Map showing the address where David Wolfe Bender registered to vote.
Sworn in at the start of the May 18, 2023 hearing are Justin Fox (left), landlord of the property where David Wolfe Bender (right) the landlord of the property (Justin Fox) where Bender says he signed a sublease .
From left: Monroe County election board members Donovan Garletts and John Fernandez. (May 18, 2023)
From left: Monroe County attorney Jeff Cockerill, election supervisor …., and deputy clerk Tressia Martin (May 18, 2023).
David Wolfe Bender addresses the Monroe County election board (May 18, 2023).
Monroe County election board from left: County clerk Nicole Browne, Donovan Garletts, and John Fernandez (May 18, 2023).
David Wolfe Bender’s name was the only one that appeared on the May 2 Democratic Party’s primary for the Bloomington city council’s District 6 seat.
So Bender is currently the party’s nominee for that council position. All other things being equal, he will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot as the party’s nominee.
But on Thursday, Monroe County’s three-member election board voted unanimously to refer two potential felony election law violations by Bender to county prosecutor Erika Oliphant. The vote came after a hearing that lasted around an hour and 20 minutes.
It was election board member John Fernandez who made the motion to refer the matter to the prosecutor, saying, “I just think we ought to, frankly, just move this process along—without any kind of prejudice one way or another.”
Fernandez added that he wanted to “go ahead and recommend this over to the prosecutor’s office so that they can make that judgment and let this young man get on with his life, if that’s the determination.”
The first reading of an ordinance that would increase trash collection fees by at least 58 percent got its first reading at Wednesday night’s Bloomington city council meeting.
Under Bloomington local law, no discussion of an ordinance by the city council is allowed on the occasion of a first reading.
The trash collection fee increase would ordinarily be up for a second reading and possible enactment by the city council at its next regular meeting, which falls on June 7.
But on Wednesday, Bloomington city council president Sue Sgambelluri announced she was referring the ordinance to the council’s committee-of-the-whole, for which she set a meeting on June 7, starting at 8 p.m.
No action on the fee increase can be taken at the committee-of-the-whole meeting.
The council’s regular meeting for June 7 starts at 6:30 p.m., but Sgambelluri indicated that she expects the business for that regular meeting to be wrapped up by 8 p.m. when the committee of the whole is set to convene.
Recommendations on how to distribute $323,000 in funding for this year’s round of Jack Hopkins social services program have now been made by a seven-member committee appointed by Bloomington’s city council.
Pending final approval by the city council at a meeting set for June 14, the money will go to 32 nonprofits.
The biggest recommended award was $27,341 to Hoosier Hills Food Bank, to buy food. That was just 78 percent of the $35,000 that was requested in the food bank’s application.
Only five of the applications were recommended by the committee to receive the full amount in their application: Community Justice and Mediation Center ($21,283) for an eviction prevention project; New Leaf, New Life ($13,600) for an emergency and transitional housing project; Planned Parenthood ($7,500) to purchase contraceptives; All-Options ($6,900) for a diapers and potty training support program; and Community Kitchen of Monroe County ($4,079) to replace a dish sprayer and liners for cargo van beds.
The winners of the four contested Bloomington city council district races on Tuesday were Isabel Piedmont-Smith (District 1); Kate Rosenbarger (District 2); Hopi Stosberg (District 3); and Shruti Rana (District 4).
That’s an even split between two incumbents and two newcomers. The incumbents are Piedmont-Smith and Rosenbarger. The newcomers are Stosberg and Rana.
They’ll be the Democratic Party’s nominees in the Nov. 7 city elections.
On Thursday night, representatives from 35 different social services agencies in Bloomington gave presentations to a committee that is made up of councilmembers and other residents, to support their applications for project funding.
The 35 agencies had applied for this year’s round of Jack Hopkins social services grants.
The total amount requested by those 35 agencies is $680,530. The amount that’s appropriated in Bloomington’s 2023 budget for Jack Hopkins grants is just $323,000.
But this year’s grant cycle started off with an even bigger challenge—48 agencies had applied for a total of about $965,000. Before Thursday’s meeting, the committee had already winnowed down the 48 applications to 35.
The total requested this year is the biggest amount since the Jack Hopkins grant program was started, in 1993.