In the lawsuit, Andrew Guenther asserts that he has been duly appointed by GOP Monroe County chair William Ellis, and should serve on the commission instead of Cockerham.
It’s not yet decided which judge will hear the case. Owen County circuit judge Kelsey Hanlon, who’s facilitator of District 20, has been asked to appoint a special judge. One of 26 judicial districts the state, District 20 is made up of Monroe, Owen, Lawrence, and Greene counties.
A meeting held last Thursday by Bloomington city council’s four-member public safety committee got some initial comments from the public on the topic of policing in the city.
Opening remarks from committee chair Jim Sims included the statement: “We are here to listen to you, the public.” Sims wrapped up his remarks by saying, “A deeper look into the local law enforcement operations is warranted. We just know that tonight we are here, and we need to listen.”
Sims indicated there would likely be additional such meetings.
During public comment at the committee meeting, an appeal to sell the Bloomington police department’s (BPD’s) Bearcat armored vehicle—purchased two years ago for $225,000—came from a dozen different commenters. They want the proceeds to be spent on social services.
At its meeting on Wednesday, Bloomington’s city council accepted the recommendation of its Jack Hopkins social services funding committee and approved the allocation of $318,795 in funding for requests from 24 different nonprofits.
The program has awarded almost $4.5 million dollars to local social services nonprofits since 1993. In the last few years, the amount has been around $300,000 each year.
In a press release issued late Wednesday afternoon, Monroe county’s health department said it’s investigating a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases, after the state’s dashboard, updated every day at noon, showed 12 new cases for the county.
Last month the Bloomington Transit (BT) board got clear look at the impact the COVID-19 pandemic was having on fix-route bus ridership. The April numbers were down about 90 percent from April a year ago.
On Tuesday, the May monthly ridership numbers reported at BT’s board meeting were still dramatically down from the same month a year ago—34,256 rides this May compared to 133,798 in May of 2019.
Even though it’s physically located inside the Bloomington city limits, the Monroe County History Center is now eligible for a grant through an already established county government program that’s designed to support businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s the specific effect of a decision made at a Tuesday afternoon meeting of the food and beverage tax advisory commission (FABTAC). But the FABTAC’s decision applies to any entity “whose purpose and mission is to support the entire county in tourism related endeavors.”
What’s new for the county’s grant program is the suspension of a rigid geographic requirement that a grantee be located outside the Bloomington city limits.
At its Monday night meeting, the farmers market advisory council (FMAC) voted to disband the broadening inclusion group (BIG), after seven of BIG’s nine members had already resigned.
Their resignations came after a post on Facebook made by the group, which included the statement, “Our hearts break for every lost, angry, and aimless young black man and woman who commit violent crimes and claim the lives of other black men, black women, and black children—their lives matter.” The statement was denounced as racist by several hundred commenters.
Monday nights FMAC vote to disband the BIG was 6–1, with two absences, which were caused in part by audio difficulties that made parts of the meeting, conducted on the Zoom videoconferencing platform, difficult to follow.
What are the next steps after the vote to disband the BIG?
Responding to an emailed question from The Square Beacon, Paula McDevitt, Bloomington’s director of parks and recreation, said staff will be reviewing the FMAC chat and transcript of the recorded comments. “We will share them with the board of park commissioners,” McDevitt said.