John Dennis

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

The casual rider of the Hoosier State Line probably didn’t expect any changes on July 1 as an Amtrak-branded engine and set of cars rolled through Lafayette on its way to Chicago.

But instead of the red, blue and gray Amtrak paint job, passengers were supposed to see the brown and orange paint job of Iowa Pacific rolling stock.

City of West Lafayette / http://westlafayette.in.gov/

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis is assured of a third term in office after no one filed to run against him by this week’s deadline. So this month on our conversation with Mayor Dennis, we talk about leadership in Indiana – and about its intersection with ambition. If he believes he’s doing a good job here, why not go for more?

On this week’s Ask The Mayor, we also address the latest delay to Amtrak service through Greater Lafayette – and how much the cities in the area might have to pay to keep it going, even though there’s now more money from the state.

Kristin Malavenda/WBAA News

Dozens of small businesses opened across Greater Lafayette on Saturday—but just for the day.

It’s the 5th year the Greater Lafayette area participated in Lemonade Day, and, local leaders say it’s a time to get the community thinking local, especially as Lafayette and West Lafayette ponder revisions to their downtowns.

“My name is Cade and I’m 9 years old. My name is Callie and I’m 7 ½.”

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.

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.

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