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Tag Archives: bloomington city council

Bloomington City Council Borrows $48 Million Dollars for TIF District


The Bloomington City Council voted last night to borrow up to forty-eight million dollars for the city’s Redevelopment District, also known as the downtown TIF district. The bond funds are to be used to finance infrastructure work in the district. Mayor Mark Kruzan lobbied for the measure at the May 13th meeting of the council. Kruzan spoke again last night.

“Bloomington Indiana in the last decade with this councils support and some of your predecessors have faced down a recession to invest in itself,” Kruzan explains.

About two-thirds of the bond funds — or twenty-five million dollars — are to be spent on the Switchyard Park Development on Bloomington’s south-side. Other priorities include rehabilitation of the city-owned Buskirk-Chumley Theater, promoting construction of affordable housing and installing infrastructure in the Certified Technology Park. A portion of the money is also intended for improvements to city parks, renovation of the animal shelter, and police department and sanitation facilities.

City Council Considers Barbecue Smoke


The Bloomington City Council dealt with smoking last week. Not cigarette smoking but rather meat smoking, specifically smoke exhaust from barbecue grilling at the Short Stop Food Mart on Smith Road. The issue came up after the business owner asked the Council to approve an expansion of the building’s seating capacity. The smoke issue came up because the increase in seating could also mean more customers and thus more barbequeing. City Council member Marty Spechler, who represents the District where the Short Stop is located, raised the issue with the business owner, Chris Smith.  Smith responded by saying that he would not be putting in more grills than he has now unless the smoker’s were indoors.

The barbecue smoke exhaust issue was not technically part of the petition before the Council, since it apparently is allowed by the current zoning for the space. This left a long-time neighbor of the Short Stop frustrated.  Hank West says that he believes that the smoke is an issue and that zoning and planning conditions should be put into place.

West went on to contrast the city’s strict enforcement of the non-smoking in restaurants ordinance with its attitude toward restaurant barbecue smoke exhaust. He said barbecue smoke is considered by the EPA to be more toxic than second-hand cigarette smoke. Several council members noted the city currently has no ordinances restricting restaurant barbecue exhaust. They said it would be unfair to block the Short Stop expansion until such an ordinance is created. The Council later voted to grant the expansion of indoor seating capacity at the Short Stop Food Mart.


Interchange – Bloomington City Council Primary Candidates: District 1 Democrats


Host Doug Storm is joined by District 1 candidates for the Democratic nomination to run for the Bloomington City Council seat in November.

Chris Sturbaum (incumbent)
Kevin Easton

Previous Candidate Conversations
Interchange – Bloomington City Council Primary Candidates: District 4 Democrats
Interchange – Bloomington City Council Primary Candidates: District 3 Democrats

Democracy for Monroe County Forum, 3/31

“Election Day” – The Replacements
“Election Day” – Arcadia

Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

Interchange – Bloomington City Council Primary Candidates: District 4 Democrats


Host Doug Storm welcomes the candidates vying for the Democratic party nomination to run for the District 4 Bloomington City Council seat: Dave Rollo, the incumbent, and the challenger, Philippa Guthrie.

“The Candidate” by Urge Overkill
“The Politics Of Dancing” by Re-flex

Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

Bloomington City Council Takes a Stand Against New Indiana Bill


The Bloomington city council took a stand against the Religion Freedom Restoration Act last night. The entire Council co-sponsored a resolution opposing the law. Council member Darryl Neher read the resolution aloud during the meeting. He called for it to be sent to state leaders, including Governor Pence and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie.

Michael Mcrobbie, reading the resolution, states that “The Bloomington City Council opposes and urges repeal of RFRA”.

The council also expressed concern that the law defines “individual” to include corporations and businesses. There are clauses in Bloomington’s human rights ordinance regarding sexual orientation and gender identity but no statewide protected class measures. Several citizens spoke during public comment to thank the council for the gesture. Melanie Davis said she recently moved to Bloomington with her daughter and appreciates the cultural acceptance she has found locally.

Melanie expressed her gratitude with the following statement, “I’d always heard what a wonderful this was,and its turning out to be just such a place and I want to say how proud I am of all of you and of the city and the people in it for their celebration and true inclusion of diverse groups people”

While Pence has been on the national news circuit to say that RFRA has a perception problem, Bloomington resident C.W. Poole said that he believes the law was intentionally discriminatory. Poole said it is right for the council to put pressure on the Governor to repeal the law.

“I think it was written exactly what they wanted to do” Poole expressed passionately. He continued by saying “The intent was to discriminate”.

Many of the Council members referred to the national media response to the law, saying it has shed an unfair negative light on the state. Councilmember Susan Sandberg scolded Hoosiers for their apparent apathy when it comes to electing their leaders.

“Its been embarrassing”, Susan Sandberg disdainfully exclaimed about the amount of negative light Indiana has been receiving in lieu of the new bill.

There was clapping throughout the council chambers as the resolution passed unanimously.

Daily Local News – February 12, 2015


Last night the Bloomington City Council questioned the criteria for granting tax abatements;The Ellettsville town
government is one step closer to restricting on-going yard sales after a Plan Commission meeting last week;A group
at Indiana University is heading to Central America for spring break;Ivy Tech students and other volunteers will
help low-to-moderate income families file their 2015 tax returns for free.

