Monroe County GOP gives greenlight to county chair to fill ballot vacancies

At a meeting of Republican Party precinct chairs held at Ellettsville town hall on Tuesday evening, they gave county party chair Taylor Bryant the authority to fill vacancies on the Nov. 8 election ballot.

Bryant would have until noon on July 3 fill ballot vacancies.

Before the vote, county vice chair William Ellis said Bryant’s authority is just for cases where no GOP candidate filed for the May 3 primary election, and does not extend to filling a vacancy for an office due to resignation or death.

As of Tuesday, the GOP does not have on-the-ballot candidates for several Monroe County races, like prosecutor, clerk, assessor, and two judgeships. That’s due in part to the fact that Monroe County voters favor Democratic Party candidates. In the 2020 presidential race, Democrat Joe Biden won over Republican Donald Trump by a 28-point margin.

Responding to a B Square question after Tuesday’s meeting, Bryant said for township trustee and township board positions she’s heard some interest expressed from potential candidates. About county-level positions, Bryant said, “We’ve had some conversations—I don’t know if we’re going to get anybody for those.” Continue reading “Monroe County GOP gives greenlight to county chair to fill ballot vacancies”

First Black woman chosen by Monroe County Dems for council: “Yes, I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams.”

Jennifer Crossley was chosen at Sunday afternoon’s Democratic Party caucus to fill the vacant seat on the seven-member Monroe County council.

That means she’ll be stepping down as chair of the Monroe County Dems. Instead of Crossley, presiding over the caucus proceedings on Sunday was party vice chair David Henry.

The caucus was held in the auditorium of the Monroe County Public Library.

In her remarks delivered before the vote, Crossley said, “I’m running to fill this seat because I truly feel and believe that representation matters. And it is important to me that individuals from different backgrounds, lived experiences, and socio-economic statuses are in elected positions and get a seat at the table.”

Crossley added, “And as a Black woman, I feel that I bring this to this table. This is a historic moment in our county and our party, because if voted in this caucus today, I would be the first Black woman to serve on the county council.”

Crossley wrapped up her point by saying, “Yes, I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams.” Continue reading “First Black woman chosen by Monroe County Dems for council: “Yes, I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams.””

Outgoing Monroe County GOP chair on election of youngest party leader in Hoosier state: “Taylor is…going to drive this past the finish line.”

At Ellettsville’s town hall on Saturday morning, about 60 people gathered to elect Taylor Bryant as the new chair of Monroe County’s Republican Party.

She had declared her candidacy earlier in the week in a Facebook post.

Saturday’s voice vote by the party’s precinct committeemen and committeewomen was not controversial. It’s not a dramatic change in party leadership. Her election just elevated Bryant from party vice chair to chair.

And Bryant’s first appointment, to fill her vacant vice chair spot, was a familiar face—William Ellis, who up to now has served as party chair. Saturday’s news could be fairly described as a simple swap in the roles of Ellis and Bryant.

What has some area Republicans thinking Bryant’s chairship could attract the attention of media statewide, or even on the national level, is the fact that the eighteen-year-old is now the youngest county chair for the Republican Party in the state of Indiana, possibly the country. Continue reading “Outgoing Monroe County GOP chair on election of youngest party leader in Hoosier state: “Taylor is…going to drive this past the finish line.””

Monroe County’s new job grid gives raises to most, leaves salary sore point for commissioners on Spoonmore’s last day of service

On Tuesday, his last night of service on the county council, Eric Spoonmore called the group’s adoption of a new job classification grid “momentous for Monroe County government.”

The new job grid means an increase in compensation for most county employees.

In his closing remarks, Spoonmore said, “This council has made tremendous progress on how we compensate county employees. And this meeting tonight is perhaps the most striking example of that during my six years as a member of this body.”

Spoonmore added, “For me personally, it’s particularly gratifying to see all this come together at what will be my last meeting.”

Spoonmore resigned from the council effective after Tuesday’s meeting to take over as head of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, starting the following day, on Dec. 1.

In their remarks during Tuesday’s meeting, department heads and several county electeds supported the adoption of the grid of job classifications and compensation levels. The grid had been recommended by Waggoner, Irwin, Scheele & Associates (WIS) under a contract with the county worth $98,720.

On Tuesday, voices of dissent, about their own compensation level, came from two of the three county commissioners. Continue reading “Monroe County’s new job grid gives raises to most, leaves salary sore point for commissioners on Spoonmore’s last day of service”

Crossley declares bid to fill Monroe County council vacancy, recuses herself from caucus process as Democratic Party chair

In a communication issued by the Monroe Democratic Party late Tuesday afternoon, logistical details were released about a caucus to fill the District 4 vacancy on the county council.

The caucus will be held on Sunday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. in the Monroe County Public Library.

The bigger news in Tuesday’s release was party chair Jennifer Crossley’s declaration that she will stand as a caucus candidate to fill the vacancy.

The vacancy in District 4 will be created when incumbent Eric Spoonmore’s resignation becomes effective on Nov. 30.  Spoonmore is resigning to take the job of president and CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce.

Under state law, it’s the party to which the resigning councilor belongs that has the responsibility to find a replacement. Normally, the party chair presides over the caucus.

In the event of a tie vote among the 20 precinct chairs of District 4, it’s the party chair who would, under state law, cast the deciding vote at the caucus.

But Crossley will be distancing herself from the administration of the caucus, according to the release. Crossley is quoted in the release saying, “[T]o be transparent and to make sure that our caucus runs smoothly, I am recusing myself on anything related to this caucus.”

Presiding over the caucus, instead of Crossley, will be the Democratic Party’s county vice chair, David G. Henry. Continue reading “Crossley declares bid to fill Monroe County council vacancy, recuses herself from caucus process as Democratic Party chair”

Spoonmore to resign from county council to take top job at Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce

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. Continue reading “Spoonmore to resign from county council to take top job at Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce”

New choices in election of Monroe County at-large councilors

After the June 2 primaries, voters in Monroe County could choose up to three from five different candidates for at-large county councilor—three Democrats and two Republicans.

cropped art for Larrin Wampler story

Now they have a choice of six, even after one of the Republican’s withdrew from the race. Zachary Weishheit, a Bloomington police officer, withdrew his candidacy on June 22.

Replacing Weisheit on the Republican ticket will be Larrin Wampler. She is described in a GOP press release as an occupational health nurse who manages the occupational health and industrial hygiene program for the Indiana National Guard and civilian personnel.

The additional choice in the race for at-large councilor will come in the form of Janna Arthur, a Bloomington resident who’s weighed in at public commentary during recent county council meetings in support of reduced policing and reduced funding for law enforcement agencies. Continue reading “New choices in election of Monroe County at-large councilors”