Cheryl Munson: Who am I?
I am seeking to be your representative on the County Council, and want to know your concerns and ideas. But you should also know about me.
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 and Chair 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, PTA/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.