On Jan. 11, the Bloomington City Council began 2023 with an organization meeting, including the election of new officers.
Sue Sgambelluri elected city council president
Former city council vice president Sue Sgambelluri was elected president by fellow councilmembers with a vote of 8 - 1. Councilmember Stephen Volan was the only no vote.
“I am grateful every day that I get to serve on this council with the talented people I do,” Sgambelluri said.
Susan Sandberg, the previous president of the council, was not running for reelection because of her campaign for mayor of Bloomington.
Councilmember Isabel Piedmont-Smith was unanimously elected to the position of vice president and Councilmember Dave Rollo was elected to serve as parliamentarian again.
Bloomington Housing and Urban Development to allocate $2 million in federal funds
John Zody, the director of the city’s Department of Housing and Urban Development, gave a presentation to the council about the $2 million given to the city from the American Rescue Plan Act. The funding must be used for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness or victims of domestic, dating or sexual violence. The HUD plans to use the funds to increase the capacity of nonprofits, develop non-congregate shelter and rental housing and increase funds for tenant based rental assistance.
[Related: Plans for affordable homes in northwest Bloomington hope to decrease the unhoused population
Specific use of the funds will be discussed further at a Redevelopment Commission meeting on Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. Public comment opportunities will follow in March.
The council overrides a veto in Convention Center expansion project
The city council voted 8-1 to override Mayor Hamilton’s veto and successfully passed a resolution to use a Capital Improvement Board to oversee Monroe County’s Convention Center expansion project. Councilmember Kate Rosenbarger was the only no vote.
The resolution was originally passed by the council Dec. 14 and was supported by the county.
The mayor vetoed the resolution, calling the CIB bureaucratic and cumbersome in a letter to the city council.
According to Deputy Mayor Mary Catherine Carmichael, the mayor plans to create a 501(c)(3, which is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, to oversee the project.
Several councilmembers expressed frustration at the inability of the mayor’s administration and the county to reach an agreement. Councilmember Volan said he could support either the nonprofit organization or the CIB, but that he would vote with the majority regardless.
“We either do this compromise or it’s going to fail,” Volan said.