Letters to the Editor, Herald-Times

Rollo needed for a sustainable community
April 30, 2019

To the editor:

Dave Rollo richly deserves reelection to the city council. He has been a leader in guiding Bloomington to become a more sustainable community — a city that uses resources carefully, reduces greenhouse emissions, transitions to renewable energy, protects our water supply and green spaces, supports local food growers and merchants, encourages locally owned businesses and start-ups, and plans development in a way that benefits all residents and not only property-owners.

In the absence of ecologically wise leadership at the state and federal levels, it is all the more important that we have such leadership here at home. If Bloomington to be a healthy, vital place to live, not just in the next few years but far into the future, then we need the voice and vision of Dave Rollo.

Scott Russell Sanders

Rollo protects neighborhoods
April 29, 2019

To the editor:

As a newly single mom and recent graduate from IU in 2008, I was faced with job prospects that had dried up and was pulled to the self-sustaining values learned from my Depression-area grandparents, but with the more recent knowledge of regenerative agriculture. With the determination of a mother wanting to take care of her kids’ most basic needs, I found historic precedent for urban agriculture.

It wasn’t long before I met Dave Rollo, city councilman for District 4, and I felt that for the first time someone had my back. And beyond that, we talked of the entire city’s well-being in the face of the ever-looming environmental challenges while doing his best to hinder encroaching opportunists that would prefer profit over community wellbeing through land development.

My faith in Dave to fight the good fight has never wavered. Dave has proved to me, again and again, he is the person to protect and plan for our individual and collective futures. I trust he’ll protect the neighborhoods with the upcoming changes in the Unified Development Ordinance relating to land use. Don’t let the land development lobby have their way, re-elect Dave Rollo on May 7.

Jami Scholl

Rollo good for city
April 27, 2019

To the editor:

Dave Rollo has been known for his constituent service ever since he first was elected. His constituents know he will find time for them and will help them out in any way he can. He is devoted to helping the community keep Bloomington the vibrant, friendly place we know it to be, and he understands the importance of Bloomington’s core neighborhoods to this goal.

It has always been Dave’s way to closely scrutinize the way Bloomington develops. He is aware of the discontent over out-of-scale developments that have taken place in recent years. I think the citizens of Bloomington can count on him to keep Bloomington’s unique character and quality of life at the front of his decision making.

Dave doesn’t accept money from any vested interests, so you can be sure he is on the side of the general citizen’s best interests when he considers plans for the future of Bloomington.

I encourage everyone who enjoys Bloomington and wants it to get better, not bigger, to vote for Dave Rollo.

Lee Jones
Monroe County Commissioner

Rollo deserves support
April 26, 2019

To the editor:

Dave Rollo fully deserves another term as the city council member from District 4. Dave has demonstrated common sense, courage and concern. When the neighborhoods near Sare Road expressed concern about pedestrian problems, Dave supported improvements that allow pedestrians to more easily cross Sare Road. He also helped neighborhood residents apply for funding for a multiuse path that will provide safe bicycle and pedestrian access to College Mall Road.

As city council chairman, Dave had the courage to bring the Fourth Street garage back to council when new information became available and worked to help downtown businesses that wanted a new garage. Through all his years, Dave had shown common sense in his statements and votes on city council. He deserves your support, too.

John Kennedy

Rollo concerned about neighborhoods
April 24, 2019

To the editor:

I am writing this letter in support of Dave Rollo for reelection for city council in the May primary.

Prior to our ash trees being market for removal by the city in February 2015, I had never met Dave. But I called him on a Sunday night and left a message of the 8 a.m. meeting the next day concerning the removal of the ash trees. He met with us and the city that next day and on several other occasions.

Dave was responsible for saving our ash trees and he continues to support our cause. We feel very fortunate to have Dave on the city council because he is concerned with all the neighborhoods in the Fourth District.

James Holthaus


Rollo deserves support
April 23, 2019

To the editor:

I write in support of Dave Rollo for City Council. Among the many ways that he has worked to improve quality of life, sustainability and beauty in our city, Dave is a vocal opponent of low quality and out-of-context development in Bloomington’s downtown and periphery. Often these inappropriate projects are proposed by out-of-state developers who are unconcerned with issues of local aesthetics and scale. Dave has taken a stand against developments, such as the Graduate Hotel, that exceed height requirements set by the council for Kirkwood, and that threaten to change the unique character of our city. He has also opposed large student developments, including a recent proposal for a 600-plus bed development that would place stresses on our community infrastructure, and he opposes code changes to significantly increase density in single-family neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, it is often the case that special interests can gain influence through campaign donations. For this reason, Dave is to be commended for maintaining a strict limit of no more than $25 per individual and for refusing PAC money and contributions from development interests.

