Township board chair Joe Husk and trustee Michelle Bright address Monroe County commissioners Wednesday morning. Feb. 12, 2020.
The map is shaded based on fire protection that will be effective in 2021 based on decisions made in 2019. Benton Township is now in the queue to be added to MCFPD. Washington is about six weeks behind the Benton Township schedule.
Benton Township residents can mark their calendars for a meeting on March 23 or 24 or 26 at 6:30 p.m. to be held at the Unionville Senior Center next to the township fire station out on SR45.
The topic and agenda of each meeting will be the same—a proposal for the township to join the Monroe County Fire Protection District (MCFPD).
Benton Township will follow a process similar to the one that saw Van Buren and Bloomington Townships join the fire district last year. Based on decisions made last year, by January 2021, the geographic area of the MCFPD will include Van Buren, Indian Creek, Clear Creek, Perry and Bloomington townships.
IJTF members (from left) Cathi Crabtree, Shruti Rana, Christie Popp, and Jane Grant, deliver public commentary at the Feb. 11, 2020 meeting of Monroe County’s council.
IJTF member Cathi Crabtree.
County councilor Trent Deckard.
Shruti Rana, IJTF member and professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, delivers public commentary to Monroe County’s council.
County councilor, Kate Wiltz.
County councilor Eric Spoonmore.
The Immigration Justice Task Force (IJTF), a self-organized group that counts members from area religious and non-profit organizations, addressed the Monroe County council at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday.
Those who took the public podium on Tuesday called on the county council to help support their requests for information from Monroe County’s sheriff, Brad Swain, about specific connections between the sheriff’s office and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
That’s something the councilors agreed to do, telling their attorney, Margie Rice, they wanted the information requests forwarded from them to the sheriff.
Land contributions for the convention center are a sticking point.
Bloomington city council president Steve Volan.
Monroe County councilor Marty Hawk.
County and city officials meet on Feb. 10, 2020 to discuss the convention center expansion.
After meeting for more than two hours on Monday night, city and county officials were maybe incrementally closer to hammering out an interlocal agreement that’s meant to help move forward a $44-million convention center expansion project.
The current convention center is located at College Avenue and 3rd Street.
On Monday, elected officials reviewed the newest draft of the interlocal agreement, which is intended to supplement statutory requirements for the eventual formation of a capital improvement board (CIB).
Sticking points are the same as those identified at a meeting earlier in the year: the way appointments are made to the convention and visitors commission; and which parcels of land will be contributed to the new CIB by the two sides.
Of the two topics, it’s the land contributions where city and county officials have the more serious disagreement. President of the county commissioners, Julie Thomas, said about the land issue: “We are really far apart on this one.”
The city wants to see all the city- or county-owned land in the vicinity of the convention center put at the disposal of the CIB. County officials want to contribute just the parcels to the CIB that are known to be needed for the current project. [city proposal] [county proposal]
The two sides are hoping for a next meeting on March 2.
May 19 will be the one-year mark for the time the project has been stalled, since a steering committee voted to recommend a northward instead of an eastward expansion of the existing convention center facility. The yet-to-be-formed CIB is supposed to make the final choice of the site plan.
Councilmember Jim Sims is sponsor of the non-consensual towing ordinance.
The proposed new ordinance on non-consensual towing would require signs similar to these, which are already in place.
Bloomington Police Department operations captain Scott Oldham tells the council that “no-pay” releases of towed vehicles are no longer ordered by BPD.
At its regular meeting last Wednesday, Bloomington’s city council voted to refer a new non-consensual towing ordinance to the council’s committee of the whole for a second time.
Wednesday’s referral to the committee of the whole means the new law regulating towing companies that remove vehicles parked illegally on private property will get further consideration on Feb. 12. But it won’t get a vote to enact it on that day.
The procedural vote, to refer the legislation to the committee of the whole, was split 7–2. That’s because councilmembers are not yet in alignment about how they want to use smaller, four-member committees, compared to the committee of the whole, in their legislative process.
It’s been a point of friction since the start of the year.
In the familiar, predictable category are incumbents for the four countywide offices that handle different statutory functions, all Democrats. Auditor Cathy Smith, treasurer Jessica McClellan, coroner Joani Shields, and surveyor Trohn Enright-Randolph were the only people to declare candidacy for their respective offices.
It was no surprise. That was the expected news out of Monroe County’s election board meeting on Thursday afternoon. Hart Intercivic had indicated the delivery would come in early February.
The delivery of a semi-trailer-truck load worth of election equipment, and preliminary testing of the equipment was one of the major topics of discussion at the board’s meeting.
Another main topic was raised during public commentary by two members of the College Democrats at Indiana University Bloomington. They advocated for establishing the Indiana Memorial Union as a universal vote center, where voters from any precinct could cast a ballot.
The orange area is the parcel where Curry Urban Properties is proposing a planned unit development.
In a unanimous vote on Wednesday night, Bloomington’s city council approved a planned unit development (PUD) for the empty lot on the north side of the Longview Avenue, between Pete Ellis Drive and 7th Street.
On Tuesday morning, Bloomington officials presented the city’s 2020 public safety report, a summary of activity and outcomes for the 2019 calendar year.
Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, introduced the three presenters: police chief Mike Diekhoff; community and family resources director Beverly Calender-Anderson; and fire chief Jason Moore.
Hamilton called 2019 a “tough year” because of rises in gun violence and violent crime. Against that, mayor pointed to increased funding for programs that are meant to de-escalate situations before they become violent, the new social worker who works in the police department, the new crisis diversion center, and a new substation in Switchyard Park.
A 1980 article in the Valparaiso University Law Review states that the political party caucus exemption in the Open Door Law (ODL) here in the state of Indiana is “a major potential weakness in the act, and is virtually impossible to police.”
The same article mentions that there have been few problems with the caucus at the local level, either because it is not abused or else is used discretely enough to avoid criticism.
At lot has happened since 1980. But the law review article also mentions, as a point of curiosity, that up to that point there had been “few complaints by the press.”