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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

politics bloomington

Here’s your guide to this week’s Bloomington City Council elections


Elections are Tuesday for Bloomington's open positions.

City Council Districts 2 and 3 are the only elections this year that will have ballots. All other candidates are running uncontested.

Polling sites will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday. To check your registration status or find your polling location, visit the Indiana Voter Portal.

Bring a driver’s license or other state-issued ID to your polling place. You can also bring this voter guide for your own benefit when choosing candidates. 

Looking to vote early? Monroe County Election Central, located at 401 W. Seventh St. in Bloomington, will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Monday.

Below are brief overviews of the candidates and their platforms. For more thorough information, visit their websites or click through the links to read the Indiana Daily Student’s profiles of the candidates.

Bloomington City Council District 2 Race

Democratic candidate Sue Sgambelluri has based her platform around strengthening social services and the Bloomington economy. 

Sgambelluri said on her website the government should focus its support on local businesses that bring in jobs. This would include focus on the Trades District and earning a special designation to raise investments for businesses owned by minorities as well as affordable housing and community facilities. 

She would also want to support people in the community facing homelessness and poverty, which she has already done through local committees and volunteer work. 

Sgambelluri said prioritizing District 2 neighborhoods and constituents would be an important part of her role as a councilperson. She also wants government transparency and to have the city and county work together to make changes. 

According to her website, Sgambelluri has been endorsed by the Democratic Women’s Caucus, the Bloomington Board of Realtors and Democracy for Monroe County.

Andrew Guenther, a recent IU graduate , is the only Republican running for city council. He currently serves as the Chair of the Bloomington Environmental Commission.

He is a proponent of small government, wants more government transparency and does not support the Food and Beverage Tax implemented by the city last year to support the Monroe County Convention Center. 

For housing issues, he wants to focus on how to make sure living in Bloomington remains affordable through tactics such as more efficient zoning, emphasis on private land ownership and nonprofit partnerships that will help people who otherwise can’t afford housing, according to his website. He also advocates for economic growth that will bring manufacturing jobs and other opportunities to the community.

Guenther said on his website he wants to promote public safety by filling firefighting and police jobs to meet the recommended minimum for the city's size, encouraging police officers to live in their patrol areas and finding ways to bring in more people from the medical field to the city.

He also plans to advocate for improved environmental incentives, such as tax benefits to businesses that use solar panels, according to his website. 

Voting sites and precincts for this race:

  • Indiana Memorial Union, Bloomington 5 and 23

  • Unitarian Universalist Church, Bloomington 7

  • Genesis Church, Bloomington 13 and 17

  • Arlington Heights Elementary School, Bloomington 14

City Council District 3 Race

Democratic candidate Ron Smith said in a March interview with the Indiana Daily Student he planned to advocate for responsible development that preserves the feel of Bloomington.

He would like to be involved with the redevelopment of the abandoned Kmart in District 3 because he is concerned that building proposals will be detrimental for the area. He has already been involved by leading meetings about the redevelopment. 

Independent candidate Marty Spechler is currently a Democratic elected official on the Bloomington Township Board. He decided to run as an independent after joining the race too late to run for the Democratic primary, but he says he still shares values with the Democratic Party and considers himself a moderate. 

Spechler was previously a council member from 2012 to 2016 and has told the IDS he considers the position a full-time job. As a retiree, he believes he would have the most time to work with constituents.

He told the Herald-Times after filing to run that the city should not spend its money on trying to create new housing but should instead offer subsidized options those who could benefit from them. During his last term, he voted for the downtown parking meters. He supports the deer cull.

Independent candidate Nick Kappas filed to join the city council race over the summer. He told the Herald-Times that he wants to increase the city’s efficiencies through what he learned as an internal auditor for Cook Pharmica.

Kappas also wants to study the city’s infrastructure including water systems and bike paths.

Voting sites and precincts for this race:

  • Evangelical Community Church, Bloomington 21

  • Meadowood Retirement Community, Bloomington 22

  • Binford Elementary School, Perry 20

  • Eastview Church of the Nazarene, Perry 21

Bloomington uncontested races

All candidates are incumbent except for City Council At-Large candidate and IU master’s student Matt Flaherty.

Mayor: John Hamilton

City Clerk: Nicole Bolden

City Council District 4: Dave Rollo

City Council District 5: Isabel Piedmont-Smith

City Council District 6: Steve Volan

City Council At-Large: Susan Sandberg, Jim Sims and Matt Flaherty

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