Dave Rollo has the experience, vision and personal integrity that is needed on city council. He deserves our continued support.

Lisa Sideris


Supports Rollo
April 20, 2019

To the editor:

I am writing in support of Dave Rollo’s reelection to the Bloomington Common Council.

I believe Dave was the first local candidate that I volunteered for, putting out dozens of his yard signs in 2003 and subsequent campaigns and hosting his website. He has always been a solid supporter of mine, as well as many other good local Democrats. Dave has been an active Democrat since the early 1990s, working on many campaigns for city, county, state and federal offices, including Mark Stoops, Baron Hill, Jim Jontz and Lee Jones. He has gone door-to-door for many Democrats and has been active in get-out-the-vote efforts. He has been a consistent and regular contributor to the Democratic Party.

Dave’s command of scientific knowledge has been valuable to Bloomington and Monroe County, and his continued presence in elected office, as well as others like him, is vital to maintaining a healthy, evidence-based, informed democracy.

Finally, he has been deeply involved in our community’s efforts toward sustainability in energy, agriculture, green space and local transportation. This dedication strongly informs his service on the city council. He is entirely worthy of your support for his continued service. Please vote early for Dave starting April 9!

Eric Schmitz


Rollo and Ruff earned support
April 18, 2019

To the editor:

The Griffy Lake preserve is a vital part of our natural heritage that provides respite just minutes from downtown. Whether hiking or boating, Bloomington is blessed with a diverse forest ecosystem that enables residents young and old to experience the wonders of nature.

I know this preserve well. As IU Herbarium director, I take students there to learn about woodland ecosystems, and we conduct service-learning projects to remove invasive species. Griffy Lake is managed by the city, but has been alarmingly degraded by deer overabundance, as was the case with Brown County State Park 25 years ago. The native forest understory and tree regeneration have been seriously impacted by over-browsing. Woodland songbirds and all else that depend on an intact forest cannot survive in such a degraded habitat.

City council members Dave Rollo and Andy Ruff were brave enough to correct this problem and restore balance to the Griffy ecosystem. It was not without controversy, but it was necessary to save this wonderful preserve. For their courage to save Griffy Woods and their numerous selfless contributions to our community, they have earned my vote on May 7, and I hope they have earned yours.

Eric Knox

Supports Rollo for Council
April 18, 2019

To the editor:

I’m writing to express my strong support for City Councilman Dave Rollo. Over the past 15 years that Dave has served on and chaired the council, he systematically has championed numerous progressive policies. As a steadfast supportive of environmentally friendly policies and practices, in 2005, he took the lead in establishing the city’s Commission on Sustainability. The purpose of this commission is to support Bloomington’s socio-environmental-economic prosperity — because, as he rightly understood, these three domains are inextricably intertwined. This is just one of the many positive and consequential initiatives of council member Rollo. Furthermore, Dave has been reliably accessible to his constituents almost immediately answering phone calls and meeting with them as often as needed. Being on the Bloomington City Council is about knowing your community and enacting policies that contribute to its overall well=being. Dave Rollo has done exactly that and I believe he will continue to do so effectively.

Robert Arnove


Rollo deserves votes
April 18, 2019

To the editor:

Dave Rollo is a conscientious hardworking city councilperson for the Bloomington Fourth District and for Bloomington. Head of the council, he puts his considerable skills to good use, seeking and listening to citizens’ input on key issues and forging agreements on contentious ones. He’s active on such issues as parking, environment and animal control law reform, for instance. In 2013, he helped calm traffic on Moores Pike by installation of a speed bump when the Traffic Commission refused to act. He specializes in bringing together those especially concerned about an issue to resolve it civilly and creatively. He deserves our votes.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Women’s Caucus’s endorsements reflect a rule requiring supporting women candidates only. While this policy has helped to elect good women, it undermines caucus credibility when occasionally women officeholders/candidates betray that trust and demonstrate that women are equal to men in capacity to do wrong. As a feminist professor for over 30 years I taught students not only about the evils associated with male dominant socio-economic structures but also that people of any biological sex category can maltreat others and commit crimes, as well as demonstrate exemplary behavior. Occasionally men can be more feminist than women!

Claire Robertson

Rollo Leads Intelligently
April 18, 2019

To the editor:

I wholeheartedly support Dave Rollo for City Council District 4. He’s an independent voice who deeply cares about neighborhoods and strives to improve the quality of life for all.

Dave’s had huge success in District 4 securing infrastructure funds for trails, sidewalks, crosswalks, safe routes to school, naturalized areas and greenspace.

