The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian Wednesday:
February 5, 2024
Cheryl Munson Seeks Re-election for At-Large Seat on Monroe County Council
Cheryl Munson filed for re-election to an At-Large seat on the County Council on January 17. As of February 6, there are four candidates competing for the three At-Large Council positions on the Democratic party ballot.
Cheryl has formed a Campaign Committee and listed her focus for the coming term: Responsibilities, Resources, and Resilience.
- Fiscal Responsibilities: As a Council member, Cheryl has made decisions about county tax rates, debts, expenditures, and savings. Setting County budgets requires a broad understanding of local government operations, public needs, and community values. The recent appropriations of ARPA funding for diverse projects reflects these values. Cheryl will continue to work collaboratively with other elected officials and staff with an eye for increased efficiency and sustainability, and for balanced budgets.
- Resource Preservation: Cheryl will continue to strive to ensure that the natural, cultural, and governmental resources that our residents and businesses value and depend upon are protected. This includes Lake Monroe, a significant economic asset that provides our drinking water, recreation, and much more. As a member of the Lake Monroe Watershed Advisory Committee, she keeps county officials up to date on both conservation threats and successful projects.
- Building Resilience: Cheryl will help our community meet our current and future needs in ways that are sensible and manageable so that the community qualities we treasure will endure. Building resilience involves expanding affordable housing, decreasing food insecurity, improving our justice and mental health systems, mitigating increasing temperatures and major rain events, and growing transportation connectivity. Kate Wiltz, Council President 2021-2023, says “Cheryl’s extensive experience in county government will be more important than ever in the next four years as the Council must figure out the best ways to finance the construction of a new Justice Center and Jail and to annually secure the funds to provide for their operations. Furthermore, decisions on the sale or lease of county properties for uses related to the expanded Convention Center will require additional critical Council choices.” As an At-Large member of the County Council, Cheryl will continue to represent everyone in the County, including all parts of Bloomington, Ellettsville, Stinesville, Smithville, Campaign Commitee: Lee Jones, Chair; Chris�na Courtright, Treasurer ; Jennifer Borland ; Neil Goswami Susan Hingle ; Jeff Holland ; Iris Kiesling ; Sherry Mitchell-Bruker ; Dee Owens ; Meri Reinhold ; Jim Sims ; Will Smith
Vicky Sorensen ; Phil Stafford ; Ilana Stonebraker ; Amy Swain ; Carol Wilson ; Kate Wiltz ; Charlote Zietlow
Harrodsburg, Unionville, etc. plus the unincorporated rural areas of the county. She is currently serving her third term on the Council and previously served 2 years as Council President. She is proud of the many collaborative accomplishments during her time on the County Council, including:
- Developing secure financing for juvenile services—to keep our troubled youth out of detention;
- Increasing support for housing and food provided by our not-for-profits and leading the budget requests for the Sophia Travis Grants program;
- Promoting tourism through service on the Convention and Visitors Commission;
- Creating a funding stream for the expansion of the Convention Center, and serving on the Convention Center Advisory Commission;
- Establishing public safety funds and working with City and County officials to direct funding to county Fire Departments;
- Guiding the expansion of trails and additional amenities for county parks, with the Parks Department;
- Promoting the expansion of road deputies, to decrease emergency response times in the county;Increasing recycling services and helping to lead the Waste Reduction District Board of Directors;
- Providing emergency funding during the pandemic;
- Securing ARPA funding for early childhood education and child care;
- Promoting salary adjustments to increase equitable compensation and benefits for all county employees; and
- Passing fiscally responsible budgets each year. As a Council member, Cheryl has served as liaison to diverse county departments and commissions. She currently serves on the Plan Commission, which is creating a new County Development Ordinance, and as Council liaison to the Health Department, which provides key public health services. She will also be serving as liaison to the unified County Circuit Court, which has nine divisions and handles all categories of cases. Cheryl and her husband Patrick moved to Bloomington 53 years ago and are deeply rooted in Indian Creek Township where they have a farm, raised two children, and greatly enjoy their four grandgirls. In her professional work, Cheryl is an archaeologist and a retired Research Scientist in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University. Developing detailed budgets for large excavation projects, and multivariate analysis, are experiences relevant to the work of the Council. Before County Council, she served 16 years on the Indian Creek Township Board, which oversaw the Township’s annual budget, public assistance, and fire protection. Cheryl has also been an active volunteer in our community, including engagement with Planned Parenthood, PTO, Girl Scouts, 4-H, volunteer fire department, historic preservation, and the Grace Center Food Pantry. She is a board member for Friends of Lake Monroe, the Monroe County History Center, and the Indian Creek Community Association. Cheryl’s professional work and community service have taken her to all corners of the county. She knows our hills and hollows. She knows our residents. In listening to them, Cheryl has developed a county-wide view of our needs, potentials, and dreams. She has a good sense of where we are strong, where fragile, and where the Council needs to lead. While remaining attentive to fiscal constraints and immediate issues, Cheryl is
focused on our future. That future includes the expansion (at long last) of our Convention Center and increasing economic development for restaurants and tourism businesses and the siting and construction of a new Justice Center, which should include resources and facilities to serve people with mental health and substance use disorders before they receive treatment in the justice system.
Cheryl continues to be readily available to talk with county residents via phone, email, and in-person meetings. Her contact info is on the County Council’s webpage, her Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/CherylMunsonForCountyCouncil, and her campaign website: https://cherylmunson.com/.