In a news release issued on Monday, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce announced Eric Spoonmore as its pick to fill the vacancy that will be left when current CEO and president Erin Predmore leaves her position.
Predmore’s pending departure was announced in a news release issued by the chamber in late July. Applications for the open position were accepted through the end of August, according to the July news release.
Spoonmore will start the chamber job on Dec. 1, according to Monday’s news release. Spoonmore has worked as associate director of enrollment management at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business for more than a decade.
Effective Nov. 30, according to the Monday news release, Spoonmore will be resigning from his position representing District 4 on the Monroe County council. Spoonmore is currently president of the seven-member council, which is the elected fiscal body for county government.
Spoonmore is quoted in the news release saying, “I am excited to begin this next phase of service in my career, and I look forward to working with the Chamber Board, our talented staff, and all our existing and future members to build upon the myriad successes achieved throughout our impressive 106-year history.”
Chamber board chair Amy Somers Kopp is quoted in the release saying, “Eric will bring a wonderful perspective to the Chamber gained from his vast experience in county government and experience at Indiana University.”
Spoonmore announced in early July that he would not be running for reelection in 2022. So it was already known that someone besides Spoonmore would be sitting in the District 4 county council seat no later than the start of 2023.
Monday’s announcement means that the District 4 seat will be filled a year earlier with someone different—initially by a caucus of the Democratic Party, not by a general election.
As of Monday, the county’s website does not show that anyone has filed paperwork to be a candidate for the District 4 county council seat in the 2022 election.
That’s likely due in part to the fact that the local redistricting process has not yet been completed. County council district representatives have to live in the district they represent. Even a minor boundary change that might result from the redistricting process could put potential candidates in or out of District 4.
County attorney Margie Rice told The B Square on Monday she was reviewing state law to confirm that the residency requirement for caucus candidates would be based on the current council district boundaries.
Spoonmore is a Democrat. The one Republican member of the county council is Marty Hawk, who represents District 3. Under state law, it’s the party to which the resigning councilor belongs that has the responsibility to find a replacement.
The state statute lays out the rules of the caucus procedures for selecting replacement. They include a provision that if more than one person wants to fill the vacancy, the voting has to be by secret ballot. And if there’s a tie vote, it’s the county party chair (or their designee) who breaks the tie.
Whoever is caucused in by the Democrats will serve out the rest of Spoonmore’s term, which goes through the end of 2022.
The process for filing a mid-term vacancy on the county council will be familiar from two years ago, when Peter Iversen was caucused in to fill the vacancy left by Shelli Yoder. She resigned from the county council, because she had moved out of District 1, which she represented.
The vote to put Iversen in the District 1 seat was close. He prevailed by a one-vote margin, 7–6.
District 4 is made up of 20 precincts, which means there are 20 precinct committee chairs who could take part in the vote to select a replacement for Spoonmore. All things being equal, that would include Spoonmore himself, because he is chair of the Bloomington 02 precinct.
But in response to a question from The B Square, Spoonmore texted that he will be stepping down from all of his official political roles, including the position as precinct chair. Vice chair for that precinct is listed on the Monroe County Democratic Party’s website as Arielle Hacker.
Spoonmore’s colleague on the county council, at-large representative Geoff McKim, is also chair of a precinct committee in District 4.
The other 18 precinct committee chairs include several current and past elected or appointed officials in city or county government.
The statutory timeline means the Democratic Party’s work to decide on a replacement for Spoonmore will need to take place before year’s end.
Indiana state law says the party chair has ten days after a vacancy occurs to give notice to the precinct “committeemen” that a caucus will be held. Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party is Jennifer Crossley.
The caucus itself has to be held no later than 30 days after the vacancy occurs.
Spoonmore is nearing the end of his second year of service as president of the county council. That means the council will need to select a new president in the next two months. Current president pro tempore (aka vice president) is Kate Wiltz, who represents county council District 2.
Table: Precinct Chairs for District 4 Monroe County Council
(Monroe County Democratic Party website)
|District||Precinct||Chair (or Vice chair)|
|District 04||BLOOMINGTON 01||Natalia Galvan|
|District 04||BLOOMINGTON 02||Eric Spoonmore*|
|District 04||BLOOMINGTON 06||Cathi Crabtree**|
|District 04||BLOOMINGTON 13||Jillian Kinzie|
|District 04||BLOOMINGTON 14||Cory Ray|
|District 04||BLOOMINGTON 15||Geoff McKim|
|District 04||BLOOMINGTON 17||Susan M. Sgambelluri|
|District 04||BLOOMINGTON 19||Bob Loviscek|
|District 04||BLOOMINGTON 20||Barbara E. McKinney|
|District 04||BLOOMINGTON 23||Nicole Bolden|
|District 04||BLOOMINGTON 24||Donald Griffin|
|District 04||PERRY 01||Ashley Cranor|
|District 04||PERRY 02||Erika Oliphant|
|District 04||PERRY 03||Jennifer Haralovich|
|District 04||PERRY 04||Sue Wanzer|
|District 04||PERRY 05||Denise Valkyrie|
|District 04||PERRY 06||Susan Dabkowski|
|District 04||PERRY 10||Amy Cox|
|District 04||PERRY 27||Carolyn VandeWiele|
|District 04||PERRY 29||Kyla Cox Deckard|
*As reported in the article, Spoonmore intends to resign all of his political positions, including that of precinct committee chair.
**The list dates from the Monroe County Democratic Party dates from early in 2021. Crabtree has since moved to Boulder, Colorado. Vice chair of that precinct is listed as Caleb Poer.
[Note: The writer of this news report is married to the director of advocacy for the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, Mary Morgan.]