IBJNews

County commissioner pushes to invalidate I-69 vote

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A Monroe County commissioner is pushing to invalidate a Bloomington planning panel's vote that added a contentious section of the Indianapolis-to-Evansville Interstate 69 extension to the group's local highway plan.

Mark Stoops alleges that last Friday's 7-6 vote by the policy committee of the Bloomington/Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization is invalid because one member failed to disclose a potential conflict of interest, The Herald-Times reported.

The group's decision to include the I-69 extension in its local plan was needed to ensure that the state Department of Transportation could use federal funds to build a 1.75-mile segment of the highway within the MPO's jurisdiction. That funding had been in question since the panel voted last May to omit that section, citing concerns about how it would be funded and the highway project's environmental impact.

Stoops, who is a member of the MPO, contends that fellow member Bill Williams has a conflict of interest because he has a son who works for a subcontractor that's involved in construction of the I-69 extension. Stoops said that under state statute that amounts to a conflict of interest that should have been reviewed by a third party.

"That first step under state statute is that the appointing authority, the county commissioners, must request a review and a decision by the MPO in writing," Stoops said in the prepared statement. "That was not done."

He said the county's commissioners can only act in a public meeting and he was only notified of the potential conflict of interest issue last Thursday, the day before the four-hour meeting and the close vote in favor of adding the highway to the local transportation plan.

Stoops said Williams, who's the county's highway director, should have recused himself from that vote, but Monroe County Attorney Dave Schilling disagrees.

Schilling said the county legal department has advised Williams that it doesn't believe the situation represents a conflict of interest. He said the county's legal department heard late Thursday that the issue might be raised at the Friday meeting, and ultimately advised Williams that it did not believe he had a conflict of interest.

Schilling said Monday that that position had not changed.

A message left Tuesday at Willliams' office seeking comment was not immediately returned. The Herald-Times reported that Williams was unavailable for comment because he is out of the office until next Monday.

Stoops contends that if Williams' "yes" vote is invalid, then the vote would be 6-6 and the motion to include I-69 in the TIP would have failed. He does not believe there would need to be a re-vote on the issue if that was the case.

Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan, who also cast a "no" vote at Friday's meeting, said he believes the statute Stoops referred to is not applicable to local entities. But Kruzan said attorneys will have to look at the code and make the determination.

Schilling said the appeals process is not clearly set out for such metropolitan planning organizations because the "MPO is a unique creature."

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Reply to Joe
    Joe --

    You really just want to bash Mitch. Otherwise, you would have done your homework. The extension won its initial support (in Indiana) from then Governor Evan Bayh. It was also supported by the O'Bannon administration. It's already underway in other states. All Mitch did was help fund it, which would have happened regardless of who was in the State house. Read up on it.
  • CRANE
    The hi-way is not a waste. It helps connect Crane base to major interstates and without Crane Bloomington becomes a ghost town.
  • I hope the voters eject these people that are wasting time
    This is a done deal people. Do you think delaying a 2 mile stretch is doing anyting but wasting our time and taxpayer dollars in Monroe county? Anyone that voted against this measure should be voted OUT! It's a done deal people. The USA interstate hiway system is one of the reasons Indianapolis is on the map!
  • This is a Waste!
    The connection was already established. I shouldn't need to pay for a trucker to shave some time off his route from Mexico to Canada because Mitch made some donors happy. Road construction is a rhelic that Indiana just can't move past. Contractors are so deep in politicians wallets that they spin the truth so it seems like it adds jobs and helps commerce..........NEWS FLASH! It doesnt!
  • I-69
    This will connect not only Bloomington but also Evansville, the third largest city in Indiana. I do not believe this is a waste of money.
  • Move on
    I-69 might be a huge waste of time and money, but it's already under construction and is a done deal. It's time to move on from this issue, DST and single class basketball.
  • GOP = ?
    Republicans.....Enviroment...NAH

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT