Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes reflects on his legacy and future after announcing resignation

Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes said he gave Frankfort all he had for a little more than eight years and does not regret a single thing.

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 10:38 PM

FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) -- Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes said he gave Frankfort all he had for a little more than eight years and does not regret a single thing.

The 32-year-old is moving with his wife Samantha to Wyoming.

His last day is Feb 28th. The hunt for a new leader is now on.

McBarnes said he will always be a Frankfort Hot Dog and will always call the city of 16,000 people, home.

"You know I poured my heart and soul into this," said McBarnes. "It's been my life."

McBarnes was emotional as he talked with News 18 about his eventual departure from his hometown.

"I lived it, I breathed it," said McBarnes.

Mayor McBarnes is confident in his new campaign.

He said he got a call out of the blue from a good friend of his asking him if he wanted to be the executive director of a wilderness group in Wyoming. 

Tuesday evening McBarnes and his wife Samantha started their goodbyes in Frankfort.

"It would be a dream job that I wake up everyday and be passionate about and there are so many people in life that don't find that," said McBarnes. "I'm happy to say I found that."

McBarnes is fortunate Frankfort found him at just 22 years old.

He is the only mayor to be elected to three terms, which also makes him the longest serving mayor in the city's history.

That dates back to 1830.

"You asked me do I think we accomplished our mission, yes," said McBarnes.

A mission of a better Frankfort and better days ahead is the message McBarnes wanted to spread to his constituents. 

McBarnes said he is most proud of the Ivy Tech Campus, the future Prarie Creek Park and that Frito Lay has its largest facility in the world in his city of 16,000.

"Think you'd be hard pressed to find someone who says Frankfort isn't better off now than it was 8 years ago," said McBarnes. "I think you would be hard pressed to find that individual."

In McBarnes' new role in he will raise funds just like he did in Frankfort, but instead for Wyoming's wildlife habitat and research needs.

He wanted to leave his city with one more message.

"You do not have to be a mayor to make a great impact in this world," said McBarnes. "We need each and every single person in Frankfort to get up every day with feeling inside of them that they can utilize their talents and do something small to move this community forward."

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