Carmichael to step down as Bloomington deputy mayor, Hamilton taps assistant city attorney for job

Mary Catherine Carmichael is stepping down as Bloomington’s deputy mayor effective July 28.

Assistant city attorney Larry Allen has been appointed by Bloomington mayor John Hamilton to replace Carmichael starting July 29.

That’s according to a news release from the mayor’s office around noon on Friday.

The news marks the first of what could be additional transitions at city hall, ahead of the anticipated inauguration of a new mayor, Kerry Thomson, to start 2024. Thomson won the Democratic Party primary, and there’s no opponent on the Nov. 7 ballot.

There is a longshot chance that a challenge by independent mayoral hopeful Joe Davis—over several disqualified signatures on his petitions—could result in a contested mayoral race.

The date of Carmichael’s effective departure will make Carmichael’s tenure as deputy mayor about seven months. She was appointed to the post starting on Jan. 1 of this year.

Carmichael has served in the Hamilton administration since 2016, first as communications director and then as the director for public engagement. She was appointed as deputy mayorship to replace Don Griffin, who resigned the job effective Dec. 31, 2022, in order to run for mayor, a bid that was not successful. Hamilton did not seek reelection.

Griffin was appointed as deputy mayor in April of 2021, succeeding Mick Renneisen, who retired.

Allen has served as an assistant city attorney since February of 2018, according to Friday’s news release. The news release describes his previous work experience as deputy attorney general specializing in appeals for the state of Indiana.

According to the news release, Allen is a graduate of Bloomington High School North, completed his undergraduate education at Olivet Nazarene University, earned a master’s in public affairs at Indiana University, and completed his law degree at the IU McKinney School of Law. According to the news release the annual salary for deputy mayor is $120,913.

Allen provides the legal staff support for Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC), which means he has been involved in projects like the redevelopment of the former IU Health hospital site (Hopewell), and the acquisition of Showers West, which is part of the city hall building. Showers West is expected to be the future location of Bloomington’s police department.

Allen also serves as a litigator for the city, and is currently playing a role in the ongoing annexation lawsuits.

Allen served as the treasurer for Don Griffin’s mayoral campaign and before that as treasurer for John Hamilton’s campaign.

6 thoughts on “Carmichael to step down as Bloomington deputy mayor, Hamilton taps assistant city attorney for job

  1. What is the job of the deputy mayor? Why is turnover so high? Why does this position have such a high salary?

    1. Ummm…did you read the article.

      It’s not that high when you figure the person basically runs all departments.

  2. Not convincing enough ! Just because someone has a big job doesn’t mean they are doing it well enough to deserve that kind of salary. Pay the policeman more instead

  3. it’s my opinion — without much objective evidence — that mayor Hamilton believes in machine politics and he is actively circulating some of his biggest supporters through offices that will look good on their resumes going forward.

    i’m personally looking forward to finding out which of the groups he has supported winds up hiring him after he graduates.

    1. He’ll probably relocate to DC to be with his wife. None of his appointments need to beef up their resumes. They are all top notch.

      Many of his appointees will probably leave prior to the new Mayor taking office

      1. pshaw. first, the more top-notch you are, the more resume boosting you need beacuse in our neoliberal world, aspirations grow in proportion to past accomplishments.

        but more to the point, a lot of his appointees are no good!

        Beth Cate, head of legal, is overseeing a department that continues to represent the mayor’s office against the rest of the city. they’ve lied to the council and to the traffic commission, and boldly, clearly in the interests of a party other than their purported client (the body they are advising).

        Alex Crowley, head of Economic Sustainable Development, has turned the department into a bad transportation policy clearinghouse, cheerleading parking garages that have failed to produce economic development and sabotaging the scooter negotiations in a way that has directly caused all wheelchair users to be unable to use our sidewalks — a stunning lapse!

        Scott Robinson, head of Planning & Transportation, has simply stood by while ESD has usurped his department’s authority. Terri Porter, previous head of Planning & Transportation, chastised city councilmembers not to use the phrase “pay to play” to describe cash contributions in exchange for zoning favors, because she said it implicitly impugned the professional conduct of her staff. Meanwhile, her staff was literally lying to the plan commission and council, saying that not one but two big pay-to-play projects were ideal because of their comprehensive sidewalk networks, while literally being in a sidewalk island with zero connectivity to campus or downtown. Instead of directing her staff to behave ethically, she was asking city council to turn a blind eye!

        Paula McDevitt, head of Parks & Rec, oversaw the 2018 bicentennial bond requisition and implementation. $2.1M for a cascades path that never happened — they spent the money on recreational facilities only. $1.3M for griffy pedestrian connectivity on the west side of the lake, which they spent on the east side of the lake instead — it wouldn’t seem like such a big deal if they hadn’t gone to the council and specifically verbatim said they would not spend the money on the east side of the lake. And, again, that replaced pedestrian connectivity with a recreational facility.

        Hamilton decided to retain Kruzan appointee Jeff Underwood, who responded to the revelation that there was a blatant misappropriation of funds under his watch by begging the council to censure the public! I understand that Parks put him in a bad position but he’s put his own reputation ahead of actually doing his job. The Controller has a position of immense responsibility to the public and, upon the suggestion that he had faltered, he didn’t admit fault, he didn’t correct the mistake, he didn’t commit to not making it in the future. He whined that the insult stung.

        and Adam Wason, head of Public Works, continues to assert that a drive-by assessment of our sidewalks (literally, a photo from a dashboard camera) that rated 95% of our sidewalks as “good condition” is a great high quality data and that we should be proud of how great our sidewalks are. i’d be the first to tell you that Wason does a tremendous amount of work, sometimes very well. i am always impressed by how much he knows about a vast number of projects. but you’re not going to tell me that there’s anything superlative in a Public Works director who is willing to lie to the council about the state of our sidewalks, or who doesn’t think his responsibility to sidewalks is great enough to justify the effort of actually learning anything true about them.

        No, I don’t think that Hamilton’s appointees are of any particularly great quality. city government is hard work, and administration doubly so. there’s no shame in being mediocre at a hard task. but i have no room in my soul for praise for department heads that uniformly put status quo bias ahead of their sworn duties. confronting status quo bias is enormously difficult, but anyone who isn’t up to facing that difficulty is not a “top notch” appointee. not in my book, anyways.

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