From left: Don Griffin, Kwan Wallace, Joe Davis, Susan Sandberg, and Kerry Thomson.
From left: Don Griffin, Kwan Wallace, and Joe Davis.
From left: Kira Richardson, Jim Sims, Don Griffin, and Joe Davis.
From left: Joe Davis, Don Griffin, Susan Sandberg, and Kerry Thomson.
Who gets invited to participate in mayoral candidate forums? What happens if an uninvited mayoral hopeful shows up to participate?
With early voting in the May 2 municipal primary races starting in a little over a week, those questions got asked and answered at a Saturday event hosted by the Kappa Tau Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Alpha Kappa Alpha is one the Divine Nine—that’s the nickname for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), which is an umbrella council composed of historically Black fraternities and sororities.
The forum, which was held at the Crestmont Boys and Girls Club on the north side of town, included the three Democratic Party primary candidates: Don Griffin, Susan Sandberg, and Kerry Thomson.
Not invited was Joe Davis, who has filed the paperwork to form a campaign committee called “Joe Mama for Mayor.” Davis has not submitted the required 352 signatures to be placed on the Nov. 7, 2023 ballot for the general city election.
But Davis arrived at the venue on Saturday, ready to participate. In the end, he was allowed to sit at the table with a hand-written “Joe Mama Bear Davis” name card sitting in front of his spot on the table, and to answer questions in turn with the other questions.
The first live ballots are now headed into the hands of voters in Bloomington’s May 2 municipal primary election.
On Thursday and Friday, absentee ballots were sent to the 28 registered voters who have requested them so far. That’s based on the absentee voter list distributed by Monroe County election division staff.
Over the next few weeks, more absentee ballots will be sent to those who qualify, as more voters request them.
The Democratic Party’s primary will almost certainly select Bloomington’s mayor, city clerk and city council for the next four years. Just one Republican, Brett Heinisch for city council District 3, has declared a candidacy this year.
Davis had previously appeared before the board to appeal a total of $200 in fines imposed for the city’s notices of violations, saying that the materials that are stacked around his property are not garbage, but rather building materials and tools. They’re needed for the kind of active construction site he is overseeing, he has said.
That’s the position that Davis has outlined in a tort claim that he has sent to the city. The claim is against the city of Bloomington, the HAND department, the department of public works, and the board of public works.
The photo of the property at 530 Washington St. was provided in the meeting information packet
Joe Davis is a self-described “unconventional guy.”
But the city of Bloomington wants him to take a more conventional approach to the appearance of his residential property at 530 Washington St.
The city contends that it’s not just a matter of appearance. The housing and neighborhood development (HAND) department sees Davis’s property as violating the local law that says you can’t “throw, place, or scatter any garbage, recyclable materials or yard waste over or upon any premises, street, alley, either public or private…”,
That’s the basis of a series of warnings and fines that the city’s HAND department levied against the property last year. Davis appealed the fines to the board of public works, but they were upheld.
It is at Tuesday’s meeting that HAND will ask the board of public works for an abatement order, which would, if granted, allow the city to go onto Davis’s property to take the steps the city thinks are needed, in order to bring it under compliance with city code. The city would then send Davis a bill for the work.
Wednesday, Jan. 4 next year is the first chance for Bloomington residents to submit a formal filing of their candidacy for a seat on the nine-member city council.
But it’s already possible for someone to file the paperwork to establish a campaign committee or just to say that they are running.
Falling into one of those categories, are at least five candidates whose formal paperwork can be expected to show up on the Monroe County’s website sometime starting Jan. 4.
They include: incumbents Isabel Piedmont-Smith (District 1) and Dave Rollo (District 4); and potential new faces on the council, Conner Wright (District 3), Shruti Rana (District 5), and Jonas Schrodt (at large).
All nine city council seats are up for election in 2023—six representing a geographic district and three representing residents citywide. City council members serve four-year terms.
The council is currently composed of all Democrats, and the candidates described in this article will be running in the Democratic Party’s primary.