South Bend Common Council

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South Bend Mayor James Mueller says $13.3 million dollars in American Rescue Plan funding is in limbo due to the substitute salary ordinance the Common Council passed for the 2022 budget earlier this week.

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Salary negotiations have seemingly stalled between the city of South Bend and its fire department. The city and the fire department hadn’t come to an agreement by the Common Council meeting Monday evening. 

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The South Bend Common Council voted to raise all city employees’ salaries by 2.5 percent Monday evening while simultaneously eliminating any raises larger than that.

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The South Bend Common Council approved the bulk of the city’s 2022 budget Monday night. The council passed a $386.4 million budget bill, not counting American Rescue Plan funding. 

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Thanks to millions in federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan, South Bend Mayor James Mueller said the city’s 2022 budget will be a “historic” investment in infrastructure, affordable housing, community resources and public safety.

“The resources that we have from federal and state partners is accelerating our ability to transform our community and our neighborhoods,” Mueller said during a Monday afternoon press conference at 466 Works, an infill housing development on South Bend’s southeast side.

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The South Bend Common Council passed a bill Monday night that adds about $14.5 million to the city’s existing 2021 budget. The majority of that spending — just under ten million — will pay for projects and investments funded by the American Rescue Plan.

Jakob Lazzaro / 88.1 WVPE

Brandon Williams was killed in the Kelly’s Pub mass shooting two years ago. Now, his life is being commemorated on Sept. 25 — the South Bend Common Council passed a special resolution Sept. 13 in honor of Williams to establish a day of remembrance for murder victims.

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Black Lives Matter South Bend held a press conference Wednesday morning to raise their concerns over the city’s ongoing budget process.

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The South Bend Common Council has unanimously passed a pair of bills moving the salary for the director of the Community Police Review Board from the city clerk’s office to the mayor’s office.

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South Bend officials discussed affordable housing at their most recent budget meeting Friday, including $6 million dollars in American Rescue Plan proposals.

The city proposed dedicating $2.5 million dollars in ARP funds to home repair assistance, another $2.5 million to housing financing and the remaining $1 million to home buying assistance.

 

According to the city’s presentation, housing financing and home buying assistance haven’t previously been funded in the city budget. 

 

City presentation to South Bend Common Council

  

The South Bend Common Council held its fourth meeting to go over the proposed 2022 budget Wednesday. It focused on strategic operations spending, or money spent on city priorities in addition to the normal, baseline budget.

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Residents and advocates are calling for a new comprehensive plan that would focus specifically on South Bend’s west side. 

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The South Bend Common Council has started consideration of a pair of bills that would strip the salary from embattled former Community Police Review Board director Joshua Reynolds. 

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St. Joseph County is seeking to provide dedicated funding for the consolidated 911 dispatch center by redirecting existing tax revenue. Right now, the center is funded by South Bend, Mishawaka and St. Joseph County and handles emergency calls for most of the county.

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South Bend city officials gave their first overview of the city’s 2022 budget at a personnel and finance committee meeting Wednesday evening. 

The city proposed a total budget of $382.1 million dollars, not counting any federal funds from the American Rescue Plan. $305.6 million of that would go to baseline spending –– what the city needs to operate –– and the remaining $76.5 million would go to strategic spending, or what the city spends to improve residents’ quality of life.

 

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The South Bend Common Council unanimously voted Monday night to move oversight of the city’s Community Police Review Board to the mayor’s office. But following an amendment from Councilmember Henry Davis Jr., the board could return to the city clerk’s office after the 2023 election.

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The South Bend NAACP, Black Lives Matter and other community organizations are urging the Common Council to not change the structure of the city’s Community Police Review Board. The council is expected to consider a bill tonight that would move oversight of the board to the mayor’s office from its current home in the city clerk’s office.

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During an Aug. 4 town hall hosted by Black Lives Matter, South Bend Community Police Review Board director Joshua Reynolds said moving oversight of the board to the mayor’s office from its current home in the city clerk’s office would destroy the board’s credibility.

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South Bend community police review board director Joshua Reynolds has agreed to turn over his past employment records to the common council.

 

That comes after the council rules committee unanimously voted last week to request or subpoena Reynolds’ employee records from his time as an Indianapolis Police Department and Butler University Police Department officer.

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The South Bend Common Council’s Rules Committee unanimously approved a resolution Monday night to request or subpoena personnel files and other background information on Joshua Reynolds from his time as an Indianapolis and Butler University police officer.

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South Bend’s new Community Police Review Board director Joshua Reynolds said he is not going to resign following last week’s revelation that he was suspended seven times during his work as an Indianapolis police officer.

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Mayor James Mueller wants Joshua Reynolds, the recently hired director of the city’s Community Police Review Board, to resign or be fired, the South Bend Tribune reported July 12.

 

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Established by the Common Council last fall, South Bend’s new Community Police Review Board is taking applications for membership. To apply, you must be a resident of South Bend and not a sworn law enforcement officer.

 

But the city hired former Indianapolis police officer Joshua Reynolds as the board’s first director last month. 

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Council and school board members, as well as South Bend Mayor James Mueller and School Superintendent Todd Cummings, met June 17 to discuss ways to improve education in South Bend.

Jakob Lazzaro / 88.1 WVPE

 


The South Bend Common Council has approved two tax abatements as part of an ongoing project to redevelop the old Ward Bakery Building in the city’s Near Northwest Neighborhood.

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A judge has ruled audio recordings that allegedly contain South Bend police officers making racist comments must be turned over to the South Bend Common Council. Still, the so-called “police tapes” won’t be heard anytime soon.

 

The tapes issue goes back to 2011, when a former SBPD communications officer came across recorded phone calls from the line of an officer who didn’t know they were being recorded.

 

City of South Bend

The South Bend Common Council revised its goals for hiring minority- and women-owned contractors on Monday. That’s after an error was discovered last year in the disparity study that helped set the council’s original goal.

Members of the local Black Lives Matter chapter opposed the changes, saying the existing program had not been implemented well enough and that the new ordinance would be even harder to enforce.

 

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Many trees and shrubs have burst into bloom lately, and as nice as they may be to look at, not all of them are good for the environment – some are invasive, meaning they outcompete native species and upset the local ecosystem.

The South Bend Common Council moved to ban some of those invasive plant species at its meeting on Monday.

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The South Bend Common Council passed a resolution on Monday against voter suppression efforts from state and federal legislators.

South Bend activist groups once again called for more transparency in the policing process at the Community Relations Committee meeting Tuesday night.

Committee Chair Lori Hamann said the purpose of the meeting was to commemorate Black History Month by having an open conversation around police reform. 

 

Black Lives Matter – South Bend member Mya Perry said while the Common Council acknowledged the need for community policing initiatives, it has yet to implement any. 

 

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