Give Now  »

News Contact IPM News Indiana Public Media News

{ "banners": { "tv" : [ {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/12-21-21-to-12-28-21-wtiu-bnr.jpg", "startingDate" : "1640062800000", "endingDate" : "1640753940000"} , {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/12-29-21-wtiu-bnr.jpg", "startingDate" : "1640754000000", "endingDate" : "1640840340000"} , {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/12-30-21-wtiu-bnr.jpg", "startingDate" : "1640840400000", "endingDate" : "1640926740000"} , {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/12-31-21-wtiu-bnr.jpg", "startingDate" : "1640926800000", "endingDate" : "1641013140000"} , {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/1-1-22-wtiu-bnr.jpg", "startingDate" : "1641013200000", "endingDate" : "1641099540000"} ], "radio" : [ {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flgkr2wNtsqwhq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/12-21-21-to-12-30-21-wfiu-bnr.jpg", "startingDate" : "1640062800000", "endingDate" : "1640926740000"} , {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flgkr2wNtsqwhq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/12-31-21-wfiu-bnr.jpg", "startingDate" : "1640926800000", "endingDate" : "1641013140000"} , {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flgkr2wNtsqwhq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/1-1-22-wfiu-bnr.jpg", "startingDate" : "1641013200000", "endingDate" : "1641099540000"} ] }}
{ "lightboxes": { "tv" : [ {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/12-21-21-to-12-28-21-wtiu-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1640062800000", "endingDate" : "1640753940000"} , {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/12-29-21-wtiu-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1640754000000", "endingDate" : "1640840340000"} , {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/12-30-21-wtiu-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1640840400000", "endingDate" : "1640926740000"} , {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/12-31-21-wtiu-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1640926800000", "endingDate" : "1641013140000"} ], "radio" : [ {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flizvLEFSbjC6m3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/12-21-21-to-12-30-21-wfiu-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1640062800000", "endingDate" : "1640926740000"} , {"url" : "https://indianapublicmedia.secureallegiance.com/wtiu/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flizvLEFSbjC6m3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/12-31-21-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1640926800000", "endingDate" : "1641013140000"} ] }}
true true true
true
true
true
true

Bloomington council considers dissolving standing committees

The proposed new seal for the City of Bloomington.

(Courtesy: City of Bloomington)

Bloomington City Council debated a procedural change for almost two hours Wednesday, but it delayed an actual vote on the legislation until next week.  

Councilmembers Susan Sandberg, Sue Sgambelluri, and Jim Sims sponsored resolution 22-02, which seeks to eliminate certain standing committees and replaces them with a committee of the whole. These meetings include all nine members and are typically scheduled in off weeks between regular sessions.

This ordinance would essentially revert to how council operated prior to resolution 20-01, which passed Feb. 19, 2020.

“Our intent is to simplify, to clarify, and to get back to some basics that are going to make us less focused on process as a council and more focused on the policy issues,” council president Susan Sandberg said. 

The ordinance would dissolve the following standing committees:

  • Administration
  • Community Affairs
  • Housing
  • Public Safety
  • Climate Action & Resilience
  • Sustainable Development
  • Land Use 

Additionally, the resolution dissolves the transportation committee and re-establishes the sidewalk standing committee. It also creates three, three-person standing interview committees, which will review and recommend citizens for various boards and commissions.

Standing committees are permanent bodies that deal with specific policy. Each one consists of four councilmembers. These are different from special committees, which are temporary bodies with a specific issue to address or advise on. Council would still be able to form special committees as it sees fit.  

“As long as there is the ability to form special committees, then nothing is lost from a council standpoint with regard to dealing with public issues,” councilmember Jim Sims said.

However, members of the public spoke in opposition to the resolution and said it would distract the city from the climate crisis. Joseph Wynia said council prioritized climate initiatives during the 2022 budget cycle, going so far as to lobby for a cabinet-level position to implement the Climate Action Plan.

“The abolition of a standing committee of the council seems to be inconsistent with that objective of giving additional attention to climate action,” he said.

All three sponsors said it is more beneficial to have all nine councilmembers address the issue together in a committee of the whole.

Councilmember Steve Volan joined in the public’s opinion and said every second-class city in the state uses standing committees because they have ongoing issues. Bloomington was the only exception before 2020. 

“Other cities do not look at us and think ‘we should be more like Bloomington,’” he said. “We are a growing city that has so many ongoing concerns that we need to start splitting up the work, we need to start specializing.”

Councilmember Matt Flaherty attempted to meet in the middle with an amendment to maintain the Administration, Climate Action and Resilience, and Land Use standing committees. He said each one is engaged in long-term work, and a standing committee is the best place to handle it.

However, council did not vote on Flaherty’s amendment, and postponed discussion on the entire ordinance to Jan. 19.  

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Recent Government and Politics Stories