Photos: Protesters mourn effective date of Indiana’s law prohibiting most abortions

On the evening before the effective date of SB1, Indiana’s new law that prohibits most abortions, around a hundred people gathered on the southeast lawn of the Monroe County courthouse in an event that was billed as a vigil to mark the occasion.

Attending Wednesday evening’s event (Sept. 14) and addressing the crowd were county and city officials as well as leaders of nonprofit groups. Continue reading “Photos: Protesters mourn effective date of Indiana’s law prohibiting most abortions”

$129M in 2023: Bloomington mayor asks city council to approve 21% bigger budget for next year

The 2023 budget  that has been proposed by Bloomington mayor John Hamilton comes in at $129.2 million, which is about 21 percent more than last year.

That’s the figure in city controller Jeff Underwood’s memo, which was released on Monday at 2 p.m. A  news release came a few minutes later.

Hamilton delivered the proposal to the city council on Monday evening.

The budget reflects a 5-percent pay increase for non-union workers, plus a $250 quarterly bonus, for a total of $1,000 in bonuses.

Hamilton’s presentation was followed by a financial overview from city controller Jeff Underwood and an overview of compensation by human resources director Caroline Shaw.

After that, the council received departmental budget briefings from several departments: human resources; clerk’s office; legal department; information and technology services; city council; controller; and office of the mayor.

The departmental budget breakdowns were released last Friday.  The departmental budget presentations to the council will continue over the next three nights, all starting at 6 p.m.  The B Square will report reaction from councilmembers separately.

The $129 million reflects all of the city’s departments, but does not include city of Bloomington utilities, Bloomington Transit, or the Bloomington Housing Authority. Adding in the budgets for those three entities brings the total to about $229 million.

Changes residents will notice

Part of the budget proposal includes reductions in some city services, increased costs to residents, or changes to current practice.

Continue reading “$129M in 2023: Bloomington mayor asks city council to approve 21% bigger budget for next year”

County council warm to Bloomington’s pitch for convention center transfer

While a lot of details remain to be worked out, Monroe County councilors appear receptive to the basic idea of transferring ownership of the county’s convention center and related properties to the city of Bloomington.

The city’s hoped-for timeline for getting the deal done is the end of September.

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, county councilors took turns responding to a pitch from Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Eric Spoonmore, who is their former colleague, and Bloomington deputy mayor Don Griffin. The two gave a somewhat longer version of the proposal that county commissioners had heard during public commentary at their regular meeting last Wednesday. Continue reading “County council warm to Bloomington’s pitch for convention center transfer”