Ask The Mayor

Thursdays at 1 p.m. on AM 920 and 105.9 FM, with a repeat at 7 p.m.

Each week, WBAA's news team chats with the mayor of a West Central Indiana community on Ask The Mayor. It's a discussion about the most pressing civic and social issues of the day and a chance to let citizens get to know their elected leaders a little better.

E-mail questions for any of the mayors to ask@wbaa.org.

Ask The Mayor airs live Thursdays at 1 p.m. on WBAA News (AM 920 and 105.9 FM) and is rebroadcast the same evening at 7.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Not to mix literary metaphors, but since Crawfordsville won the Stellar Communities competition a few years ago, the Ben-Hur building has been a bit of a white whale for Mayor Todd Barton. It was sold as a cornerstone of the way Crawfordsville would look when the Stellar projects were complete – but it’s been plagued by delays and confusion ever since.

Now the state has given another $100,000 for the building’s renovation, so will that kickstart development? We put that question to Mayor Barton today, on Ask The Mayor.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

This coming weekend is the biggest of the year in terms of visitors to Crawfordsville. With the annual Taste of Montgomery County overlapping with a big, nationally-televised motocross race, many more eyes than usual will be on the city.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we attempt to suss out what kind of opportunity that presents. Can it help Mayor Todd Barton lure more young professionals to live in the city, or does he have to be happy with just the once-a-year influx of cash into the local economy?

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Last month, we asked Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski about an unusual step his city's Board of Public Works took -- rejecting all the bids for a road repair contract on Beck Lane.

This month, we talk about not just the re-opening of those bids, but the awarding of a contract for a little less than the original amount the city had planned to spend. But here's the catch -- not as much is going to get done for the same money.

City of West Lafayette

Purdue students planning to vote this year have new ID rules to contend with. And with about three months to go until Election Day, what can the city of West Lafayette do to help ensure these voters make it to the ballot box?

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Montgomery County is searching for ways to improve travel and roadways, and Crawfordsville is at the center of that discussion. Intercity train travel took a hit late last month with the loss of the Hoosier State Line. So how is Crawfordsville working to improve transportation and travel for residents?

City of Frankfort

The Frankfort Police Department has released its numbers for the first half of this year, and arrests are down. Is that number reflective of a drop in crime in the community, or a change in the Frankfort Police Department? What is law enforcement doing differently?

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Lafayette city officials argue historic preservation is good for economic development. But not every building can be protected. The city plans to redevelop Five Points – but there’s a debate over whether to restore historic properties or build something new.

How will the proposed demolition of the E.M. Weaver building change plans for Five Points development? What effect might it have on the timeline for developing the area? And what role does preservation of similar historic landmarks play in economic development for Lafayette?

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

WBAA News has spent a fair amount of time in Crawfordsville during the past couple months, with an increasing amount of that focused on the debate in the city about subsidized housing.

Recently, Mayor Todd Barton got inspectors from the department of Housing and Urban Development to come look at some rental units that had been okayed by the Crawfordsville Housing Authority. The federal official found some to be substandard, which could them to be removed from the rolls of those eligible for federal money.

On this edition of WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we talk to Mayor Barton about whom that hurts more – the landlords he says he’s trying to target, or the low-income renters who may be having a hard time finding a suitable replacement in their price range.

courtesy City of Frankfort

If Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes wants to have his city seen as more progressive, when it comes to attracting investment, a recent move by the county commissioners may not help.

They’ve instituted a $30 per day fee for anyone found guilty of a crime who sits in the county jail for more than three days. That’s despite much criminal justice research showing that legal fees and fines do little more than encourage recidivism.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

It’s not often that cities turn down all the bids they receive for a project, but that’s just what Lafayette’s Board of Works did this week on a road paving and sidewalk improvement job.

And to hear Mayor Tony Roswarski tell it, this story might be more common in the coming years, because it’s a seller’s market in the construction trades. A lack of qualified workers means companies don’t have the manpower to do all the available jobs at once, and they can pick and choose only the most lucrative projects – and charge more for the work than they used to.

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