Ask The Mayor

courtesy City of Frankfort

It’s the start of a new year in Frankfort, with new members of city council and some new hires in key city positions on the way. How does a mayor embarking on his own third term manage these transitions?

This week in our talk with Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes, we’ll get a progress report on the ongoing construction of Frankfort’s Prairie Creek Park. How do initiatives like Prairie Creek Park and—at the moment—a seasonal ice skating rink bring people downtown, and what are the year-round strategies to keep them there?

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

For some, the definition of free speech is that while one person may find another’s statement disagreeable, that doesn’t diminish the right to make that statement.

And so Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski is in a bit of a pickle regarding another drop of KKK flyers in his city. Does he speak out and raise the city’s profile on the issue of racism, or decline to give attention to the litterers and hope they’ll go away when they don’t get much traction?

WBAA News

t’s getting harder for leaders of Indiana cities to predict how much their municipal construction projects are going to cost. A lack of trained workers in the state has left construction firms in high demand – and with the ability to charge rates much higher than in the past. So as the City of West Lafayette signs off on documents proclaiming its renovation of the Morton Center into its new city hall will cost $13 million, how much can those numbers really be trusted?

WBAA News

It’s been a year of raucous debate in Montgomery County – about wind farms, confined feeding operations and about the lawmakers who make the decisions. Much of it is separate from the workings of the city of Crawfordsville, but it has an effect on the way public discourse is conducted throughout the county.

This week, on our last Ask The Mayor program of 2019, we talk to Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton about the tone of those talks and about whether such business needs to be put to bed more quickly.

courtesy City of Frankfort

While Frankfort leaders are hoping to draw more people to the area this holiday season for winter festivities, they’re also faced with a problem: where all those people are going to park, especially as year-round residents get frosty about wanting to share those same spaces.

So on this week’s Ask The Mayor program, we’ll chat with Chris McBarnes about what his city’s remedy might be. Some cities have installed parking meters, while others, such as Lafayette and West Lafayette, have chosen more passive – but more costly – forms of enforcement.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

The City of Lafayette is following the lead of its western neighbor by beginning work on a climate change resolution. It’s a drafting process that could take most of 2020 to complete, but then what happens? The same challenges exist in both cities, chief among them: how to enforce something that’s non-binding and (if it’s to have any teeth at all), asks for some slightly audacious things?

WBAA News

The weather outside may not yet be frightful, but as cities prepare for it, there’s snow business like snow business. The City of West Lafayette hopes to stay frosty as it freezes drivers out of parking on some major streets when icy precipitation beckons.

And even if motorists can’t melt the hearts of parking enforcement officers, the city must still thaw out its thoroughfares. However, environmentalists have become increasingly salty in recent years about the standard methods of doing that, which they point out raises the salinity of nearby waterways. So what else beats a wintry mix?

Well…beets.

WBAA News

Four years ago, when Crawfordsville won one of the state’s Stellar Communities awards, its art deco downtown Ben-Hur Building was one of the centerpieces.

Since then, though, it’s been plagued with delays, including changes in the contracting firm that’ll refurbish it. Now, the city says it’ll use tax increment financing to help push the project forward, but how much will that cost taxpayers – and is the amount more than it would have been four years ago?

courtesy City of Frankfort

In February, WBAA held a public forum in Frankfort which asked residents, in part: What's the "thing" that the city should be known for?

The most workable answer then seemed to be drawing in more visitors when the annual Festival of Lights show goes up each winter.

On this week's Ask The Mayor, we talk with Mayor Chris McBarnes about how his city has doubled down on trying to become just such a cold weather cash cow.

WBAA News

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis garnered three-quarters of the vote in this week’s election, propelling him to a fourth term in office. Barring unforeseen circumstances, it’ll make him the second-longest-serving chief executive in the city’s history. And in his next four years, there are a number of projects to complete. This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we check in on the Chauncey Hill Mall, Morton Center and others.

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