New Bloomington city council districts: Vote put off at least until Oct. 6

After more than two hours of deliberation on Wednesday, the Bloomington city council postponed until Oct. 6 further consideration of new boundaries for city council districts.

The council’s special meeting, now set for Oct. 6, coincides with the Democratic Party’s Vi Taliaferro Dinner—an annual fundraiser that is scheduled to start at the council’s usual meeting time of 6:30 p.m.

That’s why the all-Democrat council voted 9–0 to convene its special meeting for Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. The council set a time limit of one hour.

The council’s annual calendar had already called for a committee meeting on Oct. 6—which is a Thursday, instead of the usual Wednesday. The one-day shift avoids a conflict with Yom Kippur, which falls on Wednesday. The council canceled that committee meeting in favor of the one-hour special meeting.

On Oct. 6, the council could vote to adopt the new map that has been recommended by Bloomington’s redistricting advisory commission.

Another option would be to reject the map, and send the matter back to the five-member redistricting commission with the reasons for the council’s rejection.

Or the council could again postpone any decision. Continue reading “New Bloomington city council districts: Vote put off at least until Oct. 6”

Redistricting question served up to state legislators, talk turns again to local issue

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State legislators representing the Monroe County area appeared at an update hosted on Saturday by the League of Women Voters and the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce.  From left: Rep. Matt Pierce, Rep. Peggy Mayfield, Sen. Mark Stoops, and Rep. Jeff Ellington. (Dave Askins/Square Beacon)

On Saturday, the League of Women Voters and the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce hosted the second in a series of three events tied to the General Assembly’s session calendar, which concludes in mid-March this year.

Like the first such event, held in late January, the idea of re-districting at the local level got some airtime. Continue reading “Redistricting question served up to state legislators, talk turns again to local issue”

Bloomington council president on local redistricting reform: “The commission has to be in place by 2021. It’s not far off.”

With its six city council districts, Bloomington is not unique among Indiana cities. But by year’s end it could be the only Indiana city that has a local commission established to handle the redrawing of council district boundaries.

This year’s city council president, Steve Volan, told The Square Beacon this week that one of his goals for 2020 is to establish an independent redistricting commission. It’s an idea he’s been working on for a couple of years, he said.

Under state statute, the city’s redistricting will be done in 2022, the second year after the decennial census. Continue reading “Bloomington council president on local redistricting reform: “The commission has to be in place by 2021. It’s not far off.””