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Best of 2013 # 1 – There’s no such thing as a free lunch: Parking Meters Nickel and Dime Downtown Bloomington

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One issue this year sparked more discussion and reached broader than any other. The defining story of our community in 2013 is the implementation of Parking meters in downtown Bloomington. Mayor Mark Kruzan had strong support from the city council and Public Works Director Susie Johnson in his push for bringing in parking meter revenue in to the city budget, but found little support from local residents, businesses, and social service providers.  The scheduled February 6th vote was put off 6 weeks for further conversation. The Bloomington Chamber of Commerce did not endorse the plan, and many concerns arose about how the meters would impact Bloomington’s poor, and those who volunteer their time at downtown social service agencies that help assist the hungry and homeless. But on March 21st the council did pass the parking meter plan, with several amendments from the initial proposal. Throughout the year the city assigned and then rearranged various fees and penalties, all the while reaping in thousands of dollars a day from residents parking downtown.

CREDITS
The best of 2013 is a production of the WFHB news department.
Today’s episode was produced by Alycin Bektesh
Correspondents Joe Crawford and David Murphy contributed to today’s reports
Our theme music is provided by Legs
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

Bloomington Chamber of Commerce on Same-Sex Marriage

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Several large organizations and institutions have expressed opposition to the effort to amend the state constitution to limit marriage to two people of the opposite sex, in effect banning same-sex marriage in Indiana. The Indiana General Assembly has already passed one resolution to this effect. A second bill, House Joint Resolution 6, or HJR 6, which would put the question on the ballot in the fall of 2014, is up for debate in January. Michael McRobbie, President of Indiana University, announced yesterday that IU is joining Freedom Indiana, the state wide coalition leading the fight against the constitutional amendment. Several important Indiana-based corporations, including Ely Lilly and Cummins Diesel, have also voiced their opposition to the move. Last week, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce adopted the same position. For today’s WFHB feature exclusive, correspondent David Murphy spoke to Liz Irwin, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, to find out if the voice of business in this region has taken a position on the issue.

A Visit from Senator Donnelly

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Indiana Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly was in Bloomington this morning to address the Chamber of Commerce and talk about job creation. Afterwards, he met with journalists including WFHB correspondent David Murphy  for a brief media opportunity. His comments here, in today’s WFHB feature report.

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