Julie has served as Monroe County Commissioner (District 2) since December 2012, following a four-year term on the Monroe County Council (at-large).
In her tenure on the Board of Commissioners, Julie has successfully pursued a number of key initiatives:
Energy efficiency: Julie worked with her colleagues on the Board of Commissioners and the County Council to establish a Guaranteed Savings Program for Monroe County’s buildings. Projects included efficient lighting, HVAC and controls, reinforcing insulation, installing interior storm windows in the Courthouse, Health and Showers buildings, and completing solar installations on the roof of the Showers building and the Charlotte T. Zietlow Justice Center.County taxpayers will save at least $158,000 each year from these improvements! The Association of Indiana Counties presented Monroe County with the County Achievement Award in 2015 in recognition of our energy conservation program. The new county employee parking garage includes a solar array and plug-in stations for electric and electric-hybrid vehicles.
View of the solar array on the roof of the Charlotte T. Zietlow Justice Center toward the Courthouse square (2015)
There is more work to do, as Julie will:
- continue her effort on the County’s Fleet Committee to focus on energy efficiency in our vehicle purchases;
- pursue additional energy conservation projects for county buildings;
- work with her colleagues on the Stormwater Board to prioritize and pursue projects around the county to limit erosion and to limit the impact of flooding rains on our roadways and built environments;
- advocate for a new planning and zoning ordinance for the County’s Urbanized Area that promotes brownfield redevelopment (the re-use of existing buildings) for commercial uses and smart growth that ensures the necessary infrastructure is in place (intersections, roads, bridges, emergency services, sewer) prior to expanding commercial / industrial development into agricultural areas. In addition, offering a range of housing options: apartments/condominiums, apartment/small retail mixed use to help create walk-able neighborhoods, subdivisions placed where infrastructure exists to support them, rural residential lots and agricultural opportunities. Julie advocates for the development of a simplified version of the commercial zoning ordinances which will allow for the subdivision of existing structures to allow for multiple uses. With a focus on impact to neighboring lots, the commercial zoning can be restructured to note simply whether the impact is low, medium, high or ultra-high. Impacts such as traffic, truck deliveries, parking needs, noise, odor, light and sewer service needs would be utilized to determine the appropriate commercial zone.
- continue to work with the Board of Commissioners to support the construction and expansion of the County’s trail system. Julie understands the importance of connecting all parts of the county together with Ellettsville, the City of Bloomington, and Stinesville as well as our Rural Communities like Harrodsburg, Unionville, and Lake Lemon. This is one aspect of alternative transportation that can attract new residents (and businesses) and promote residents’ health and enjoyment of their community and protect the environment.
In sum, energy conservation projects and the preservation of our natural space helps save county taxpayer dollars and helps protect our environment.
Engaging Monroe County Residents: To ensure county government is accessible, approachable, transparent, and responsive to the needs of residents, Julie has pursued a number of initiatives.
- Redevelopment of the County’s website: Julie served on the county committee which focused on selecting the website developer and establishing a preferred design and capabilities. The new website should debut by the end of 2016 and will include some great tools for residents, including the ability to report potholes.
- Speak Up Monroe County! Julie worked extensively on the Granicus project to create an interactive website, connecting the Monroe County’s civil government departments with the community. Residents can make suggestions, participate in a directed forum (responding to specific questions) or provide input via surveys. Watch for an announcement soon!
- Fullerton Pike residents meetings: Once the Indiana Department of Transportation made the decision to create an I-69 interchange at Fullerton Pike, the development of a connected roadway (I-69 to Fullerton Pike to Gordon Pike to Rohrer Road to the east) will follow. Although the improvement of this road has been part of the County’s Thoroughfare plan for decades, the residents of the Batchelor Middle School Neighborhood Association stepped up and asked to be involved in the planning process. Julie and the Board of Commissioners have worked with the Public Works Department to hold regular public meetings with area residents to ensure that their concerns are heard. As a result of resident input, the road that was originally designed as a 5-lane roadway will be built as a 3-lane road.
- Citizens’ Academy – the county has a wonderful citizens’ academy program, but it’s under-utilized. Julie will work with CATS and will pursue a grant to support the recording of short informational videos on how county government works that residents can view on the county’s (new) website.
Manage Resources Wisely: The Board of Commissioners serves as the Legislative and Executive branch of County Government. To ensure the operation of an effective and efficient county government, Julie actively collaborates with her colleagues on the Board of Commissioners, the Monroe County Council and County Department heads and staff. The role of County Commissioner is always interesting. It requires time, attention to detail and continuing conversations with residents, department heads, elected officials, and community stakeholders. It also requires the consideration of the limited budgets we face. My experience as a County Councilor has been an invaluable resource for me.
The Commissioners hold a public staff-time meeting each Tuesday at 2 pm in the Commissioners’ Conference Room (3rd Floor of the Monroe County Courthouse). This is a work session where contracts, grants, Planning and Zoning documents and other items are initially presented to the Board. The regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners is on alternate Fridays at 9 am in the Nat U. Hill meeting room.
Julie is an educator (Indiana University -Purdue University – Indianapolis, Southern New Hampshire University and Franklin College) and an active volunteer in the community, currently at Planned Parenthood and Middle Way House. Julie serves as the Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Women’s Caucus. She earned five Degrees including a Ph.D. in Russian History from Indiana University-Bloomington. Julie has lived in Monroe County since 1993.
Endorsed by the Democratic Women’s Caucus
Paid for by Thomas for Commissioner