Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, made a New Year’s Day announcement that he wanted to see an additional 0.5 percent in local income tax collected countywide. Hamilton wants to spend the extra portion of tax money allocated to Bloomington on climate action.
Under the current state statute, Bloomington’s city council has a 58-percent voting share on the county’s local income tax council. So a five-vote majority on Bloomington’s nine-member city council could enact the extra 0.5 percent of local income tax on all county residents. The voting shares are allocated based on population.
The mayor’s proposal hasn’t received air time at two regular meetings and two work sessions held by the Bloomington city council so far this year.
Monroe County’s election supervisor, Karen Wheeler at Election Central Jan. 15, 2020.
On Wednesday morning at their work session, Monroe County commissioners approved about $39,000 worth of renovations to the old Johnson Hardware Building, aka Election Central, at 7th and Madison streets.
Several Bloomington and Monroe County officials met Monday evening to push ahead the $44-million convention center expansion project. They reviewed a draft interlocal agreement, circulated shortly before the meeting, that is intended to supplement statutory requirements for the eventual formation of a capital improvement board (CIB).
The three county commissioners, in addition to several members of the city and county councils, were joined by Bloomington’s deputy mayor, Mick Renneisen at the meeting they’d set at the end of last year.
On Wednesday, Bloomington’s city council kicks off 2020 with its first meeting of the year, when it handles organizational matters like the election of new officers.
Some other non-organizational action items also appear on Wednesday’s agenda, among them a $350K interlocal agreement between Bloomington, Ellettsville and Monroe County on splitting costs for Bloomington’s animal shelter. It’s a routine agreement that’s been ratified for several years based on an agreed-upon formula that assigns costs on a per-animal basis.
Another routine interlocal agreement, under which Monroe County administers the building code for the city and the county, also appears on Wednesday’s agenda. It dates back to 1996 and has been extended at regular intervals for the last quarter century.
Last Thursday’s meeting of Monroe County’s election board included an alert from board member Carolyn VandeWiele about a bill that’s been introduced for this year’s session of Indiana’s General Assembly.
Monroe County Convention Center, Dec. 23, 2019, colorized red.
Monroe County Convention Center, Dec. 23, 2019, colorized green.
Unlikely to be resolved, even after a thousand years of diplomacy, is the ongoing bitter dispute over the best Christmas color. It’s green, some will say. But some stubborn souls will always insist that it’s red.
An occasional centrist will advocate for white, ignoring the fact that it’s not even a color.