LA CROSSE (WEAU)- The youngest and possibly the most controversial current mayor of western Wisconsin will not be seeking a second term.
Mayor Mathias Harter of La Crosse announced that he will not be on the April ballot for re-election. Members of the city council seemed happy to receive the news. The past 3 ½ years the mayor and the city council have had their differences.
"At this point after careful consideration with family and friends I have decided that I will not seek re election to a 2nd term in this office at this point," said Harter.
City Council President Audrey Kader says she was pleasantly surprised to hear the news.
"He has been under a lot of pressure. It has to be a relief for him,” said Kader.
She isn’t the only one on the council that believes Mayor Harter has divided the city.
"I just don't think he worked well with people," said City Council member Chris Olson.
Some of the city council members are calling Mayor Harter veto happy. Harter vetoed the council's decisions more than 30 times during his 3 ½ years in office, more than double previous mayors have voted.
"I feel that over the next four years with the council being in the position they are in they in, I think more progress will be made and more will get done,” said Harter.
Harter was only 24-years-old when he was elected, but council members say it wasn't his age that made things difficult...
"He struggled to work with other mayors within the state and the area,” said Olson.
"He was lacking in experience, especially executive experience,” said Kader.
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