Paul Post, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Don Owens Memorial Lodge 88
The police chief or his designee is the sergeant of arms for the city council.
Mike Rouker, city attorney.
Bloomington police officers now have a contract with the city for the next three years, through the end of 2020. The four-year deal, approved by the city council on Wednesday night, stretches back to the beginning of 2019, when the current contract expired.
Officers have been working this year under an “evergreen” clause of the old contract.
The 2-percent raise for this year was not applied retroactively, though it feeds into the schedule of raises each year for the next three years, which range from 2.65 to 2.9 percent.
Instead of applying the raise retroactively, which according to city staff would have been administratively too complex, officers received a $1,000 bonus. The bonus is about $60 less than 2 percent of the base salary for an officer, which was $52,916 in 2018.
Paul Post, who’s president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Don Owens Memorial Lodge 88, told the city council that the main point of contention—about which the union members were not happy—was a move away from seniority as the sole factor in determining shift assignments.
City councilmember Steve Volan at the Dec. 4, 2019 Bloomington city council meeting.
County councilor Eric Spoonmore at the Dec. 4, 2019 Bloomington city council meeting..
County commissioner Julie Thomas at the Dec. 4, 2019 Bloomington city council meeting..
Some increased pressure on Monroe County’s board of commissioners and Bloomington’s mayor generated some activity on Wednesday, if not progress, on the question of the stalled convention center expansion project.
In a week, it likely will be easier to tell how much of the activity counts as progress.
Late last week, Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, and county elected officials started an extra push for a speedier resolution to the disagreements between the city and the county that have stalled the project since late May.
Part of Hamilton’s push included relenting on the question of equal representation for governance of the expansion project. Hamilton committed in writing to equal appointments by the city and county.
Hamilton’s effort can be analyzed as at least two-pronged.
[Note: The timeline at the end of this piece has been updated to include links to documents released at the Wednesday, Dec. 4 meeting of the Monroe County board of commissioners.]
On Tuesday afternoon, the food and beverage tax advisory commission (FBTAC) voted to postpone for a week Bloomington’s request for an additional $2.35 million of tax money to go with the $4 million that FBTAC approved in January of this year.
Food and beverage tax money, collected since early 2018, is required to be spent on an expanded convention center and related tourism.
In January 2020, the next edition of Bloomington’s common council will take office.
The first law passed by the new nine-member local legislature should be called the “Last Call Public Transit Time Ordinance.”
The new law would require that city council meetings end before the last public bus of the day leaves the general area of downtown and city hall, where city council meetings are held.
It would help ensure that people who rely on public transportation can attend city council meetings and stay until the end. It would also encourage councilmembers maintain some basic knowledge about Bloomington Transit bus schedules.
But here’s the most important consequence of the law: For councilmembers who think longer meetings are essential to doing the People’s business, the law creates an incentive to find the money to run buses later.
The Monroe County council was not expected to discuss the convention center expansion at its Tuesday night work session. A draft resolution on the topic, floated at the council’s meeting two weeks ago, had been pulled from Tuesday’s agenda.
But an appearance at the council’s Tuesday’s work session by all three county commissioners led to a half hour of discussion of the convention center expansion.
[Note: Beacon Benchmark columns are an occasional way for the B Square Beacon’s writer to give readers some regular behind-the-scenes insight into this website, which aims to serve some of the news and information needs of Bloomington, Indiana.]