From poison ivy, to public transit, to parks bond money, Bloomington 2022 budget hearings prompt question: Whose job is it?

Wednesday’s city council hearings on the administration’s proposed 2022 budget featured presentations from four different city of Bloomington departments—housing and neighborhood development (HAND)economic and sustainable development (ESD), community and family resources (CFRD), and parks and recreation.

Also a part of the mix on Wednesday was a presentation from the Bloomington Housing Authority, and the city clerk’s office.

One of the common themes that cut across comments about the presentations—from councilmembers and the public—could be reduced to the question: Whose job is it?

Whose job is it to clear poison ivy from places where it has overgrown a sidewalk? Whose job is it to staff the front desk in the combined council-clerk office?

Whose job is it to decide whether a parks bonds can be used for a traffic calming project instead of a non-motorized trail? Whose job is it within the administration to advocate for public transit?

The issue of advocacy for public transit led to a chippy exchange between deputy mayor Don Griffin and councilmember Steve Volan—who’s in his 18th year of service on the city council.

Griffin asked Volan a pointed question: “How long have you been in government?” Continue reading “From poison ivy, to public transit, to parks bond money, Bloomington 2022 budget hearings prompt question: Whose job is it?”

New city seal gets stamp of approval from Bloomington’s city council

Three months after the topic was previewed for the Bloomington city council’s administration committee, the council voted on Wednesday to adopt a new city seal, based on the ubiquitous city logo.

The city logo, which was designed by former city councilmember Tim Mayer, was adopted by a resolution of the city council in 1986. The logo was inspired by quilt patterns, according to the adopting resolution. The square in the center of the design signifies Bloomington’s downtown square and community interaction, according to the resolution.

The ordinance establishing the new city seal makes it “unlawful for any person to make or use the City seal and graphical City seal of the City of Bloomington deceptively, fraudulently, or without express written permission from the City Clerk of the City of Bloomington, or the City Clerk’s designee.”

A first violation of the ordinance on use of the city seal is subject to a fine of $100. Continue reading “New city seal gets stamp of approval from Bloomington’s city council”

City clerk’s complaint prompts investigation, decision by city council to make public a summary: No evidence of racial animus by council staffer

In early August, Bloomington’s city clerk, Nicole Bolden, filed a complaint about the city council’s attorney/administrator, Dan Sherman, alleging that he was “disrespectful and rude” in his questioning of her about the posting of required legal notices for a meeting of the council’s rules committee. Bolden, who is black, further alleged that Sherman’s behavior, who is white, may have been motivated by personal animus related to her race or some other reason.

On Wednesday night, in a vote that was split 6–1–1, Bloomington’s city council decided to accept a statement of its executive committee and approve a motion to release publicly the summary of an investigation into Bolden’s allegations. The investigation did not find evidence to support Bolden’s allegations.

Some councilmembers who voted for the motion said they did so to clear Sherman’s name.

Chris Sturbaum was absent. Allison Chopra voted against the motion. Steve Volan, one of the executive committee members, abstained from the vote. Continue reading “City clerk’s complaint prompts investigation, decision by city council to make public a summary: No evidence of racial animus by council staffer”

May 7 Bloomington Primary Election: A Nonpartisan Resource

Twenty-three candidates for 11 city offices are on the ballot for Bloomington voters in the May 7, 2019 primary election – all but one of them Democrats. And this year, all but two of the Democratic Party primary races are competitive.

Bloomington Primary Candidates 2019
Candidates in the May 7 Bloomington primary.

To help voters research their choices for Bloomington mayor, clerk and council, we’ve compiled a nonpartisan resource guide that profiles each candidate in the May 7 primary.

Here’s a link to the guide: Bloomington City Primary Elections 2019

In addition to biographical background, the profiles include links to each candidate’s online campaign information (website, social media, email) as well as links to campaign finance documents filed with the Monroe County clerk’s office.

Each profile also provides links to relevant news articles from a variety of sources, a listing that will be updated throughout the election cycle.

To register to vote, check your registration status or find your polling location, go to the Indiana Voter Portal. The deadline to register to vote in the May 7 primary is Monday, April 8.

Early voting starts on Tuesday, April 9.