Mayor Monday: Chris McBarnes

FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) – Frankfort mayor Chris McBarnes joined News 18 This Morning for their July edition of Mayor Monday. It’s his second time appearing on the segment since it launched last November.

Mayor McBarnes’ last appearance was in February, and some big changes have come to Frankfort since then – namely the announcement of a new ConAgra Foods distribution center and Indiana Packers facility. McBarnes expressed that he wanted Frankfort to be thought of as a ‘food hub.’ We asked what he meant by that and he replied, “Coming into office, we knew that we wanted to make the city of Frankfort ‘the city that feeds the state that feeds the world.’ We wanted to leverage our key assets off of Interstate 65, our strong utilities and our strong workforce to truly show that Frankfort is open for business. In the last three months, we’ve announced over 150 new jobs to the city of Frankfort.” McBarnes added, “With ConAgra and with Indiana Packers, we’re showing that jobs can be created in Frankfort, and we’re truly moving our city forward in economic development.”

Frankfort has also made the news for three separate incidents in which educators were accused of misconduct with a minor. We asked McBarnes about what he plans to do about the educational system.

“People come to a community, I believe, for two key reasons: neighborhoods and education. Our processes at times fail us, so I encourage the school superintendent, who I believe in, Don DeWeese, to continue to vet the hiring process for the school corporation. It’s important to remember that people fail us at times as well. This time, more than ever, it’s important to rally behind our schools and continue to believe in them, because most importantly, that affects our children,” he answered.

Several Facebook users had questions about repaving Frankfort’s roads, in particular State Road 28. Mayor McBarnes said, “It’s important to note that the Indiana Department of Transportation directly oversees that infrastructure [State Road 28,] because it is a state road. We are continuing to advocate to INDOT that the state of that road is not acceptable. It’s an embarrassment for our community. We have been told that the road will be resurfaced this year, and that a large construction project is coming that way in 2017.”

Finally, we thought we would ask the mayor about any aspirations he had for higher offices in his future. McBarnes answered, “I love my hometown. I love the city of Frankfort. I’m so proud of it. I love local government. There’s plenty to do in the city of Frankfort thrusting off our four cornerstones: neighborhood revitalization, communications, economic development and citizen’s voice.” However, it does seem like McBarnes is keeping an open mind. He continued, “I’m going to continue to pray about my future, talk to my fiance about it and you never know what God has in store.”

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