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

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.

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.

City of West Lafayette

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, listeners weigh in on the recent closure of West Lafayette’s recycling drop-off site. With less than favorable reviews rolling in for Lafayette’s Ninth Street drop-off location, what new recycling options should these West Lafayette recyclers expect from the city—and when?

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

In the past month, residents of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County have had several opportunities to examine what it means to be an engaged citizen.

The city held a meeting last week to try to explain more about a raid that arrested several people at a downtown restaurant to process them for deportation.

The county continues to struggle with its planning and zoning documents, in part because neither the citizens nor some county leaders seem to have done their homework.

And in the midst of all this, Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton, our guest this weekon WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, is starting his own podcast – at least in part to teach listeners a little more about the inner workings of local government.

courtesy City of Frankfort

Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes easily won his primary election earlier this month, collecting nearly three-quarters of the vote. So, barring a last-minute challenge, he’ll head into a third term in January that he once wrote off as an impossibility. And he’ll do so in a city that he thinks is on a precipice – an estimation that might be right in several ways.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we talk about what the next four years might hold and whether McBarnes feels he now has a mandate to change the way the city raises and spends money.

City of West Lafayette

The city of West Lafayette has spent significant time in recent months pondering new rules for different types of transportation. First it was electric scooters. This month on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we discuss the push to regulate the pedal-powered beer wagons that could soon be navigating the city’s streets and the addition of a term to city law that strikes fear in the hearts of cyclists: dooring.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Though the discussion about wind farms in Montgomery County doesn’t affect Crawfordsville directly, it’s connected to the ongoing talks about a comprehensive plan and zoning rules county leaders are considering. And those have been nothing if not contentious.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we have Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton weigh in on a loud, and sometimes unruly, last month of talks, and see if he can separate fact from fiction.

courtesy City of Frankfort

The only one of our four regular guests on Ask The Mayor to face a primary opponent this year is Frankfort’s Chris McBarnes. He’ll have a candidate forum opposite his challenger, city councilman Lewis Wheeler, at the end of this month -- just a week before Election Day.

Today on the program, we’ll talk about what might go down that night in the cafeteria of Frankfort Middle School, and whether it’s fair for the head of the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce – with whom McBarnes has worked on many projects during his two terms in office – to be moderating the forum.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

The 2019 lawmaking session has just a couple more weeks before legislators pass a new budget and put the finishing touches on a spate of other laws – some of which could affect Greater Lafayette.

For instance: if sports betting is again legalized in Indiana, what does that mean for locals who pay close attention to Purdue?

And what happens if teachers walk off the job because a plan to raise their salaries turns into a net loss for some?

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