goes beyond.”

Desmond applies the same work ethic on the county’s heroin task force, which was formed in 2013 and which he co-chairs, said Belzer, an attorney and member of the justice management council.

“He is an interesting combination of having strong ties to the business community and an astute awareness of the vulnerable population of La Crosse,” Belzer said. “He is very aware of their needs and can convey them to the business community.”

Desmond has played a key role in developing the Second Chance Program, which Belzer said will be unveiled soon, to help people who have been in the criminal justice system get jobs.

Desmond explained his dedication to that project: “One of the things we have learned is that, when people are released from jail, nobody will hire them. If they can’t get a job, they’ll go back to the same behaviors, and it becomes a revolving door.

“We think we can turn lives around” with the program, which he said has gained wide support from businesses such as Festival Foods, Inland Label and Marketing Services, River City Steel, McDonald’s, LHI and Kwik Trip.

Belzer also cited Desmond’s dedication to mental health, as a member and past chairman of the board of the Mental Health Coalition of the Greater La Crosse Area.

The issue is personal for Desmond and his family — wife Karen, son Mike, 29, daughter Katie, 27, and granddaughter Kaileen, nearly 5.

Katie has grappled with depression, mood swings and anxiety since high school.

“I speak openly as an advocate for mental health because I learned firsthand through my family the devastating effect depression and mental illness can have,” Desmond said. “It can shatter dreams if you let it.

“We have a real epidemic in this community regarding mental illness, and people are not aware of it,” he said. “We have to get over the stigma and the idea that they chose it.

“My daughter didn’t choose this,” Desmond said. “It led to some bad decisions, but she’s choosing to fight — and we’re choosing to fight with her.”

Katie said during an interview that the depression began when she was a teen, while the anxiety hit in her mid-teens and spiraled from there.

“After graduating from high school, I got into trouble,” Katie said. “I’ve been in an intense therapy program for three years, and it’s really working.”

She and her daughter, Kaileen, live with her parents, and she is looking for a job.

Her parents’ resolve to help Katie through the ordeal “means the world to me,” she said. “Without their support, I don’t know where I’d be, especially my dad.

“My dad is a supporter, a motivator and such an inspiration and so strong. Without him, I wouldn’t have made it through that part of my life. He cared and never gave up on me,” she said.

Echoing that is Patti Jo Severson, who has experienced mental health issues in her own family and serves with Desmond on the mental health coalition.

“There’s something about the strength of family and community that bind us together,” said Severson, chairwoman of the coalition board and a nutrition and health educator for behavioral health at Gundersen Health System.

“When Mike and I make a presentation together, the audience really listens to him. You can hear a pin drop,” Severson said. “It’s rare that a father shares about his struggles. He does it in coach fashion, that nobody can do it alone.

“If there is anything Mike brings to our community it is he brings a face to mental illness and mental health,” she said. “We are fortunate to have him to be heard. He gives us voices and takes away the shame and the stigma.

“Because of Mike, lives have been changed,” Severson said.

More than just coaching

Desmond excelled as a teacher and a coach at Aquinas, said Principal Ted Knutson, also the school’s athletic director.

“Much of his work was in development, but his biggest contributions were as an educator and coach — all of the lives he’s touched,” Knutson said.

Former basketball players attest to Desmond’s impact beyond his accumulation of a 402-173 record in nine years of coaching girls and 16 of coaching boys at Aquinas, including a state boys championship in 2003. Desmond was named the Tribune’s basketball coach of the year in 2003.

Desmond counts that championship as “one of my greatest moments — not just winning, but because of the way we won.

“We weren’t the biggest, or the strongest, or the most talented, but we were the best TEAM,” he insisted.

That’s because the players followed his preaching of the gospel of Duke University Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Desmond said.

That message is to teach the whole person, not just basketball, said Desmond, who touts Krzyzewski’s book, “Leading with the Heart: Coach K’s Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life,” and his other leadership tomes.

Desmond said he met Krzyzewski, read his books and adopted his philosophy.

“It’s coaching the whole person, not just the athlete. I made the decision to teach as much on people skills as basketball skills — and had better teams.”

More than any other, the 2003 team “bought into the idea that you can’t become whole as a person until you become a part of something greater than yourself,” he said.

