The question came from Indiana University president Pam Whitten, who served up topics to Holcomb as the two sat in easy chairs in front of an audience of around 450 people.
Holcomb said he’d wished he’d appointed his special health commission to do its work sooner than he did—namely, before the COVID-19 pandemic. He added the conventional wisdom about hindsight—it’s 20/20.
The Monroe Convention Center expansion project needs to make some progress, state representative Democrat Rep. Matt Pierce (District 61) said at a Friday luncheon hosted by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce at The Mill.
Looming during this year’s legislative session is a threat to the project’s planned funding source, which is the county’s 1-percent food and beverage tax. The threat cited by Pierce is Senate Bill 37, which has already been filed by Republican Sen. Mike Gaskill (District 25).
If SB 37 is passed, it would end food and beverage taxes across all counties in the state 20 years from now, on Jan. 1, 2043, or the date on which all bonds or lease agreements that are outstanding on May 7, 2023, are completely paid—whichever is later.
Pierce summed up the stalled effort of Bloomington and Monroe County government to collaborate on the convention center expansion like this: “We gotta get moving on that.”
Pierce was joined at the event by three other area state legislators: Sen. Eric Koch (District 44); Sen. Shelli Yoder (District 40); and Rep. Dave Hall (District 62).
Pierce’s comment on the convention center expansion came in response to a question from chamber CEO and president Eric Spoonmore.
Much of the media coverage of 2020 primary elections focused on the mechanics of voting methods, instead of the campaigns.
That’s because the COVID-19 pandemic led the state election commission to postpone the primaries four weeks, from May 5 to June 2, and to make no-excuse absentee voting available for any voter. That meant every voter could vote by mail, instead of showing up in person to vote on any of the six days before Election Day or the day itself.
In Monroe County, a lot more people voted by mail, ahead of Election Day, than they did in 2016. Of the 26,791 voters who cast a ballot for this year’s primary, 17,785 (66 percent) did it by mail.
The 66 percent who voted by mail this year was more than twice the percentage who voted before Primary Election Day in 2016. The 2016 figure also includes mail-in ballots and in-person ballots cast during the early voting period.
Based on unofficial results of the June 2 primary, the Democratic Party’s nomination for the District 40 state senate seat is Shelli Yoder. The former Monroe County councilor prevailed over John Zody, the Democratic Party’s state chair, and Trent Feuerbach, with 81 percent of the vote. No Republican candidate appeared on the primary ballot for the District 40 senate seat.
Another closely watched race in the Democratic Primary was for the county circuit court judge Division 8 seat. Kara Elaine Krothe, an attorney in the county’s public defender’s office prevailed over Jeff Kehr, a Monroe County deputy prosecutor, with 68.5 percent of the vote. Krothe will face incumbent Republican Judith Benckart in the November general election.
The three county council incumbents—Geoff McKim, Trent Deckard, and Cheryl Munson—prevailed in the race for the Democratic Party’s primary for at-large county council seats. McKim, who was third among the incumbents with 24 percent of the vote, outdistanced Dominic Thompson by 12.5 points and Karl Boehm by 18 points. The November general election contest will feature the three Democratic Party nominees and two Republicans, James Allen and Zachary Weisheit.
Tuesday night’s Monroe County council’s work session was highlighted by debate on the issuance of $3 million worth of general obligation bonds—the item passed on a 5–1 vote with dissent from councilor Marty Hawk.
At the end of session, councilors marked the occasion of council president Shelli Yoder’s last time to preside over a meeting. Yoder announced her resignation last Thursday, effective at the end of October—she’s moving out of District 1, which she represents.
In a release posted on Facebook, Democrat Shelli Yoder announced on Thursday that she is resigning from Monroe County’s council and will serve through the end of October. Yoder’s resignation was caused by a pending change in her residency, according to the release.
Yoder currently represents the county council’s District 1, which covers the eastern third of Monroe County and the northeast corner of Bloomington.
The release quotes Yoder as saying “Although this move will take my family into a different Bloomington neighborhood just beyond the border of District 1, my commitment to our community and Monroe County’s continued success is as strong as ever. I look forward to finding new opportunities to serve and to continuing the work of meeting the challenges we face at the local, state, and national levels.”
At-large seats on the council can be held by residents who live anywhere in the county. Asked by The Beacon via text message, if she had contemplated running for one of the three at-large positions on the county council that is up for election in 2020, Yoder replied: “I’m still considering what’s next.”
The three at-large seats on the seven-member council are currently held by Geoff McKim, Cheryl Munson, and Trent Deckard.