Cheryl Munson Candidate Statement

Cheryl Munson • 6707 W. Rock East Road • Bloomington, IN 47403

Dear Democrats,

While sharing our grief over the tragedy of Sophia Travis’ passing, Democrat friends asked me to consider filling her spot on the ballot. No one can ever take Sophia’s place, but I am willing to take on this short campaign for the County Council as my way to honor her and to serve. I want to help retain a voice on the Council that promotes both transparency in government actions and listening to constituents across the county, just as she promised to do. And I need your help to do this.

To tell you a bit about myself is easy. For 40 years I have lived in rural Monroe County, worked in Bloomington, and been actively involved with the local Democratic Party. With community service and campaigning for other candidates behind me, I decided to run for Indian Creek Township Board in 1994 to help resolve public-safety issues. I was elected that year and again in 1998, 2002, and 2006. I gained 16 years of experience overseeing the Township’s budgets, encouraging government transparency (there’s that word again!), and understanding the needs of residents. This experience as a candidate and officeholder will serve me well on the County Council.

In addition to my service in Township government, I have additional experience that will inform me as I serve on the Council:

  • since 2001, Monroe County Historic Preservation Board (Chair for 9 years);
  • since 2007, Monroe County Plan Review Committee, advising on land-use changes;
  • since 2011, Monroe County Extension Advisory Board, for 4-H, nutrition, and Master Gardener programs; and
  • in 2011, citizen member of the County Council’s Community Services Grants Committee.
I am known as an advocate for residents and for our environment in other ways. When a new highway was planned across southern Monroe County in the late 1980s, I began to collect data and promote a safer and more environmentally sensible route, long before the highway was called I-69. Now, 24 years later, I’m still speaking out about the highway’s safety issues and impacts on our county’s historic districts. Dedication is the cornerstone of my public service.

Over the years, my service to the community connected me with people serving throughout the county at Planned Parenthood, PTO/PTO Council, MCCSC committees, 4-H, volunteer fire department, community association, Scouts, booster programs for youth sports, choir, theater, and even those growing vegetables for food-security programs. In sharing this work with others, I gained a better understanding of what residents expect and need from their county government. I am accessible and approachable, and I will be responsive to constituent concerns.

My husband, Patrick Munson, and I are rooted in Indian Creek Township, where we raised our children and are now active grandparents. In my professional life, I am an archaeologist and research scientist in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University. This work is relevant to the Council because it provides me years of experience in collecting and analyzing information, developing and managing detailed budgets, and advocating at the Statehouse and in Washington for new initiatives or improved procedures for protection of heritage resources. Equally important, my research takes me to all corners of Monroe County. I know our hills and hollows, our natural and built environments, and what is durable, what is fragile, and what is in need of attention.

In 2010 I ran for County Council in District 2, which at that time comprised the southern and western townships of the county. Although I did not prevail in this highly Republican area, I was heartened by a strong showing in many of the precincts and again planned to run for County Council At-Large this past May. A crowded field of incumbents, including my 2010 Campaign Chair Warren Henegar, led me to change my mind.

I have the same reasons for serving as ever: I love Monroe County – our beautiful setting and our diverse and vibrant community – and want to help guide its future. I will use my caring, knowledge, and experience to:

  • Attend to the fiscal responsibilities. Setting County budgets is an exercise in understanding community values and setting priorities. Restructuring county government for greater efficiency can best done in a collaborative manner with Department staff and officials.
  • Preserve our valuable resources. We must strive to ensure that the natural, cultural, and government resources that residents care about and depend on, and that make our county the best in the state, are protected.
  • Guide our growth. Our county should grow in a way that is sensible and manageable. Immediate growth concerns include the public safety and transportation-connectivity issues brought by I-69. Expanding tourism will generate revenue and support economic growth, as well.
I will work collaboratively on the Council to help shape our county’s future and to keep the concerns of county residents at the forefront. Sophia and I shared a caring approach and a willingness to listen, collect information, and then to act. Although I have my own style and my own priorities, I will maintain this same approach.

I hope you will lend me your support in this very short campaign. With your help, I will win in November and honor Sophia the best way that I can: by ensuring that we maintain a Democratic majority on the Council, with a focus on service to the public.

Thank you,

[email protected] (812) 325-3407
Cheryl Munson for Council (Dorothy Granger, Treasurer)
6707 W. Rock East Road Bloomington, IN 47403