The selfless concept left a lasting impression, said A.J. Halverson, who was a junior on that team.

“Every other coach I had was all about X’s and O’s, but Mike Desmond is not like that,” recalled Halverson.

“A half-hour before games, we got together and just talked about things, about each other, about things that were happening in our lives,” he said. “We’d talk about basketball, too, but he told us it didn’t matter who gets headlines and makes points.“

Acknowledging “struggles in my life” later, Halverson confessed, “There was a time I turned my back on Mike. It was no big thing that caused it, but he’s always supported me.

“My dad passed away last year, and Mike was there for me. He’s been my father. He’s been a big supporter of me and my family,” Halverson said.

“He gave me a job,” said Halverson, whom Desmond hired as an athletic director for the Boys and Girls Clubs.

Leadership qualities

Desmond’s leadership with the clubs has proved he was the right pick for the job, said Scott Mihalovic, who was president of the clubs’ board at the time and persuaded him to take the job.

“We had interviewed six or seven candidates but hadn’t found the right fit,” said Mihalovic, who is principal at Logan High School near the Terry Erickson Club.

“Mike Desmond’s name kept coming up,” Mihalovic said, leading to an impromptu meeting over dinner that sealed the deal shortly after the Rev. O’Neill’s eyes pierced Desmond’s at church.

“I’ll have to admit that, in that conversation, he got me very excited about what we could do here,” Desmond recalled. “He convinced me.”

Desmond funnels accolades toward staffers at the Boys and Girls Clubs, saying, “There’s an unbelievable group of dedicated young people here. I feel as good about this team as I did any basketball team. They’ve given up personal things for the good of the organization and the good of the kids.”

Desmond applies the same Coach K standards to himself as he did to his basketball players and club workers.

“He doesn’t care who gets the credit for things,” said Festival Foods founder Dave Skogen, one of Desmond’s recruits to co-chair the nearly $20 million UW-L campaign to build the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex, including a new stadium.

Desmond dubbed Skogen and the other two co-chairs in the mid-2000s drive — Dyanne Brudos of U.S. Bank and Duane Ring Jr. of CenturyLink — as his “Triple D” team.

“That was a very stressful time,” Desmond said. “People say I’m a bit on the competitive side. Well, on this, we weren’t going to lose. That’s why you have others like the Triple D.”

Despite the pressure, Skogen remembers Desmond’s inspiring a sense of camaraderie to generate support the complex, which was dedicated in September 2009.

“Raising money isn’t always fun, but he made it fun,” Skogen said. “He kept us focused and passionate about the project.”

Desmond “understands his higher purpose is to serve people and improve their lives,” Skogen said. “He has friendships and relationships with people on both sides of the spectrum — with affluent friends and families in poverty — but he treats everybody the same.

“He’s not full of himself, and he’s never looked at himself as too big, even with the successes he’s had,” he said. “The best word to describe him is humble.”

As for Desmond, he is quick to credit Skogen and others, including the Franciscan sisters who taught him at Blessed Sacrament Grade School and Aquinas, with molding his values and actions.

“When I was a young teacher at Aquinas, they (the Franciscan sisters) kinda took me under their wings,” said Desmond, the second-oldest child of John and Mary Desmond’s seven boys and one girl.

Desmond has managed to balance his community activism with his home life, said wife, Karen.

“He’s fabulous — he really is,” she said. “I don’t know where he gets the energy to devote his time all over the community and still have time for us. He’s like the Energizer Bunny.

“Our granddaughter lives with us, and you know how demanding a 5-year-old can be — it can drain you,” Karen said. “He finds time for me and my daughter and our granddaughter.

“He’s always been driven to do his very best,” she said. “He thrives on making a difference.”

(85) comments

Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich Hayek

Just keep in mind folks, Desmond is on early WRS retirement starting at 55. It's pretty easy to be benevolent when you are living off your neighbor's earnings.

And Desmond also benefited when his family's business stuck taxpayers with the contaminated property from their dry-cleaning business. They were paid market value for it and YOU are responsible for the decontamination costs.

