John Dennis

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.

City of West Lafayette

A major budget line item for any city is its infrastructure.

From repairing roads and bridges to maintaining a fleet of vehicles, upkeep isn’t cheap.

On this week’s Ask The Mayor, we find out from West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis what a number of developments on the state and local level mean for his city’s future.

City of West Lafayette

West Lafayette officials are in the process of deciding what to do about City Hall.

Mold drove them out of the building on Navajo Drive in February.

Mayor John Dennis says options for the future of city hall include bringing the current building up to code, completing gutting and renovating the structure, or razing the building and starting over—likely at a different location.

He says public hearings next year will give residents the opportunity to have input into the final decision.

City of West Lafayette

As he prepares to run for a third term next year, voter turnout has West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis concerned.

Less than a third of registered Tippecanoe County voters cast ballots in this year’s elections – and that number leaves out the one-third of eligible voters who aren’t even registered.

So might a small minority of the county pick next year’s winners?

A lot of this week’s program is spent talking about the ramifications of an election cycle so predictable voters appear to have stopped caring.

City of West Lafayette

West Lafayette mayor John Dennis says there are still improvements to make in the way law enforcement deals with domestic violence situations, but he’s not sure that should include enhanced mandatory minimum sentences.

"If there's an understanding that there is a definitive penalty -- a non-defensible penalty -- for a specific act, does that enhance the severity of that act? And it's a question that we as a society don't really know yet," Dennis says.

City of West Lafayette

Some questions for Mayor Dennis:

What’s the latest on the State Street project? I’ve seen little repairs here and there, but nothing that’ll compare to the scope of what the city is planning…

Now that city leaders have voted to become a Class 2 city, you’ve again got to redistrict, but it has to be done quickly, before the November election, right?

City of West Lafayette

Some questions for the mayor this week:

You’ve been critical of Amtrak’s Hoosier State service, even as the city has helped subsidize its continued operation during the past year. This week, it was announced a private firm in Chicago, Corridor Capital, is the preferred vendor to operate the line starting in October. Is that any better, in your estimation, than Amtrak running the trains?

Dave Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveemerson/

The city of West Lafayette is using some of its savings to help cover costs associated with the extreme weather this past winter.

The City Council has approved using $390,000 dollars from the Rainy Day fund to pay for things such as sand and salt, as well as repairs to potholes and cracks in area roads.

Mayor John Dennis says the money will also help cover unexpected overtime costs.

He says the Council doesn’t plan on making any changes to the budget for the upcoming winter.

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