County Council Candidate
I am seeking re-election to the Monroe County Council for the 2017-2020 term. It was an honor to be elected to the Council in 2012, and I take great pride in the work the Council has accomplished in the last three years. Highlights for me include collaboratively developing secure financing for juvenile services, investing in energy- and cost-saving upgrades to County buildings, and setting up a structure for adequately funding elections year to year. I helped to expand support for organizations assisting those in need of food and shelter, including the Sophia Travis Community Services Grants program, and through my terms on the MPO and with the I-69 Collaboration Group to bring relief to residents whose local roads, water supply, and property access were impacted by I-69 construction.
On the Council I have served as a member of the Solid Waste District Board of Directors (3 years), the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Policy Committee (MPO, 2 years), and as Council liaison to the County Fair Board and the Perry-Clear Creek Fire Protection District. I have recently joined the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) and am excited about its work. I am presently serving a second term as Council President. A complete list of my work as Council liaison and other Council service is available on my website www.cherylmunson.us.
The Council’s fiscal work is structurally collaborative in developing and deciding upon responsible budgets. Future collaboration is the reason that I have joined with At-Large Council colleagues Lee Jones and Geoff McKim to put forth our joint focus for the next Council term: fiscal leadership, public safety, and expanded support for social services.
For those who don’t know me, a short introduction: My husband Patrick and I came to Monroe County in 1971 and are deeply rooted in Indian Creek Township where we have a farm, raised two children, and dote on our four grandgirls. I have been active in public service since high school. My website lists the many local organizations, committees, and boards I have served on in the last 45 years. Before County Council, I served four elected terms (16 years) on the Indian Creek Township Board, which oversees the Township’s annual budget. Through public service, I have had the opportunity to meet people from all parts of the county.
In my professional work, I am an archaeologist and research scientist in the Department of Anthropology, Indiana University. Collecting and analyzing information, developing and managing detailed budgets, and advocating at the Statehouse and in Washington for the protection of heritage resources are experiences relevant to the work of the County Council. My research on prehistoric Native American cultures and early Pioneer settlers has taken me to fascinating areas of the Midwest and beyond, as well as throughout Monroe County.
In the 2012 election, I pledged to use my caring, knowledge, and experience in three key ways. My promise for 2016 and the next term is similar but expanded as a result of experience in Council work.
-Attending to our fiscal responsibilities: Setting county budgets is not lines and numbers, nor an accounting document, but an exercise in knowing community values and setting priorities. Our annual County budget is a plan for providing services and managing costs.
-Preserving our valuable resources: Ensuring continuity of the natural, cultural, and government resources that residents value and depend on. Both policies and funding play key roles.
-Guiding our growth: Expand our economy by fostering small businesses and job training. Attract new development by fostering readily understood land-use planning in areas where infrastructure needs are met. Increase tourism in a carefully managed way to create revenue and jobs, while maintaining the qualities that make Monroe County attractive to residents and visitors.
I am running for re-election because I love Monroe County – our beautiful setting and our diverse and vibrant community. In listening to county residents over the years, I have developed a county-wide view of our needs, potentials, and dreams. While remaining attentive to fiscal constraints and immediate issues, I will continue to plan for the Monroe County that we want our children and grandchildren to inherit.