In early August, Bloomington’s city clerk, Nicole Bolden, filed a complaint about the city council’s attorney/administrator, Dan Sherman, alleging that he was “disrespectful and rude” in his questioning of her about the posting of required legal notices for a meeting of the council’s rules committee. Bolden, who is black, further alleged that Sherman’s behavior, who is white, may have been motivated by personal animus related to her race or some other reason.
On Wednesday night, in a vote that was split 6–1–1, Bloomington’s city council decided to accept a statement of its executive committee and approve a motion to release publicly the summary of an investigation into Bolden’s allegations. The investigation did not find evidence to support Bolden’s allegations.
Some councilmembers who voted for the motion said they did so to clear Sherman’s name.
Two days short of the second anniversary of the Monroe County council’s vote to enact a 1-percent food and beverage tax, city of Bloomington and county officials have agreed on the basics of the governance structure for a $59-million convention center expansion.
By law, the tax has to be spent on the expansion of the current convention center facility or related economic development projects. The current facility is located on the southwest the corner of College Avenue and 3rd Street.
[Update at 1:18 p.m. Dec. 11, 2019: This piece has been updated at the end to include action from Wednesday morning]
At their Tuesday night meeting, Monroe County councilors helped set the stage for Wednesday morning’s negotiations between county commissioners and Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, about the governance of the convention center expansion project.
Will it be a statutorily-enabled capital improvement board (CIB) or a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that decides the site plan, acts as the architect’s client, and eventually owns the facility?
The county council’s stage-setting work included approval of a resolution that expresses the council’s support for the CIB option, with a 3-3-1 split of appointments between the city and the county on the seven-member board. The county and city would get three appointment apiece, with the seventh member appointed by the first six.
But on Tuesday, the county council also set in motion what had previously been more or less an implicit threat: If the county commissioners cannot agree on a governance model and put it in place to implement the $59 million project, the county council will exercise its power to sunset the food and beverage tax. The county council enacted the tax two years ago on a 4–3 vote.
Every month starting in August, Bloomington’s plan commission followed a pattern. The commission continued to the following month’s meeting one of its agenda items—the city’s proposed site plan for a replacement garage at Fourth and Walnut streets.
Demolition of the old structure, with its 352 parking spaces, started in September and is now complete.