RemoteEmployee
RemoteEmployee

Congratulations to Mike and all the nominees of the award. Each of you are an inspiration and I will work this year to give back to the community. You have each set the bar very high!!! Thank you for that. You all make La Crosse a better place in which to live. Best to all!

Comment deleted.
The Cross
The Cross

Pay attention. The land according to the DNR is contaminated and Desmonds stuck us with the bill.

lacrossetribreader
lacrossetribreader

It's John Desmond, Jr., who owned the business in the end and left the contamination in the soil for the city to clean up. He was even on a state committee where dry cleaner owners could pay annually into a clean-up fund (a minimal amount) and then the state would pay for the contamination clean up, but John Jr. wouldn't pay (source is Doug from DNR in Eau Claire). Unfortunately, the contamination seeped into other property owners' land in the industrial park, thus greatly devaluing other properties' market value.
Mike is deserving and a very humble, respectable family man. Please don't lump him with his sociopathic older brother.
Ps. The city needs to file a lawsuit/lien against John for payback of the clean up and enforce it!

The Cross
The Cross

I understand Mike did profit from the business and the sale of the land. As for his living off the taxpayers as a WRS early retiree, well...

David Jarzemski
David Jarzemski

I have 2 opinions on this story.

First, naming anyone 'person of the year' is wrong. Those who do a good job in town know who they are, and they don't need the publicity.

Second, for those who think the 2 critics (aka, woofwoof & The cross ) on here are useless, I say this: they are performing a valuable service to the community.

TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls
TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls

You have a warped sense of "valuable service to the community." I do not consider thousands of posts on the Tribune pages filled with rants and insults to be a valuable service. Apparently the people of La Crosse do not think much of Luce and Nestor as evidenced by a last place mayoral race finish and the success of Luce's council candidate.

David Lee
David Lee

You are as usual, wrong. They provide no service whatsoever. Craig for a long time was dedicated to tracking and voicing opinions on waste and incompetence, and he did in fact raise many issues, however now he has joined luce in that they attack private citizens with lot's of allegations and complaints. If they feel that they are as corrupt as they claim, they can always file a formal complaint thru the legal system to end the corruption they see, but it's easier to just rip on people who have no way to defend themselves from the one sided attacks.

The Cross
The Cross

What a putz. How is an attack unfounded when it's public knowledge. Like retiring early at 55 on the taxpayer's dime? The guy admits it in this article. He is PROUD of it. It's really easy to run around being charitable when someone is paying your bills for you.

David Lee
David Lee

My posting is correct, you are of no value.

The Cross
The Cross

I can tell it is your dream to live off the work of others.

RemoteEmployee
RemoteEmployee

I have 2 opinions on your comment:

First, it is important to publicly acknowledge the generous contributions individuals make to this community. It makes all of us want to do better.

Second, woofwoof (Craig Nestor) and The Cross (Greg Luce) are not critics. Real critics would be greatly offended by that. Craig and Greg are trolls: A troll is someone who "posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion".

Craig and Greg interfere with our opportunity to have a real forum. (IMHO)

heatandhumidity
heatandhumidity

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


― Theodore Roosevelt

woofwoof
woofwoof

Heatnhum- Funny, Teddy massacred and killed the filipino people like vermin? Another TRUTH

David Lee
David Lee

Your comment is correct. Roosevelt could have stopped the slaughter, but deferred to a General and allowed the massacre.

TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls
TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls

Only the second type if people I discussed could possibly take such a positive article and add trashy comments.

I would hate to think of what type of community this would be if there were only people like Nestor and Luce and no people like Desmond and Stephens.

woofwoof
woofwoof

KC, go down and ask for the report on the contamination at City Hall. They have a copy. You might have to get out of your chair.

woofwoof
woofwoof

There would be two less people that people like me would have to watch?

TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls
TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls

There are people like Stephens and Desmond who give of themselves and do positive things for the community. It is nice that the Tribune and others recognize their contributions. Then there are people like Nestor and Luce who do nothing positive for the community and mock people who truly contribute.

The Cross
The Cross

OK, you LIKE it when people take millions of dollars in tax money instead of earning a living, THEN they do some feel-good cr@p (since they have plenty of time and money)?

Wow! What did P.T. Barnum say about fools like you?

TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls
TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls

Like it when Nestor collects government disability and does nothing constructive other than his rants and wasted efforts. The others are working and earning a living.

woofwoof
woofwoof

Pat Stephens was paid near 6 figures with bloated benefits to "do positive things..."? As too many of those at the recognition dinners knew full well.

woofwoof
woofwoof

I worked in the trenches of Lacrosse for decades to help my fellow man. You may ask Craig Kitchen, Linda Wissing, or Judge Perlich to name a few. You remember Wissing dont you Tea? She was drummed off the River Alcohol Committee, even though she was the most experienced, best trained, and educated person on the Committee. By those that were making money off booze, and could really care less about their fellow man.

TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls
TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls

There are people like Desmond

TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls
TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls

(Thumb bumped submit before I finished this)

David Lee
David Lee

Appears a failed roofer and a owner of a pretend consulting flake are jealous. Both pretend they are doing something to better the community, but all they do is offend people, post garbage and dare people to disprove their own ignorance and accomplish nothing. I suspect the pretend nestor is a sham, at least Craig was able to spell and punctuate. But then again, when he's off his meds anything is possible.

woofwoof
woofwoof

Lee- Not able to give opinion on one point. Just cover your ears and eyes? "He doesn’t care who gets the credit for things,” said Festival Foods founder Dave Skogen, one of Desmond’s recruits to co-chair the nearly $20 million UW-L campaign to build the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex, including a new stadium.

Now understanding that this Skogen is occupying the most sq ft in a TIF Project. LOL!!! Bt let's talk about the New Stadium. The Project was billed originally as 100% privately funded. Now that is funny! But in FACT it fell short. The Good Ol Boyz Club sat in a circle and dreamed up another TAX to fill in the shortage. TRUTH. Oh and! I attended the meeting where they stated that there is no shortage of "flat surface parking" on Campus. I mean come on, just another lie, or terrible ignornace illustrated by people that have never had to turn a profit on their own.

David Lee
David Lee

Apparently you think I give a flip about you or your view or anything else to do with you. Your a jerk, disliked and as a non citizen of lacrosse of no value. The city improved significantly when you left. You post gibberish and pretend it's a valued insight to the inner workings of government. You accomplished nothing.

The Cross
The Cross

Pretty sad with your pious attitude you can't rebut any of his points/arguments. You're an imbecile.

woofwoof
woofwoof

And you have no powder in your cannon to set the facts straight, or give alternative opinion. Because there is none. LOL!!!!

woofwoof
woofwoof

Lee, I did not fail at being a roofer. I never had a judgement or was in court due to my work. Find another roofer who was in business and see if they can state that. What the heck are you talking about? 34 years in business. I helped an extended a hand to throngs of peoplewithe pty records to felons. The Judges, Probs, and chemncial counselors called me regualry to give a guy a chance. I dont ever remember turnign one down, ever. I was involved in Jaycees, and member of Rotary East.

Man you have slipped to a very dark/ignorant place.

David Lee
David Lee

Not really. Actually you did a rather large job for me way back, and it was perfect, with no complaint. However once you decided that it is best to attack private individuals with no chance for rebuttal, you get anything anyone wants to say about you. Your consistent endless rants about things you decide is wrong, regardless of facts put you over into the fringe of relevance. You can demand all you want for rebuttals, but you have consistently ignored responses anyway so people simply don't bother. Your not part of the community, you actually accomplished virtually nothing with your rants other than be shunned by the local officials and detested by bloggers of the trib. I guess that is an accomplishment though.

woofwoof
woofwoof

Lee- You need to counter point by point we have made. You have historically been better than what you show today. Everything said about Desmonds and their land is true. The working people of Lacross has been left holding the smelly end of the stick once more.

Comment????

RemoteEmployee
RemoteEmployee

David doesn't "need" to do anything. You need to subscribe to a paper in Siren and irritate the population up there.

Opus
Opus

You are correct, David.
If they used this excess energy to help with issues like hunger or homelessness in our community they might be taken seriously. Instead they blast anyone who tries to help the community and interject the same tired old nonsense into any story.
They rail against elected officials, but "sorta-kinda" runs for office and is soundly defeated and has left the area yet still feels like we need his "help". The other is only emboldened when his pal "MypheasantNestorwoofwoofturn" decides to chime in again.

woofwoof
woofwoof

Sorta kinda ran for office. I told many at the Tribune, including Rusty. And many at WIZM, etc that I had no wish or hope to be Mayor. I did not spend one cent, nor did I knock on one door.

