John Dennis

Ask The Mayor: West Lafayette's John Dennis

May 7, 2015
City of West Lafayette / http://westlafayette.in.gov/

What’s it like to be mayor of a city where roughly 20,000 of your residents essentially disappear overnight? And why does it seem every year that as Purdue students leave town for the summer, the road construction crews move in?

We’ll get a rundown of the detours and traffic delays we can expect in West Lafayette over the next few months. And we’ll talk about this year’s municipal elections. How can we expect to engage voters when West Lafayette didn’t even have a primary this year?   

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Only 31-percent of registered voters in Tippecanoe County actually voted in last year’s general election. That anemic turnout was still double what the primary election registered. Both elections were in keeping with similar trends at the state level.

The Greater Lafayette League of Women Voters, the Hanna Community Center and the group Citizens for Civil Rights are trying to address those worrying statistics by pondering an age-old problem: how to get young and minority voters more invested in politics.

Shih-Pei Chang / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thoth188/3147537974

Though he says he hasn’t had any conversations with potential investors about the state’s so-called “religious freedom” bill, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis acknowledges he’s fighting against the bad press it’s created.

City of West Lafayette

West Lafayette’s mayor spent much of last summer speaking out in favor of allowing gay marriage in Indiana.

This week’s he’s taken a similar tack, speaking against the state’s so-called religious freedom bill.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we ask John Dennis if discrimination (and those who are for it) are winning or losing the ultimate policy battle in the state.

We also take a number of listener questions during this half hour.

ACLU To Examine If RFRA Supersedes Civil Rights Laws

Apr 1, 2015
Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

An American Civil Liberties Union representative encouraged Tippecanoe County residents Wednesday to reject the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, which she says could erase 60 years of civil rights progress in Indiana.

ACLU national organizer Liz Welch says the organization is working on an act that may be the solution.

City of West Lafayette

As West Lafayette’s redesign of State Street gets going in earnest, there are still more questions than answers.

What does a public-private partnership actually do for the city?

Is the collegiate feel of the area in danger?

And what does the city have to give up to the University to get it to fork over so much cash?

During this week’s discussion with West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis, we ask if he sees the State Street project as his legacy as the city’s leader.

City of West Lafayette

From a grocery store to Gasoline Alley – on this week’s Ask The Mayor, the tale of what was supposed to be one mixed-use development becoming what some property owners nearby think may be an eyesore.

We ask how the city lost control over such a development and what could be done in the future to fix such issues.

We also check back with West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis on a couple issues that we chatted about on previous shows.

Ask The Mayor: West Lafayette's John Dennis

Jan 9, 2015
City of West Lafayette

Now that the winter weather has set in, is West Lafayette stocked up on salt, sand and other supplies needed to keep the city moving, especially if the upcoming months prove to be as harsh as last winter?

We ask that question of West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis on this edition of Ask The Mayor.

Also, this week candidates could officially file paperwork to run for municipal offices in 2015. Is Mayor Dennis planning on running again?

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

High overhead CityBus’s Lafayette headquarters tower three wind turbines, which whir almost melodically on this blustery winter day.

They’re the most visible sign of the corporation’s push to be more environmentally friendly.

But on the ground, there’s a different whirring sound that foretells of the newest such effort -- a generator helps run power tools and a radio playing country music as half a dozen workmen install a natural gas pumping station.

'Die-in' Protests Inaction On Racism At Purdue

Dec 9, 2014
Kristin Malavenda / WBAA News

Just as the campus community was leaving its offices and classrooms to go out into the midday rain, a group of community members calling itself the Purdue Social Justice Coalition was preparing to interrupt those midday activities.

Emerging from the Purdue Union, several group members walked to nearby State Street and splayed themselves across the busy thoroughfare, forcing campus police to divert traffic.

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