By a vote of 8-1 at its Wednesday meeting, Bloomington’s city council passed a resolution of support for establishing a capital improvement board (CIB) to serve as the governance structure for an expansion of the Monroe Convention Center.
Dissenting on the vote was Kate Rosenbarger, who expressed frustration with the amount of time the council was given to consider the issue, as well as some skepticism about the need for additional convention space.
A CIB is a seven-member group that under state law can be established by county commissioners as a public body, which makes it subject to Indiana’s laws on public meetings and access to records.
Under state law, a CIB can acquire real estate, build improvements, collect money and hire employees, among other things.
Instead of a CIB, mayor John Hamilton’s administration favors a 501(c)(3) nonprofit as the governance structure for a convention center expansion.
In a public statement released on Tuesday before the council’s Wednesday meeting, Hamilton restated that position. Hamilton is quoted in the statement saying about a CIB “I will not endorse launching a process that I don’t believe will bring the result our community wants and deserves…”
At the city council’s Wednesday meeting, Bloomington public engagement director Mary Catherine Carmichael repeated the administration’s preference for a 501(c)(3) model. The following day, the administration announced Carmichael’s appointment as deputy mayor, to succeed Don Griffin, who has resigned effective at the end of the year in order to run for mayor.
The mayor’s current opposition to a CIB means the ordinance approved by county commissioners on Nov. 9, which established a CIB, will likely be void, unless there’s a dramatic reversal before the end of the year.
The ordinance establishes a CIB only if the city council and mayor agree to the terms in the ordinance. Continue reading “Bloomington city council supports CIB for convention center, but county ordinance likely needs redoing”