West Lafayette will add, appoint new leaders as Class 2 city

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Redrawing district lines, new city councilors, new appointees and more money from the state — it all comes with West Lafayette moving from a Class 3 to a Class 2 city.

When West Lafayette annexed areas around U.S. 231 and Purdue University, the city’s population grew. That means there are more people who need representation within the city. As part of the move to Class 2, West Lafayette will redraw district lines and elect two more councilors. The city has two months to finish the new map so potential candidates can prepare to run for office.

“By having the districts distinctly labeled and identified then that will empower folks to make a decision as to whether or not they want to run,” West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said.

Dennis will also appoint a new position in the city. Right now, the clerk-treasurer oversees the city’s finances and records, but as a Class 2 city that will change.

“When you go Class 2, the chief financial officer is an appointed position. It’s the controller, appointed by the mayor,” Dennis said. “Then the other executive elected official is the clerk who is responsible for record production and record retainment.”

As new leaders are added, others are moved around.

“The mayor will no longer be the president of the Board of Works, nor will the mayor be the presiding officer of city council meetings,” Dennis said.

Dennis said the Board of Works president and the City Council president will run the meetings. Another change for a Class 2 means more funding from the state. Dennis said he hopes one of the areas seeing more funding will be the city’s roads.

“In the event with the new growth of the city should the state decide to further continue their philosophy of furthering local roads and streets, then we will be higher up on the food chain when the conversation starts and then maybe have some more leverage when it comes to making some of those decisions,” Dennis said.

All of the changes will go into effect after the 2016 election.

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