The Monona Rag

Dealing the Dish on Monona, Wisconsin

Q&A with Mayor Robb Kahl

In our series (hey, we have two replies, it now counts as a series), Mayor Robb Kahl has responded to the Monona Rag’s questionnaire, answering each of our hard-hitting inquiries. As with all of this series, the answers are unedited and will go without comment. Thanks to the mayor for playing along with us.

Here you go:

Q. What is your real job?
I am Executive Director and General Counsel of Construction Business Group (a joint Labor-Management group that monitors public construction projects for compliance with various laws, enforces these laws and advocates for changes to said laws when necessary).  I am also Board Chairman of Unity Bank which has two locations in western Wisconsin and 13 locations throughout Minnesota.  I am President and part-owner of Generations Title Company which is based here in Monona and operates in partnership with the other owners (10 community banks) throughout Wisconsin.  Finally, I am a board member and part owner of First Weber Group Insurance Services which is an insurance agency operating throughout Wisconsin.  I think that is it.

Q. What is your favorite restaurant in Monona?
Angelo’s.

Q. What has been your most satisfying moment as a city official?
Seeing reconstruction of Monona Drive finally commence after a decade of planning.

Q. If you could take back one vote, what would it be – and why?
Winnequah Road – the chokers do not work and it is clear that we should have built sidewalks.

Q. If you were a super hero, who would you be?
Superman – is there any other super hero?

Q. What is your favorite Monona tradition?
4th of July Festival.

Q. Name a hidden treasure of Monona – something most people don’t know about.
My wife.  Corny but true.

Q. What is the most difficult thing about being a city official?
Time demands  – getting done what you want in the city while still having a life.

Q. What is the most important and challenging issue for the city of Monona right now?
Helping the Monona Grove School District find ways to fund, maintain and improve all of our community schools here in Monona.

Q. What special thing (or two) makes Monona different than other communities?
The people.  It may be cliché but all the new roads, businesses and buildings don’t mean a thing without the people that make this community a special place to live.

5 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Atlas

     /  May 14, 2010

    This is exciting-sizzle.

  2. Esme

     /  May 14, 2010

    Not the most exciting interview, but nothing wrong with it either.

    I’m happy the mayor considers the school issue important. I also think it’s one of our most important issues.

  3. Confused

     /  May 17, 2010

    The most important thing is to help another government body that Mayor Kahl was not elected too? Does he have some secret cash stash that he is going to give to the MG school district instead of using it for our city? Get your priorities straight Mayor. You were elected to help the City of Monona and not the MG school district.

  4. Anonymous

     /  May 17, 2010

    I agree with Esme and disagree with Confused, the Mayor should be concerned with the district. Having a strong district with good programs and schools is what people look for when moving. It keeps property values up and stable which helps residents when they sell, and the stable or growing property values help the city’s budget. Plus the district is probably the biggest employer in town after WPS, so he should be as concerned with the District as he is with any other business.
    A stash of cash would be good, but the mayor’s best move is in mobilization (which he did with the Maywood issue). This doesn’t really cost much, but gets 20%-30% of the town behind the district which would probably be enough to pass a referendum.

  5. Esme

     /  May 17, 2010

    I think the school situation is something that the city does have to try and work with the district about. Even though that’s technically a district issue, the school situation affects the city a lot, so I think it’s in our best interests to try and get things figured out in a cooperative manner.

    I don’t necessarily think Maywood should have stayed open, but if the people of this city feel that having K-12 is important in their community (or at least have options to keep their kids in Monona for K-12), then we need to present options.

    As people point out – we can’t count on the district to do what’s in the best interests of Monona. Not that the school district is out to get Monona, but they have enough problems to deal with. It then is incumbent on us – Monona – to present to the district real alternatives, such as the charter school. Present the alternatives, how they will be paid for, and how it – ultimately – benefits the district.

    Now, if we are happy sending the 6th-8th graders to glacial drumlin – and it’s certainly an option – then we probably don’t have to talk. We probably should close Maywood and move the kids all into Winnequah.

    But the mayor believes that having local schools is essential to the city’s future. He believes it’s good for the kids and good for the community. And even though i don’t have kids that will have to go out to Glacial Drumlin, so that decision doesn’t really affect me, I do agree with the mayor. I think local – that is, Monona schools, are best for us. I think it protects the stability of the city, helps lure families, and ultimately, it’s good for everyone.

    That’s my take.

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