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Thursday, June 13
The Indiana Daily Student

city politics bloomington

City council elects Piedmont-Smith as council president, makes other appointments

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The Bloomington City Council elected councilmember Isabel Piedmont-Smith as its president in a unanimous vote during its first meeting of the year Wednesday.  

Piedmont-Smith, who is starting her fourth non-consecutive term on the council since 2007, previously served as the council’s president in 2010. Last year, Piedmont-Smith served as the council’s vice president.  

"I believe I can bring a balance of experience and new ideas to this administration,” Piedmont-Smith said. “I know that several of my colleagues are interested in pursuing process reform this year and my historical knowledge of council processes in addition to my proven willingness to try new approaches would make me a suitable leader during this time.”  

The council president is responsible for approving agendas, monitoring other councilmembers’ preferences and appointing council members and chairpersons to every standing committee. The president also repeats any questions proposed by other council members, declares the results of each vote during council meetings and certifies any adopted ordinance, resolution, address or order with the city clerk.  

Former city councilmember Sue Sgambelluri served as the council’s president in 2023. Sgambelluri lost to councilmember Kate Rosenbarger in the May 2023 Democratic primary. 

The council also elected councilmember Andy Ruff as the group’s vice president in a unanimous vote. Constituents elected Ruff as an at-large council representative in November 2023, and he had previously served five terms on city council. Ruff ran for election to the U.S. House of Representatives for Indiana’s ninth district in 2020 but lost to now former Representative Trey Hollingsworth.  

If the president is absent, the council vice president will preside over the meeting, according to Bloomington municipal code. 

The council elected councilmember Hopi Stosberg as parliamentarian in a unanimous vote, replacing current councilmember Dave Rollo. A city council newcomer, Stosberg was elected in the council’s sole contested race in November.  

“As someone who’s new to council it feels like a big responsibility and I feel ready and prepared for it,” Stosberg said. “In order to prepare for this role, I have watched all the council’s meetings in 2023 because I wanted to familiarize myself with the process and with the procedures and how the council did business.”  

As parliamentarian, Stosberg is responsible for advising council members on matters concerning procedures and processes.  

Stosberg is joined on the council by five other newly elected council members: Ruff, Isak Nti Asare, Rosenbarger, Shruti Rana and Sydney Zulich. Rana will be the first woman of color to serve on the Bloomington city council and Zulich is the youngest person to be elected to city council in Bloomington at 21-years-old.  

The council members concluded Wednesday’s meeting by appointing their colleagues to 14 different boards and commissions.  

Piedmont-Smith also appointed council members to serve as representatives and chairpersons of seven council standing committees, a responsibility of her newly elected role of president.  

Here is every board, commission and committee each councilmember will serve on this session: 

Isabel Piedmont-Smith (D-1, Incumbent): 

  • Board of the Waste Reduction District of Monroe County 
  • Public Safety Local Income Tax Committee (a committee under the Monroe County Local Income Tax Council) 
  • Interview Committee B 
  • Special Committee on Council Process (chairperson) 

Dave Rollo (D-4, Incumbent):  

  • Bloomington Commission on Sustainability  
  • Climate Action and Resilience Standing Committee 
  • Interview Committee C 
  • Special Committee on Council Process 

Matt Flaherty (D-At-Large Representative, Incumbent):  

  • Bloomington Parking Commission  
  • Utilities Service Board  
  • Climate Action and Resilience Standing Committee (chairperson)  
  • Interview Committee C 
  • Special Committee on Council Process 

Andy Ruff (D-At-Large Representative, newly elected):  

  • Monroe County Food and Beverage Tax Advisory Commission  
  • Public Safety Local Income Tax Committee (a committee under the Monroe County Local Income Tax Council) 
  • Jack Hopkins Social Services Standing Committee 
  • Sidewalk Standing Committee 
  • Interview Committee B 

Isak Nti Asare, (D-At-Large Representative, newly elected):  

  • Bloomington Economic Development Corporation  
  • Monroe County Economic Development Commission  
  • Bloomington Economic Development Commission 
  • Jack Hopkins Social Services Standing Committee 
  • Interview Committee A 

Kate Rosenbarger (D-2, newly elected):  

  • Citizens Advisory Committee for Physical Improvements Community Development Block Grants  
  • Public Safety Local Income Tax Committee (a committee under the Monroe County Local Income Tax Council)  
  • Sidewalk Standing Committee (chairperson)  
  • Interview Committee A 

Hopi Stosberg (D-3, newly elected):  

  • Bloomington Plan Commission  
  • Climate Action and Resilience Standing Committee 
  • Jack Hopkins Social Services Standing Committee 
  • Sidewalk Standing Committee 
  • Interview Committee A 

Shruti Rana (D-5, newly elected):  

  • The Bloomington-Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization 
  • Jack Hopkins Social Services Standing Committee (chairperson) 
  • Sidewalk Standing Committee 
  • Interview Committee B 
  • Special Committee on Council Process 

Sydney Zulich (D-6, newly elected):  

  • Downtown Bloomington, Inc. Board of Directors  
  • Public Safety Local Income Tax Committee (a committee under the Monroe County Local Income Tax Council) 
  • Citizens Advisory Committee for Social Services Community Development Block Grants  
  • Climate Action and Resilience Standing Committee 
  • Interview Committee C 
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