Muncie's new mayor promises change

Mayor Elect Dan Ridenour. (WTHR Photo/Rich Van Wyk)
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MUNCIE, Ind. (WTHR) – A week after election day, Muncie's next mayor is working on an ambitious to-do list.

In six weeks, Republican Dan Ridenour takes the helm of a city that's caught up in controversy.

Ridenour won the election and now he's working to win the trust of residents.

On election night, 61 percent of voters made Dan Ridenour Muncie's next mayor.

"I inherited a challenge, certainly a big challenge," Ridenour said during an interview in his cramped campaign headquarters.

Federal investigators have targeted three city agencies. The former building commissioner is in prison. Muncie's schools were in such disarray, the state ordered Ball State University to take them over.

Mismanagement and corruption have been prevalent for so long in Muncie that many people admit they have grown to accept it.

But Ridenour, a city council member, believes voters have sent a new message.

"The citizens are fed up and ready to move Muncie forward," Ridenour said.

Ridenour's first priority is openness and honesty from city hall.

"I, as a city council member, four times I needed to file freedom of information acts to receive financial records for projects that are in the works," he explained.

New openness and honesty Ridenour believes will win back the trust of residents.

"We can have the best project come up, but because of a lack of trust there will be massive problems," Ridenour explained. "There will be resistance to any project. His first project is to fix streets and sidewalks."

"We don't have a paving plan for 2019 and the year is almost over," he said. "There is no plan presented to the new mayor in 2020 there's no plan."

Ridenour's next step is to work more closely with local employers, including Ball State – the biggest of all.

"Growth for Ball State is going to be good for Muncie," he explained. "Positive growth for Muncie is good for Ball State."

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