Ask The Mayor

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

As two new water slides go in and as the City of Lafayette prepares to rebuild Loeb Stadium, redevelopment is moving down Main Street toward the Five Points intersection. Mayor Tony Roswarski has said it’ll likely be several more years until a proposed plan for a Five Points overhaul begins in earnest – and it’s a spot that needs some TLC, to be sure.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we take a look at the surrounding homes, and whether gentrification might be a necessity if the city truly hopes to clean up Five Points.

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?

City of West Lafayette

When the Indiana Supreme Court – headed by former Tippecanoe County judge and now Chief Justice Loretta Rush – decided all cities must follow the same rules for rental fees, it took a large amount of money out of the city of West Lafayette’s budget. The city had been planning to monetize all the new apartments going up near State Street, so where will the cash come from now – and will there be enough people to inspect all the new bedrooms if more people can’t be hired?

Emilie Syberg / WBAA

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, spring has sprung. Farmers markets are preparing to open for the season in just a few weeks, and that includes in Crawfordsville, where the market will move to the city’s new Pike Place Park. Is the new venue ready for new events?

This week in our talk with Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton, we’ll discuss the final draft of the Montgomery County Comprehensive Plan, and where Crawfordsville fits in. How does the city align with the county’s goals—and where does it differ?  

courtesy City of Frankfort

Earlier this month, WBAA conducted a survey and presented the results at a community forum in Frankfort. There were some interesting findings, and a few universal truths seemed to emerge.

First, most everyone wants Frankfort to grow, at least a little. But there’s also near-universal agreement that people aren’t using the amenities Frankfort already has enough. And if that’s the case, why would investors spend their money in that type of environment?

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