Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley announces he will not seek fourth term

Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley has announced he will not seek a fourth term as mayor, ending his run as Marion County’s longest serving mayor. Buckley, who was elected in 2011, will end his term when it expires on Jan. 1, 2024, and will officially retire from public service.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the people of Beech Grove,” said Buckley. “I am proud that our team has improved every facet of city government in Beech Grove, and that our work has transformed our community in a meaningful way.”

Buckley made fiscal responsibility and financial stewardship a hallmark of his administration, lifting the city from near-financial ruin in 2011 to balanced budgets and consistent surpluses. His accomplishments include:

– Balanced Budgets: The clerk-treasurer has presented a fully funded and balanced budget to the common council each year, growing the budget from a $240,000 balance in January 2012 to a current annual corporate fund balance of more than $5 million. The city budget now boasts healthy surpluses, which have been instrumental in putting the city on solid financial footing.

– Investing in Public Safety: Buckley has fought for raises for police officers, boosting base pay from the lowest to the highest in Marion County. Additionally, Beech Grove is currently building a new, modernized police station as a gateway into the city. The city also captured millions in cost savings by merging Beech Grove’s fire suppression services with the Indianapolis Fire Department. Finally, Beech Grove’s ambulance service remains independent, and recently updated its fleet with two new ambulances. Beech Grove EMS personnel are now the highest paid in Marion County.

– Building New Trails and Parks: Buckley, the parks department, and the parks board have secured $5 million in grant funding to develop and build Beech Grove’s first trail system, which at completion, will link the entire community. The city also has invested in upgrades to Hornet Park Community Center and supported the launch of the Beech Grove Parks Foundation.

Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley. (Photo by Angie Morefield)

– Modernizing City Services: Buckley has modernized the city’s technology infrastructure, including safer and more secure IT and phone systems, as well as new hardware. The city also has made strides toward reducing its carbon footprint through a partnership with AES that added 795 new LED streetlights. The city is only one of approximately 18 cities and towns in Indiana that has met the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s “Gold Standard” as a Clean Community.

– Building Community Connections: Buckley has supported community and local organizations to boost civic pride and local investment, increase participation in Senior Center activities, provide for citizens grappling with food insecurity, and advocated for the Beech Grove City Schools.

– Building an Infrastructure for the Future: Buckley’s administration has made significant improvements to the city’s physical infrastructure, including investing more than $10 million in streets, sidewalks, drainage enhancements, sanitary sewer projects, and accommodations for people with disabilities. 

– Managing COVID-19: Buckley’s team managed COVID-related response and recovery to keep the city moving during the pandemic, with uninterrupted city services and payroll for employees. All employees who worked for the city during the pandemic received pay raises.

“While I’m proud of our team’s accomplishments, I commend the many people who have been a part of our effort,” said Buckley. “From the members of the common council to the civic volunteers, our city thrives and flourishes because of their dedication to Beech Grove, its people and its future.”

Buckley is a native of Beech Grove, and a graduate of Beech Grove High School. He was a Beech Grove Firefighter for 30 years and retired from the Beech Grove Fire Department as chief in 2009. He and his wife, Patty, have been married for 45 years and are the proud parents of two children. They have four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

To learn more about the city of Beech Grove, visit beechgrove.com.