Analysis: 2024 edition of Bloomington city council will be different, by a little or a lot

In 2023, elections will be held for 11 Bloomington city offices—mayor, clerk, and the nine seats on the city council.

The image links to a dynamic version of the new Bloomington city council district map, which allows zooming in and out.

After the 2023 city elections, the composition of the nine-member Bloomington city council, which will be sworn in to start 2024, is sure to be different by at least one member. But it could be more.

That’s based on the fact that it’s not possible to serve or to run as mayor and city councilmember at the same time.

Also in the mix are new city council district boundaries, and a somewhat easier path to the ballot for candidates who want to run independent of a political party.

City council president Susan Sandberg has announced she’s running for mayor, which means she’s not running for city council.

To file an official declaration, Sandberg like other candidates in the municipal election, will have a 30-day window that starts Jan. 4, 2023, 118 days before the May 2, 2023 primary. Sandberg’s committee paperwork has already been filed. Continue reading “Analysis: 2024 edition of Bloomington city council will be different, by a little or a lot”

Can Monroe County commissioners, election board bury beefs before 2022?

Towards the start of their Wednesday meeting this week, the three Monroe County commissioners responded in turn to remarks made by county clerk Nicole Browne at last week’s election board meeting.

Commissioner Penny Githens led off, “To hear ourselves and to hear people in our office called liars and obfuscators is very disrespectful.”

As one the three county election board members, Browne had delivered her remarks last week on the topic of the ongoing acrimony between commissioners and the election board about space allocations for the county election division.

Under state law, the county clerk is a board member, along with one appointment made by each of the Republican and Democratic party chairs. All three county commissioners are Democrats, as is Browne.

Browne wants the county elections division to be able to consolidate all of its currently distributed space under one roof, by having the whole Johnson Hardware building at its disposal, instead of just a part of the first floor. The building, aka Election Central, is located on the southwest corner of Madison and 7th Streets.

Browne’s request has enjoyed solid support during public commentary time at meetings of the county commissioners starting in August.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Githens said, “We’re happy to work with the election board and negotiate options to hear their suggestions, but only if the dialogue is respectful.”

That dialogue could continue this week, at a joint meeting between commissioners and the election board, which has been set for Thursday at 1 p.m.

That’s when commissioners want the election board to take a vote on the alternate space that the commissioners have offered to the election division. Continue reading “Can Monroe County commissioners, election board bury beefs before 2022?”

Now posted: The Beacon’s voter’s guide for 2019 Bloomington general elections

This November will mark the first election, dating back at least to 1967, that not all registered voters in Bloomington will able to cast a ballot for city offices—mayor, city clerk, and the nine-member common council.

Labeled R Map 2019 Bloomington City ElectionsDistrictRepsxxxx
Shown are the two districts where Bloomington city elections will be held on Nov. 5 this year, with the names of candidates who will appear on the ballot. (Dave Askins/Beacon)

That’s because elections are contested in just two city council districts: District 2 and District 3. Voters in District 2 will choose between Andrew Guenther (R) and Sue Sgambelluri (D). In District 3, the choice is between Nick Kappas (I), Ron Smith (D) and Marty Spechler (I).

The Beacon’s voters guide includes short profiles of the five candidates in contested elections and links to other useful information. The guide also includes candidates in non-contested elections.

In areas other than District 2 and District 3, no elections will be held, because there are no contested races. Ballots in those districts will show just the contested races. That’s not automatic, but in areas where no races are contested, state law gives county election boards the authority to cancel them. And that’s what Monroe County’s election board did in August. Continue reading “Now posted: The Beacon’s voter’s guide for 2019 Bloomington general elections”