Jim Inman (Photo: Indiana Public Media)
Wednesday evening brought a nine-hour Bloomington City Council meeting, with intense discussion on the proposed ordinance aimed to allow those experiencing homelessness to sleep on public property.
The meeting showed a community divided by responsibility of the situation – who takes care of the homeless?
Residents and speakers were offered three minutes to share their opinions and experiences with the council. Eight of the nine council members were in attendance, as Jim Sims was absent due to the passing of his daughter.
The proposal ended in a 4-4 split, meaning the ordinance failed because there was not a majority vote. Those supporting the proposal included Steve Volan along with the three co-sponsors of the ordinance – Kate Rosenbarger, Isabel Piedmont-Smith and Matt Flaherty. Those opposing were Sue Sgambelluri, Dave Rollo, Ron Smith and Susan Sandberg.
Erin Predmore, president and CEO of The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, issued a statement last week on behalf of chamber member businesses and organizations that detailed how the homeless population have caused problems for the businesses.
As the proposal has failed, it will not be considered for future discussion.
Bloomington’s next deputy mayor has been announced… and it’s a familiar local face.
Donald C Griffin, Jr., owner of Griffin Realty Holdings, was announced as the new deputy mayor by Mayor John Hamilton Thursday. He will be taking the place of current deputy mayor Mick Renneisen.
Renneisen announced last month that he would be retiring in April. Mayor Hamilton recently shared on “Glass in the Afternoon” that he hoped to have a new deputy mayor selected soon.
Griffin serves on the city’s redevelopment commission, was a past vice president of the Monroe County NAACP and serves on the Monroe County Black Democratic Caucus. He has served on boards for Lotus World Music & Arts Festival, Habitat for Humanity and the Bloomington Board of Realtors.
Griffin has been recognized with Bloomington’s Black History Month Visionary Award and Bloomington’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award.
According to a news release, Griffin will oversee 16 city departments and 850 employees.