How to start your own town, Hoosier-style

Last week, in addressing what Bloomington could do to see more “affordable” housing built, I wrote this: Council has some authority, but not that much in a country called the United “States” of America, whose provinces have significantly more power than do provinces in other countries.Our Constitution mentions neither cities nor any other … Continue reading

AMA: Why does the city let my car be slowed down?

Q: Are there or are there not any local ordinances that prohibit delivery trucks and moving trucks on main roads during rush hour? If not, why not? If we do, why aren’t they enforced? We should not have Walnut or College restricted to a single lane due to two delivery trucks on … Continue reading

The very basics of how Bloomington’s city council works: update

Wednesday nights are Council meeting nights, and they can go on. Last night’s committee of the whole was not too long, at only 3 hours and 45 minutes. Despite being a night owl, I’m not keen on writing after meetings. I also have to admit that my first efforts at blogging here about … Continue reading

Bloomington has grown since decade one

Bloomington’s always been a small town, right? There must’ve been a long period, you think, when nothing much about it changed. And certainly Bloomington has always been dominated by IU students. They’ve always been a huge part of the city’s life. Right? But then you look at the numbers. Bloomington’s bicentennial … Continue reading

AMA: How does affordable housing get built?

Above: While the 1950s-era chalet (and the original home of Food Truck Friday) is going away, the Chocolate Moose will return to this spot in 2017. (Photo: What happened to no new luxury apartment construction until we had affordable housing development? I have been renting for 6 years in … Continue reading

I’m a city councilmember in America; ask me anything

After another long, fog-filled hiatus, Councilmanic is back, with a new sense of purpose, a new look, and a new web address. Not to mention a new mission: to demystify local government by answering your direct questions. It’s a consumer- no, call it a citizen-affairs column.* Part of the problem I’ve … Continue reading

Questions on the 2015 city budget: a snapshot of Bloomington

Summertime means budget time in Bloomington city government. Since my tenure began in 2004, to consider the proposal which the Administration brings forward, Council has held four consecutive weeknights of hearings, at which the Mayor and the heads of each department present their requests, and then Councilmembers ask questions and take … Continue reading

Fraternities, IU, and historic city neighborhoods

The Dark Power of Fraternities: A yearlong investigation of Greek houses reveals their endemic, lurid, and sometimes tragic problems — “and a sophisticated system for shifting the blame.” An article on fraternities in light of the debate over the Fiji house and IU’s intent to relocate it destructively to University … Continue reading

City of Bloomington Sanitation Collection Data 2004-2012

City of Bloomington Sanitation Data 2004-2012. Before 2004, the City disposed of its unrecycled trash at the Monroe County Landfill at a rate of $28/ton. The Landfill, a distance of about 12 miles from downtown Bloomington, closed in mid-2004; since then, the City has availed itself of the next nearest … Continue reading