Less acknowledged is his work improving Bloomington’s governing documents. Dave understands the impact and challenges of the Transportation and Comprehensive Plans and the long-term consequence of the Unified Development Ordnance. He sponsored dozens of amendments throughout, and significantly improved the astonishingly weak Environmental Chapter, in the recently approved Comprehensive Plan.

As president of city council, he’s worked relentlessly for a commitment that a new Fourth Street garage be built for resilience and sustainability. That includes street-level retail, charging stations, solar panels, space that can be converted (if not needed) and a height limit. Dave understands that parking is important downtown and to be truly sustainable it must reflect Bloomington’s future needs as well as today’s requirements. He also recognizes that the last thing Bloomingtonians want is another overly tall building downtown.

Please vote for Dave to continue building Bloomington in a thoughtful, sensitive and intelligent way.

Jan Sorby


Support Rollo for quality of life
April 10, 2019

To the editor:

Even in a city of visionaries, Dave Rollo, who is running for reelection to the Bloomington City Council in District 4, stands out as a visionary. He has long understood how the largest issues affect us locally. On climate change in particular, Rollo has been a tireless advocate of sustainable transportation, renewable energy and local food.

Dave also recognizes that the city council is a forum for direct democracy, giving Bloomington residents a voice when a gerrymandered Congress might otherwise ignore them. From 2003, when he supported a resolution opposing the invasion of Iraq, to a forthcoming resolution on the nuclear weapons threat, Dave Rollo has worked with citizens groups to make Bloomington an advocate for peace.

The quality of life in Bloomington depends on more than filling the potholes and solving dilemmas of parking and transportation, though Rollo works very hard on these. It is also a function of an engaged community, and he is a leading advocate of this larger vision.

For the sake of our city, please support Dave Rollo for reelection.

David Keppel

Rollo a fine public servant
Apr 6, 2019

To the editor:
I do not remember writing a letter regarding political elections. If we have pertinent information, we probably should. So I am writing to fellow voters in District 4 for city council.
In Dave Rollo, we have the finest public servant. Dave has worked effectively for our district for 16 years. He not only listens to constituents, he acts on their concerns. In my Elm Heights neighborhood alone I can list 15 places from Atwater to Hillside, from Henderson to High Street, where he has taken action for the neighborhood. These actions include things like a stoplight at Henderson and Atwater, defeat of student housing proposal, support of South Dunn Street project at Henderson and Hillside, helped developer improve Park South Development to include better streetscape and pedestrian access. He has helped with much needed stormwater improvements in areas of the district.
He is always accessible and willing to listen. Dave has the experience we need. He is good for our district and good for our city. Please vote for Dave to continue to serve all of us.

Devonia Stein

Rollo helps with clean water
Mar 29, 2019

To the editor:
March 21 was World Water Day, emphasizing the availability of safe water for all. Too many of us take the availability of drinkable, swimmable, fishable waters for granted.

But in reality, we depend on people like Dave Rollo, president of the Bloomington City Council, to help us ensure that our water is clean. Mr. Rollo has championed efforts to assure clean water for our community by advocating for a $37,500 grant match to hire a watershed coordinator and assisting Friends of Lake Monroe in amending the comprehensive plan to include considerations for Lake Monroe water quality.

He has worked tirelessly to make Bloomington a sustainable community; protecting green space from developments, advocating for increased green space set asides in new developments and resisting unsuitable development projects that degrade the quality of life for local residents. He is a man of courage and conviction, and we are lucky to have him on our city council, making sure that our community moves forward with sustainability as a focus.

Sherry Mitchell-Bruker

Rollo listens and works
Mar 26, 2019

To the editor:
I am writing in support of Dave Rollo for city council, because I know from personal experience he is a representative who cares about his constituents. After purchasing a new home, I found myself in a neighborhood facing unforeseen challenges. Not only did Dave Rollo listen but after seeing in person the needs of the neighborhood, he became an advocate for addressing the obvious problems. He was willing to listen and he worked with the city to find a way to address the problems in a timely manner. This is the kind of involved and solution oriented councilman I want representing me and my neighborhood. I see him as a candidate who has demonstrated his ability to get things done.

Thanks to Dave Rollo, and his work with the rest of the city council members the residents of our neighborhood now enjoy the city services we were expecting when we moved in, city trash pick up, snow plowing and paved streets. I support the re-election of Dave Rollo as a councilman, and I encourage you to vote for him because he will actively listen and work to address issues that concern the citizens of the city of Bloomington.

Patricia Gunkel

Return Rollo to council
Mar 22, 2019

To the editor:
What good luck to have had Dave Rollo as my councilman, and ready to continue his service to the public. His personal schooling in the value of face-to-face interaction with constituents started years ago in door-to-door work for other candidates. Those lessons carried over into his work for us as we returned him to office at every opportunity. His best campaign ads would surely be the testimony of his constituents, and I am pleased to be one of those constituents.

