Six now to pick a seventh: Appointments to CIB for Monroe Convention Center expansion nearly done

In a news release issued at the end of the day on Friday,  Mick Renneisen and Adam Thies were announced as Bloomington mayor John Hamilton’s two appointments to the seven-member capital improvement board (CIB).

The image links to the text of the ordinance approved by county commissioners establishing the CIB.

The CIB will govern the expansion of the Monroe Convention Center.

The CIB was created on July 5 under state law by the Monroe County commissioners .

Hamilton’s appointments round out the six members of the CIB who are to be appointed by four governmental entities—mayor (2); city council (1); county commissioners (2); and county council (1).

It’s up to those six to make the seventh appointment.

Still to be worked out are details of an interlocal agreement between the city and the county.

Renneisen was Hamilton’s deputy mayor, before retiring in late April of 2021. Before that, Renneisen served as head of the city’s parks and recreation department for two decades, starting in 1996.

Renneisen is also one of the five members of the city’s newly formed non-profit, called Bloomington Capital Improvement, Inc. (CBCI), which is separate and distinct from the CIB that the county commissioners formed under state law. CBCI is, for now at least, focused on the redevelopment of the former site of the IU Health hospital at 2nd and Rogers streets, now known as the Hopewell neighborhood

Thies has served as associate vice president for capital planning at Indiana University since October 2019, according to Friday’s news release. Before that, Thies served as an assistant vice president for capital planning at IU, and president of EDEN Collaborative, a boutique real estate, landscape architecture, and city planning consulting firm, according to Friday’s news release.

It was on July 19 when the Monroe County commissioners made their two picks: John Whikehart and Joyce Poling. Whikehart is a former Bloomington deputy mayor, former chancellor of Ivy Tech, and served on a convention center steering committee that was formed in the late 2010s. Poling is assistant to the Ivy Tech chancellor for community engagement, and a former Monroe County commissioner.

On July 26, the Monroe County council made its one appointment to the CIB—Eric Spoonmore, who is president and CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, and a former county councilor.

On Aug. 16, the Bloomington city council made Doug Bruce its one appointment to the CIB. Bruce is owner of the Bloomington-based Tabor/Bruce Architects. He previously served on the city’s historic preservation commission.

Under state law the seven seats of a CIB have to be partisan-balanced. That is, no more than four members can be affiliated with the same political party.

Here’s how partisan balancing is achieved, under the ordinance approved by the county commissioners, who assigned appointments to five different entities. Each of the pair of appointments made by the mayor and the commissioners have to be partisan balanced. That is, it can’t be the case that both members of a pair are affiliated with the same political party.

That means the six appointments made by the four governmental entities could at worst have an imbalance of 4–2. On that scenario, the initial six would just have to make sure their appointment is not affiliated with the same party as the four.

One thought on “Six now to pick a seventh: Appointments to CIB for Monroe Convention Center expansion nearly done

  1. Now the question becomes when the six will meet and decide on the final appointment. Under what authority will they meet to do this if there is not an interlocal agreement in place? And the CIB is subject to the Open Door Law, so there are other requirements they must meet. What deadlines does this new board face?

Comments are closed.