Bloomington names first Diversity & Inclusion Officer; Mayor selects Mollie Ward to serve on council

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — There may be a new face on Bloomington’s city council as early as the next meeting.

Tuesday morning Mayor Tari Renner announced Mollie Ward is the lead candidate to fill the vacant seat formerly held by Scott Black. Over the summer, Black announced he would resign early, as he has no plans of seeking a third term.

The decision now lies in the hands of the council, who will vote on her appointment on November 9th.

“I’ve shown in the 20 years that I have been putting down some roots in the neighborhood, and that I am active in the community,” said Ward. “What would I say to the constituents in Ward 7? Talk to me, I want to be your voice, I want to hear from you, I am here for you.”

If appointed, she would only serve until April. However, she’s not ruling out the possibility of seeking a permanent spot as the Ward 7 representative.


The City of Bloomington is announcing their first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

City Manager Tim Gleason has selected Michael Hurt for the position on Monday. Hurt was most recently the city’s community relations manager, serving as the point of contact for the Americans with Disabilities Act, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Office of Civil Rights Matters.

On Tuesday, Mayor Renner reacted to the appointment sending a statement to WMBD that read “Hurt is an outstanding selection for the position. He is well qualified and has a great sense of empathy for the less fortunate young people in our community.”

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