You still cannot give a merit filled response to any of our points. You are a dimwit. I truly believe that no matter what there is an Unwritten Law that you people do not attack or confront one of your Club Pals.

Tim Russell
Tim Russell

Quit lying. You absolutely wanted the job & the La Crosse voters rejected you as a fringe candidate. That's why you placed 11th in a field of 11.

The Cross
The Cross

Russell is so jealous! He wishes he had the brains and/or balls to be relevant.

RemoteEmployee
RemoteEmployee

This is not true, Craig. You had a very long ghost-written profile expounding on why you were running and why you were qualified to be mayor. Look it up. It is in the Trib.

TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls
TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls

Sort of kind of ran for office....hahaha

Participated in forums and did Channel 8 extensive interview right before the election.

Opus
Opus

Fine..so what you did was waste the time of everyone with your campaign for an office you didn't want. Thanks so much...
Good lord....why didn't YOU win "Person of the Year!"

oh.....LOL!

RemoteEmployee
RemoteEmployee

Here is my merit filled response:

There once was a troll named Craig Nestor
Who was also referred to as Phestor
He's Greg Luce's tool
And the La Crosse region fool
If he was funny, he'd be a court jester.

The Cross
The Cross

I think both of us try to keep government from doing bad things. You're welcome.

And you're welcome for your paycheck that comes from other people's earnings.

Opus
Opus

Well....Nestor is back. A new year, a new name, same old stupid rants.

For both of you..... Nestor and "the Cross" ....Just one question.....what have you done to help this community? I'll save your fingers and answer for you....nothing. Not a thing.

The Cross
The Cross

Not that anonymous idiots like you deserve a response, but Nestor fought for decades to keep you local officials honest. (not an easy task BTW)

And I in a few short years have organized an effort to have our elected mayor replaced with am appointed administrator who would be unaccountable to the voters. Organized an effort to keep the city council from eliminating the committee of the whole, your only opportunity to address your city council as a whole. (not that you or your ilk have the stones to do such) And am fighting on many levels including federal court to defend your first amendment against local tyrants.

So back to the actual issues. You have NO arguments to counter anything we have said about Desmond or the corrupt system he thrives in.

Opus
Opus

3 strikes and you are out!
#1 We'll start with the last.....the article is about the Person of the Year, but you clowns have tried to turn it into something else.
#2 Nestor was out for Nestor....to make noise. He did NOTHING for the community
#3 The Committee of the Whole is a waste of time. It only give people like you a Nestor the opportunity for a bully pulpit. I have been witness to such nonsense as people, like me, who had real business with the council had to wait for hours while you tied them up.

Go back to my first response to you today. You and Nestor have done a great job of verifying my comment. Congratulations....

The Cross
The Cross

1. The article was about Mike Desmond. I simply brought up other aspects of the guy that should be factored when judging his character.

2. Nestor held your elected officials in check. That is your DUTY as a citizen. But very few in this town actually do their duty. Ask the bureaucrats and elected officials at City Hall who they fear, Craig Nestor or some anonymous dopes on the tribune website.

3. Committee of the Whole is a valuable incubation period of 2 days to answer to their constituents after taking a position on legislation publicly. Of course it is the taxpayer's ONLY opportunity to address their city council as a whole. But you only go to the council when you want something from them.

But back to the OP, you have NOTHING to rebut our criticisms of Mike Desmond. He's living off taxpayer dollars as a WRS recipient retired early at 55. And his family soaked the taxpayers with the Kwik Trip freezer TIF deal on their contaminated property. NOT man of the year.

woofwoof
woofwoof

Then you can tell any of us Opus. Where did the $89 million of Incentive Tax Dollars go, to who, for what, and what will th final debt service be on same.


WAITING!!!!!

woofwoof
woofwoof

OH!, and please tell me and the rest of us. How I was "out for Nestor"?

I guess when you cannot argue or give alternative side to any point made you type the cr#p that comes off your keys. You prove it time and time again Opus.