Tomi Allison

Rollo protects Bloomington
Mar 12, 2019

To the editor:
I support Dave Rollo for City Council District 4. Along with being a passionate advocate for sustainable issues, Dave has been a great advocate for core neighborhoods, understanding that small houses on small lots are a green way to live.

Dave has also been a check on large, out-of-context development and was an outspoken critic of the Graduate Hotel downtown on Kirkwood. He helped initiate the moratorium on the height of new downtown buildings until new guiding documents are completed. Without this moratorium, passed in 2017, Bloomington would probably have even more out-of-scale, monolithic buildings in our iconic downtown. Dave was a “no” vote on the large student developments on West Arlington as well as Century Village.

Fifteen years ago, the new urbanist South Dunn Street development, the most successful infill project in Bloomington, was incredibly controversial. As the one city council member on plan commission, Dave argued vociferously for the project. Without his key vote it would not have been built. Years later, Dave helped negotiate improvements for the development at Henderson and Hillside, where the restaurant Feta now welcomes neighbors.
Please support Dave Rollo so he can continue to protect Bloomington.

Jon Lawrence

Rollo found a win-win
Mar 18, 2019

To the editor:
Not even two months ago, Green Acres neighborhood was facing a difficult situation with the city government that had everybody concerned and confused.
I called Dave Rollo, who is the city council representative for our district, and he responded immediately, coming by to hear “our side” of the story, and then meeting with several departments of the city to hear “their side” of the story.

The result? Dave initiated a solution that ended up as a win-win for both sides.

Needless to say, we in Green Acres are immensely grateful for Dave’s experience, perspective and negotiating skills.

Ann Kreilkamp

Ruff and Rollo for council
Mar 8, 2019

To the editor:
Electing fresh faces to the political system is often a good thing (see U.S. election, 2018). Just as important, however, is the need to recognize and support those elected officials who have served us well over the years. Not to put too fine a point on it, but choosing “change for the sake of change” can lead to absolutely disastrous results, as can lack of political experience (see U.S. election, 2016).

Two local city council veterans in particular deserve our support for all they have done for Bloomington. For years, Andy Ruff and Dave Rollo have been at the forefront of the fight to make Bloomington a city we can be proud of. From the Living Wage ordinance to the no-smoking ordinance to sustainable transportation reform, Ruff and Rollo have fought the good fight. They are seasoned, thoughtful and highly effective in getting the right things done. And they do not hesitate to stand up to bad ideas, wherever those ideas may come from.

Ruff and Rollo are stalwart champions of the common sense causes we care most about: gender equity, racial justice, economic fairness and environmental stewardship. Bloomington would be ill-served without their presence on the city council.

Ramsay Harik

Rollo good for city
Feb 27, 2019

To the editor:
Dave Rollo is an experienced candidate who fairly represents District 4 voters on Bloomington’s City Council. Currently serving as council president, Dave has a distinguished record for leadership. He has served on numerous boards, commissions and task forces to improve quality of life for Bloomington’s residents.

In 2018 Dave spent hours meeting with constituents and interest groups to review and write amendments for the city’s Comprehensive Master Plan, a long-range guide for land use and development. To reflect the priorities of Bloomington stakeholders was his intent. His sponsorship of amendments to emphasize the importance of Lake Monroe, the city’s water source, was an outcome.

Perhaps what is most notable about Dave Rollo is his tireless work with Bloomington neighborhoods. He responds quickly to questions and complaints with information and legislation to address concerns from sidewalks to lot size and accessory dwellings.

Within the next year, the city will be adopting a transportation plan and a unified development ordinance to identify regulations for future land-use development, planning and zoning. These new legal documents will determine regulations for years to come. District IV needs Dave Rollo with his experience and understanding to help put these in place.

Judy Berkshire

Thanks to Dave Rollo
Dec 5, 2018

To the editor:
Our new Bloomington neighborhood was recently left in a precarious situation. The parts slated to become public — streets and stormwater control — were incomplete and had not been conveyed to the city by the developer that walked out. As a result, our neighborhood was unable to obtain vital city services such as sanitation and snow plowing, and there was considerable uncertainty about the future of all our homes.

We reached out to our city councilperson Dave Rollo for help. Dave promptly met with us and our neighbors, developed an understanding of the situation and then lead the effort to achieve a successful outcome. Dave was a persistent advocate for our neighborhood. He collaborated with the other council members, the mayor and other city leaders to design and help implement solutions.

We are grateful to Dave Rollo for his attentiveness and follow-through. Dave has a sincere concern for the success of Bloomington neighborhoods and a demonstrated ability to get things done.

Susan and Dan Wagener

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