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.
On Wednesday night, Kate Rosenbarger and Steve Volan abstained on the vote granting a $30-million tax abatement for Catalent—but not because they had some financial conflict or even an appearance of one.
The resolution passed with six votes in favor, one more than the five-vote majority it needed.
Rosenbarger was in a quandary—she doesn’t believe in tax abatements generally, but said it was “silly” for Catalent not to pursue the abatement. What was her way out of the dilemma? To abstain.
Volan also said he found the concept of tax abatements problematic, and complained that Catalent was not willing to make some additional commitments—for example, allowing a developer to build housing on Catalent land.
Volan could not vote yes, but wanted to make a “show of good faith to Catalent.” What was his show of good faith? To abstain.
“Is council a co-equal branch of government or isn’t it?” That’s a rhetorical question posed by Steve Volan, this year’s president of Bloomington’s city council, about the relationship between the council and the city’s administration.
Volan asked the question during a contentious work session held last Friday afternoon in city hall’s Hooker Conference Room. All nine councilmembers attended at least part of the session, along with a dozen and half staff members, among them several department heads and deputy mayor Mick Renneisen.
About 20 candidates are vying for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party this year.
It’s a paltry number compared to the field of 40 who are campaigning to be named the Funniest Person in Bloomington. The 11th edition of the Comedy Attic’s Bloomington Comedy Festival (BCF) will culminate in the finals held on Aug. 28.
City Councilmember Steve Volan lives almost exactly in the middle of Bloomington.
The center of Bloomington’s area—the centroid calculated by a piece of geographic information software called QGIS—lies a few feet west of Indiana University’s Henderson Parking Garage on Atwater Avenue.