Tim Russell
Tim Russell

Have you decided to run for Mayor in Siren Mr. 11th Place?

The Cross
The Cross

Oops, I meant STOPPED an effort to replace the mayor with an administrator.

Opus
Opus

No problem, Cross...I know what you meant. And you were on the wrong side of taht one too.

The Cross
The Cross

Yeah? 60+% of voters thought I was on the right side of the issue.

woofwoof
woofwoof

Opus- Tell us what we are on the wrong side of, and why you believe it????

BUT YOU WONT!!!!!

woofwoof
woofwoof

You do not make a difference Opus. It is apparent you have nothing to say. If you would you would add another version of a point made by me or others that do not buy it.

BUT YOU DO NOT.......EVER!!!

woofwoof
woofwoof

Please tell us all Opus . What stupid rants, what points, an why you feel that way?

BUT YOU WONT!!!! LOL!

woofwoof
woofwoof

Even Anonymous you do not, and cannot.

woofwoof
woofwoof

Opus asks what we have done. The person cannot even use her name when posting. You do not even have an identity???? Geeeezzzz do you think this is missed by anyone.

woofwoof
woofwoof

LOOK!!! Anyone reading this. Either Desmonds or the person that bought the Kwik TIF Land in between. Should hve been held accountable for the Clean Up Costs. But they were not. I cannot figure for the life of me why the in between man was even involved, and for what reason. His ownership was nonsensical from a business veiwpoint and profit. Other than it distanced Desmonds from the cold hard facts that their family contaminated the land and walked away. Leaving thisparcel in the laps of taxpayers.

Anyone care to comment? I THOUGHT SO

woofwoof
woofwoof

Now you may naswer those points Opus. If you can???? LOL! Weak Link!

woofwoof
woofwoof

2- A New Job that Pat took hours and public pay/benfits to manage regularly Lacrosse Events. I have been to the awards dinners where they have clapped for Stephans Volunteerism. LOL!!!!!!! At near 6 figures and wonderful benfits that my private sector neighbors will never see. Pat was made essentially a Czar of Festivities, on the UW Dollar, becaue they quite frankly did not know what to do with him. TRUTH

The Cross
The Cross

I wish there were a few journalists in this town with at least a shred of dignity to do work like this.

woofwoof
woofwoof

Cross- A Reporter at the Tribune uncovered the Foundation Mess. It did run for days, on more than a few pages. Just some have no memory, cannot grasp the foul, or might be illiterate?

The FACT is when Gow came to town I sat down with him in his office almost immediately. He had nothing much to say about Stephans, his fabricated job, or who or why it was made-up by Judith.

Tim Russell
Tim Russell

Didn't you make some irrelevant comment concerning the size of a Tribune reporter's posterior once?
How's that for a memory numbnuts?

woofwoof
woofwoof

1- Lets move on to Pat Stephans. I question if Pat ran the UWL Foundation for the number of year sthe Tribune has reported. I remember a Reporter from the Tribune running a multy page/day expose on the Founation, and Mr. Stphens resonsiblities. Like all government and non-profits they do not dance to the Profit Gods or have to. They simply ask for more tax dollars in one form or another. The Foiundation Building overspent when constructed. But what happened is that they took money that was gifted to pay those bills. Money that was given to the UWL SYtem with specified targets for those dollars. They found out where those dollars went, and they were mad. Becaue of this reason, and the following expose in the Tribune I thought Stephans was relieved. In fact I heard from great sources that a New Job and Office was constructed for Stephans by Judith.

woofwoof
woofwoof

The Deal was for mostly a 'Freezer' for Kwik. You will see no employee numbers increase rerorts/counts/etc. You will not be able to find any numbers. Because our City Leaders are inept and terrible b8usines managers. Only left to stand back and look at new and shiny, and we all are supposed to mbe bowled over by the sight of same. I for one still wonder where the "Free Shell" for the Lacrosse Community Theater went. But Opus will not have that answer either. Because she is just plain ignorant, and without defense of such people.

