Meet the candidates for Lafayette City Council District 2
Two candidates are running for Lafayette City Council District 2: Democratic incumbent Eileen Weiss, 71, and Republican candidate Mary Fisher.
Weiss is a retiree and graduate of Central Catholic High School who was first elected in 2021 to serve as the representative for District 2. She previously served as the city clerk and ran for mayor in 1995.
Mary Fisher did not respond to WBAA's request to complete a survey.
Editors' note: Candidate responses were edited for style and grammar, and any numbers used were checked for accuracy. When a statement required more clarification or could not be independently verified, WBAA reached out to candidates before publication. Those instances, and those candidate responses, are noted throughout in editors’ notes.
What are the top concerns that your district’s constituents have shared with you, and what are the issues that you foresee affecting them most in the next two to three years?
Public safety is a big concern for the city at large. We are working with the police chief to ensure a high quality of standards for our police department. They do a tremendous job, given their tough conditions. The new public safety building will go a long way to giving them better working conditions and state-of-the-art equipment to do their jobs efficiently. Making sure that the pay for public safety workers is commensurate with other industry standards is of utmost importance to recruit solid candidates. I am committed to doing all I can to make sure that trajectory is in place.
Housing has become a major issue in Greater Lafayette — both in terms of the number of affordable units and the conditions of units within the city. What do you believe the council should do, if anything, to address these problems?
This is a very tough issue. The thing that makes our community great, also presents its greatest challenges. We have a very diverse and robust economic base here in the Greater Lafayette area. Because of that, the housing markets are tight, and due to demand the costs are high. I cannot blame the builders for building market-based housing, when it is sold or leased before it is even built.* That is our free market society. My hope is that when these places are built, it will free up more affordable housing for those who cannot afford market-based housing.
*Editor's note: Candidate was asked to clarify what they meant by this. Here is how they responded: The newest apartments that have been built in Lafayette have been mostly leased before they are ever done being built. New housing is being built mostly for those already wanting to build. The builders are building to the demand, and that is keeping the housing prices high. The demand (for market-based housing) exceeds the waiting list. That makes affordable housing very difficult for those who cannot keep up with the current market values.
The Lebanon LEAP industrial district could pipe as much as 100 million gallons of water per day from Tippecanoe County. What is your perspective on a potential pipeline and what, if anything, do you think should be done about it at the local level?
I believe the mayors and county commissioners have done a very good job monitoring this situation for the past couple of years. We must hold the state accountable and make sure that we are not “robbing Peter to pay Paul” as the governor put it. I am in favor of an independent analysis, as has been mentioned by Commissioner Murtaugh. Other than that, we have no real leverage in the situation.
The Greater Lafayette region is moving forward with implementing a climate action plan. What steps do you think the city should be taking to address local environmental concerns, and what is your perspective on the steps recommended in the regional plan?
The city has two solar grids already and we just broke ground on a third at our Renew Plant. We integrated solar panels in our new public safety building. I believe the regional plan is a good one.
Companies are investing in large-scale developments in the Greater Lafayette area, part of a so-called “hard tech corridor” leading to Indianapolis. Some residents have raised concerns about how rapid growth could change the character of the region. How would you like to see growth throughout the region managed?
There are two things a community can do. It can either progress or regress, but it cannot stay the same. It is inevitable. The important thing is to manage that growth, so all segments are represented. Mayor Roswarski and his team have done a masterful job in balancing that growth. In particular, the downtown area has grown, but has kept with the historic nature of the downtown area. Working with business to keep the flavor of Lafayette, but still fostering growth is a real balancing act and it has been done with great acuity, in my opinion.