Chris Cockerham will remain a Bloomington plan commissioner. Andrew Guenther will not be installed to replace him.
That’s because Indiana’s Supreme Court gave notice on Tuesday that it will not to hear an appeal that was requested in July by Guenther and former Monroe County Republican Party chair William Ellis.
In June of 2020, Guenther and Ellis had filed a lawsuit against Bloomington mayor John Hamilton over the rightful appointee to the Bloomington plan commission.
The key question of law in the case was this one: Is there a statutory requirement that a member of a partisan-balanced board or commission be affiliated with some party or other?
Guenther and Ellis said yes. Bloomington’s mayor John Hamilton said no.
In a ruling that was issued in late May this year, a three-member panel of the court of appeals sided with Bloomington. The court of appeals decision reversed the initial ruling at the circuit court level, by special judge Erik Allen, who had decided the case in Ellis and Guenther’s favor.
The court of appeals said there is no requirement—that for someone to be appointed to a partisan-balanced board or commission, they have to be a member of some political party or other. That means someone who is unaffiliated with any party can be appointed to a partisan-balanced board.
Tuesday’s notification from the Supreme Court, that it won’t hear the case, means this spring’s court of appeals ruling will now stand. Continue reading “Bloomington plan commission news: State’s highest court declines case on party affiliations for partisan-balanced boards”