woofwoof
woofwoof

First- Opus is a WRS Recipient. She also is anonomyous because she is a WRS Recipient. The Cross is right. The Desmond family contaninated the soil under their former Family Business. John left those properties and Assets to the Kids. Those kids wrangled a "Deal" with the City. For the benefit of the Desmond, and Zietlows families. At the cost to working families in Lacrosse. I read the contract for the Kwik Trip TIF. I belieive it stated that the City could [ossibly be on the Hook for near 60 Years. I believe there was a clause in the contract that the Leasee could take advantage of 2/20 year extensions. While the City and it's Taxpayers sit on this ticking enviromantal time bomb. Leaving our children responsible for it's inevitable clean-up. The Desmond Siblings left the "Deal" with a tidy bag of money based on market value of a clean site. When in fact our City Leaders handed us ownership of contaminated parcel, that has been pushed down the road for working people to clean up.

The Cross
The Cross

Just to give you another perspective on things. I believe we are being conned. “My initial reaction was no — I was 55 and on state benefits. I could ease into retirement,”

So this guy is NOT a volunteer. He is living off earnings stolen from his neighbor at the point of a gun (try not paying your taxes). I believe this is one of the WRS cases Nestor always tells us about. Early retirement at 55 as a gift for pushing papers at a government agency or some other useless service like that he provided to the taxpayers.

And is he from the Desmond family that was paid full market value for the contaminated land Kwik Trip was given by Kader/Kirch for their latest TIF corporate handout?

Opus
Opus

Only you could take a story like this, bring up Craig Nestor and his stupid rants, AND bring in Kader and Kirch into the conversation. You, like Nestor have done NOTHING to help this community yet you stand on the sidelines sniping at people who try.
You are a creep. You have become the "New Nestor" - a pariah in a good community.
Dang....what a way to start the new year with your stupidity.

The Cross
The Cross

Sooooo, you are one of the head-in-the-sand folks that think the Desmond family sticking the taxpayers with the cleanup cost for their business is noble? Patriotic?

And a guy that shuffled papers as a state worker, living off those early retirement (55) benefits and what the family got from crony-capitalist deals with Larry Kirch and Audrey Kader is your hero?

Neato!

Opus
Opus

Wow. Crawl back under the rock, clown.

The Cross
The Cross

Opus you are such a mental-midget! You cannot debate any of the ideas I put out. I bet you are a WRS recipient yourself! I can't see someone with your lack of wit making it in the private sector where skills and ambition matter.

You love having someone taking your money and giving it to local cronies in the name of economic development. It makes you FEEEEL better to know someone is taking care of you right? Doesn't matter that they are either as inept as you or corrupt. As long as you don't feel responsible. Who cares if they are sticking your children and grandchildren with the cost.

midcentury
midcentury

Opus & Cross
Lets see if any of the original message soaked in- Sermon
It's about Mr..Desmond doing something for the youth of this area-All I see from the both of you is a lack of anything good about the La Crosse area-
So I ask WHY do you stay ? Please pick up and move to SE Wisconsin where your thoughts are more welcome -
Cross- no grace in any of your messages-
Lets look for 2014 to be a Better year for those who care to look for it.
‘What have you done to help people in this community this week?’
Both of you think hard before popping off on this question.

midcentury
midcentury

Sorry Opus
I meant to say Woof Woof-
I am on board for them crawling under a rock-even with the frost guys
Go for it -
And if the state worker have more $$$ due to their career decisions =
more $$ to spend in the local area -right -Oh what was that called ?
Trickle down- hopefully that make sense to you both .
again if things are SO Bad Here -Please leave and move on-
Again remember the message- service to others-not negative
So either get with it or get out

The Cross
The Cross

I'm sorry but I can't understand midcentury's broken english.

As for "service to others" how about not robbing us of our earnings before "serving" us?

woofwoof
woofwoof

I beleive that Midcentury is attempting to stand on the merit of Trickle Down. In regard to WRS Recipients gatheing bloated pay and benefits all across the board. From Broom Closet to Heirarchy. Now that is GD funny.

This group of Government Employees have gathered these disproportunate benfits because f the largest organized Unions in every state. That is why we have near $70 Trillion in unfunded mandates.

