At their Oct. 27 meeting, the Bloomington Council voted 9-0 to approve the nearly $107 million city budget for 2022.
Two weeks ago, the council had delayed action on the budget, citing the need to further negotiate with Mayor John Hamilton. Some councilmembers want to add a full-time climate action director who would oversee implementation of the city's climate action plan. Other councilmembers are concerned about the city's ability to recruit and retain Bloomington Police Department sworn officers, and want to increase officers' base pay.
However, the budget adopted on Oct. 27 was unchanged from the previous proposal. Rather, councilmembers approved the budget based on the expectations laid out in a press release from the administration. In it, the mayor proposed a quarterly retention bonus for BPD officers and further investment in staff to implement the climate action plan. None of those changes affected the 2022 budget. More information about the city's budget is available here.
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for "cool things" manufactured in this state. The awards are set up in a tournament format, with winners chosen through public fan voting. Each winner goes to the next round until there are four teams and an ultimate Coolest Thing Made in Indiana champion.
Nominations are accepted until Dec. 15. Click here for details.
At their Oct. 21 meeting, the Monroe County Board of Health voted to extend the county's mask mandate. The current mandate ends on Oct. 31.
If approved by the Monroe County Commissioners at their Oct. 27 meeting, the mandate will extend until the county's COVID-19 case numbers drop to fewer than 50 cases per week per 100,000 residents. Right now, the county is at about 100 cases per 100,000 residents.
More information is available at the Monroe County Health Department COVID-19 website.
Rep. Jeff Ellington, a Republican and Monroe County resident who currently represents District 62 in the Indiana House of Representatives, has announced plans to move to a property he owns in Bloomfield, a town in Greene County that's in the new House District 45. The Indiana legislature approved redistricting maps this fall, creating a more competitive District 62.
According to a social media post made by Ellington, "I have also been asked by some of the new District 45's leaders to make this run. I want to be clear about that. Monroe County GOP Chairman William Ellis also encouraged me in this process, after our efforts to keep western Monroe and Greene together were ignored by the Statehouse.”
Ellington voted against the redistricting maps. The Republican-controlled legislature approved new district maps for the State House of Representatives Districts, State Senate, and Congressional Districts.
At their Oct. 19 meeting, the Monroe County Council approved the county's 2022 budget. The roughly $87 million budget supports a range of services, including roads, public health, criminal justice and more.
Councilor Geoff McKim noted that the county's work "isn't very exciting but is absolutely essential to our quality of life here."
Watch their deliberations on CATS here. Read more about the county budget here.
LIFEDesigns, Stone Belt and Work to Include are holding an Employer Town Hall on Oct. 27 to assist local businesses to connect with people with disabilities and the resources that can help promote a diverse workforce. The hybrid event runs from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Dimension Mill, 642 N. Madison in Bloomington, as well as via this Zoom link.
The interactive event will highlight the benefits of hiring people with disabilities and help businesses design a talent pipeline for youth and adults while addressing some of the barriers that businesses face, including reasonable accommodations, retention, co-worker training and accessing tax incentives.
Click here for more information.
A revised residential development next to the Johnson Creamery Building received site plan approval at the Oct. 18 Bloomington Plan Commission meeting.
The residential development will be built in the parking lot north of the Creamery building and south of 8th St. It will include 51 apartments of mostly studio and one-bedroom units, with a few two- and three-bedroom apartments. The ground floor, which can be accessed via the BLine, will include a fitness center and office space.
More details are available in the Plan Commission's meeting packet here. Watch the discussion on CATS here.
Four Candidate Statement and Exploratory Committee Designation documents have been filed with the Indiana Election Commission for seats in the 2022 Monroe County elections. These filings reflect a candidate's interest in running for public office, and mark the beginning of the campaign process. To learn more about these four candidates, please read below:
Ashley Cranor (D): Recorder. Cranor is the Chief Deputy Recorder for Monroe County. She also serves as vice chair of the county's Board of Health. She previously held numerous positions within Monroe County government.
Peter Iversen (D): County Council Representative for District 1. Iversen is seeking reelection for his current role as Council Representative. In addition to holding public office, he also serves as the Associate Director of Development for IU's School of Public Health.
Ruben Marté (D): Monroe County Sheriff. In May of this year, Marté was recognized by the Indiana State Police Department for his 30 years of service. He currently holds the rank of Captain and is the Department's first Diversity and Inclusion Officer.
Nathan Williamson (R): Monroe County Sheriff. Williamson currently serves as Sergeant for the Monroe County Sheriff's Department.
For more information on the timeline for the 2022 elections, follow this link.
If you have not yet registered to vote, follow this link to the Monroe County Government Election Central website.
At their Oct. 13 meeting, Monroe County Commissioners have approved a scaled-down version of Clear Creek Urban, a mixed-use development at the intersection of South Rogers and That Road. The development will include paired townhomes, multi-family units, and commercial space on land across from the U.S. Post Office.
The original proposal by Blind Squirrels LLC, led by Tamby Cassady, was a higher density version that commissioners rejected earlier this year.
Read the Clear Creek Urban proposal from the commissioners' meeting packet here. Watch the deliberations on CATS here.
A new advisory commission will help Monroe County with its redistricting process. On Oct. 13, Monroe County Commissioners made appointments to the four-member precinct and district boundary advisory commission (PDBAC): Regina Moore, Ed Robertson, Joyce Poling, and Hal Turner.
Based on results of the 2020 Census, the county is responsible for redrawing boundaries for precincts, as well as for county council and county commissioner districts.
The City of Bloomington also has a citizens redistricting advisory commission, which they created last year. However, no appointments have been made to that nine-member group.