Much of the debate at the Indiana Statehouse over the past several weeks has revolved around education. Just this
week Governor Mike Pence announced plans to shorten the length of the I-STEP test, which students will take in
March. That move was in response to an announcement that the length would otherwise have doubled this year.
Meanwhile, Indiana Republicans have pushed legislation to check the power of Glenda Ritz, the State Superintendent
of Education. Ritz is a Democrat who was elected in 2012. Debate also continues over how to fund traditional public schools as compared to charter schools and voucher programs. On Tuesday night, the Monroe County Community School Corporation hosted a conversation about how education could be affected by state legislation this year. We bring
you a portion of that conversation for today’s WFHB community report. The featured speakers are, first, State Representative Matt Pierce, then Fairview Elementary Principal Justin Hunter and then Cathy Fuentes-Rowher from the Indiana Coalition for Public Education. MCCSC school board president Keith Klein asks the first question.

Believe it or not, Valentine’s Day is Saturday!! Valentine’s Day can be a tricky one. Some people revel in the
love and affection that given to them, some people feel uncomfortable with or jealous of this kind of affection and
still some others would just rather not think about it and treat it as any other day. Voices in the street hit the
streets to ask your friends and neighbors about their Valentine’s Day plans, memories, and whether or not they
think the holiday is a sham.

Anchors: Carolyn VandeWiele, Scott Weddle
Today’s headlines were written by Amanda Marino and Joe Crawford
Along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Michael Hilton.Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley and Michael Hilton,
Our engineer today is Jose Rodriguez and Jonathan Goethals
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford.

Candidates For Bloomington Mayor and City Council

The following candidates have filed to run for mayor of Bloomington or one of the nine positions on the City Council. Their names will appear on the ballot during the primary election May 5.



- John Hamilton (D)

- John Linnemeier (D)

- Darryl Neher (D)

- John Turnbull (R)


City Council


District 1

- Kevin Easton (D)

- Chris Sturbaum (D)


District  2

- Dorothy Granger (D)


District 3

- Allison Chopra (D)

- Marty Spechler (D)

- Mike Satterfield (D)

- Nelson Shaffer (R)


District 4

- Dave Rollo (D)

- Philippa Guthrie (D)


District 5

- Gabe Colman (D)

-  Kurt Babcock (D)

- Isabel Piedmont-Smith (D)


District 6

- Steve Volan (D)

- Ronald Patton Jr. (D)



- Tim Mayer (D)

- Andy Ruff (D)

- Susan Sandberg (D)

Citizens Object to Lethal Control of Deer Population


A group of citizens continues to work to delay a measure adopted by the Bloomington City Council to thin out the deer population at Griffy Lake – this week’s council meeting here, in today’s community report.

The city of Bloomington website has a dedicated section to the deer task force report.

Interchange – To Cull Is To Kill: Part One


Host Doug Storm welcomes Alyce Miller, Dave Rollo, and Sandra Shapshay to discuss Bloomington’s approach to deer management in the city limits and at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.

From the acknowledgments page of City of Bloomington’s Deer Task Force Report:

While the State has exclusive jurisdiction over deer management [IDNR representatives] have worked hard to listen to the concerns of the Task Force and the community to help us develop recommendations that suit the unique needs of Bloomington and Monroe County. And while they never complained about our interminable meetings or endless questions, no doubt Aldo Leopold’s observation that “The real problem of wildlife management is not how we should handle the animals…the real problem is one of human management” rings true…

The decision to define deer populations as stable, healthy, abundant, overabundant, or call them rats with hooves, or nuisance animals, or even the opposite of this such as the quasi-mystical forest denizen deserving of reverence, is to impose a human worldview upon them. And it is the act of managing this worldview that is as important as the decision to contract the sharpshooters of the company White Buffalo to kill the animal in question.

Because there is so much to talk about on the subject of the lethal cull of deer by sharpshooters in Griffy Lake Nature Preserve as well as the change to the city’s municipal code to allow firearms to be discharged with the city limits we’re going to continue this program next week on our 10/14 program. We’ll be joined again by Dave Rollo, Alyce Miller and Sandra Shapshay.

So Part II of To Cull is Kill: The Griffy Lake Nature Preserve Deer Kill next week on Interchange.

Of related interest:
Effects of abundant white-tailed deer on vegetation, animals, mycorrhizal fungi, and soils


Host and Producer, Doug Storm
Board Engineer, Jonathan Richardson
Social Media, Carissa Barrett
Executive Producer, Alycin Bektesh

City Council Gives Tax Break to Proposed Building Owners


The Bloomington City Council is on track to give a nearly three-quarter million dollar tax break to the owners of a proposed building along the B-Line Trail. The structure between Kirkwood Avenue and Sixth Street would have 35 high-end apartments as well as the new headquarters for Cornerstone Information Systems. The city’s Economic and Sustainable Development Department has praised the development and it asked the Council to incentivize the project by cutting its property taxes. Danise Alano-Martin is the director of that department. The building’s owners, D.G. Elmore and Mat Orego, would live in two of the condos. Council member Andy Ruff questioned giving a tax cut for the businessmen to build what he called QUOTE “fairly luxurious personal residential units” UNQUOTE. He said the Council should consider the country’s increasing economic inequality as it sets local policy. Ruff said he generally supports the $14.6 million project. But he put forward an amendment that would have forced the owners to pay property taxes on their own homes. The owners would still have kept the tax break for the businesses and most of the residential space. Few Council members supported Ruff’s motion. Council President Darryl Neher said he doesn’t want to discourage Orego and Elmore from living in their own building.Council member Susan Sandberg said she also wanted to encourage owner-occupancy. She said many Bloomington residents are understandably wary of new developments downtown. Ruff later rescinded his amendment and the Council voted to pass the tax abatement. The Council still has to affirm its decision at a meeting September 17th and it’s possible Ruff could reintroduce his measure then.

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