As far a## moving to SE MN? LOL!!! Tat is getting harder and harder to do. Beause of Weber 1031ing his huge profits, and sheltering them from the tax man. Go look at the County Plat Maps?? During and after we threw $10s f millions of free dollars at him and a free adjacent/matching parking ramp. To be a Landlord for a comercial rental. Where the majority of his teneants were already in the Lacross area. Answer that one Opus. BUT YOU CANT. Tel mee where is the incentive to the economy to that? I still want to know where the free shell for the Theater is??? LOL!

Opus
Opus

Not a problem, midcentury. You ask the same question I have asked these two for at least 2 years now. All they do is complain and whine yet they have done nothing to help people in the community. Spouting off and name calling at Committee of the Whole meetings doesn't measure up.
woofwoof has physically left the area, but keeps coming back on here with different names each time he is booted off these boards.

The Cross
The Cross

To you collectivists, "helping the community" is coming up with schemes to have the government redistribute wealth from one group of citizens to others. That is what real men call despicable.

Justaguy
Justaguy

What a great man Mike Desmond is. Well deserved award from a great La Crosse man!

woofwoof
woofwoof

Tell us Opus. To whom has the $89 million of Long Term TIF Debt gone to. For what reason, for how long, and the eventual debt service? The fact is Opus you do not know and cannot find out. The fact is that the Cold Civil War going on in this Country and the sides could not have been more clearly illustrated but in the Walker Recall. Which motivates me and others to ask why the overwhelming number of those up for this award are Non-profits, and WRS recipients. But alas Opus, you and your ilk will not addres that FACT either. LOL!!!

TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls
TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls

Nestor --you still don't understand that cities, counties, school districts, and other local governments issue general obligation bonds that are purchased on the bond market. investors are typically financial institutions. It does not really matter specifically which investor buys a bond. I have given you the website before where you can find any local governments debt issuances. Go away as you are a fool.

woofwoof
woofwoof

Tea- Gobblygook! To whom, for how long, for what reason. and the final debt service.

Then you can tell me where I can pick up a copy of the file that the Incentive Projects have paid their people 110% x the current living wage.

Then you can tell me what happend to the Free Shell.

Then you can tell me how much they spent on the Campground fiascal.

Then you can tell me how much we have paid Good Ol Phil even last year to do the hit jobs for Kirch.

Then you can tell me if there are records/receipts down at the foundation for the money that was handed out for dinners, booze, and entertaining???

But you both do not, or will not. Anyone can read your posts and there is no merit filled rebuttal. Go ahead and read them. Luce is correct.

Then count how many of the people that were up for this award were government or non-profit employees versus private working people. Highest Mill Rate, fire cost, per student cost, and health cost. And the lowest per capita income for like size?

woofwoof
woofwoof

I understand too much. I understand that we have given the working man in Lacrosse too many Tax Dollars. I understand that nobody at City Hall has any idea how much each one of those supposed jobs cost us. I understand that they ignore current Laws from 2003/etc because it would make them look like Obama Care. I also understnd that you and Opus' heads are in the trough and your feet are wiggling from that trough inverted.

So tell me Tea. Where can one find out how much it costs us to put these shows on in Lacrosse, The Engineers, Planning people, City Attorneys and Addis, Inspection people, Park and Rec people, overhead, support staff, etc. Nowhere out here would a business owner give a huge amount of money for a marketing plan, and then never follow up on how cost effective it was or wasn't. You are the one that looks Darn silly Tea, arguing for history that is clearly out of the lines of acceptance, and far from original contract that we paid for to only ignore.

woofwoof
woofwoof

Tell me Tea. Why should the working epople of Lacrosse buy contaminated land for market value. Then not hold anyones feet to the financial fire to clean that land.

Then you can tel me how the totally privately financed UWL Stadium worked out for the people of Lacrosse.

You are a dimwit Tea. A dim-wit. You are also a smke screener, you run interference, and if you had the kahungas to type your name, a insider in the abortions called Incentive Projects in this City. Because something motivates you Tea, and it most certainly is not the TRUTH. Or info for your neighbors to look over City Halls shoulder. Geeezzzzz To spend their hard working money.

woofwoof
woofwoof

Justaguy- You make take a shot on opinion on the points I have made on this Thread as well. But you won't because you are too ignorant/uninformed, and are part of 'The Club'?

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