UN Flag in the Bloomington Council Chambers: Update

Some correspondence requested under the Freedom of Information Act  was denied by the City of Bloomington.  A complaint has been filed with the State’s Attorney’s Office in Springfield with the Public Access Officer.

What are they trying to hide?  The denial listed “personal information” as the reason.  We are not interested in phone numbers and addresses, just names and what was said.

The following was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act:

From the City Attorney:

Subject: Re: U. N. Flag
From: [email protected]
CC: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2012 13:37:27 -0500
Alderman Fazzini-
Thank you. I forgot to add last night that there is a second Bloomington-Normal connection to the United
Nations. Donald McHenry (who grew up in East St. Louis) graduated from Illinois State University and
was the U.N. Ambassador from 1979 to 1981.

From a Council member:

—–“Robert B. Fazzini” wrote: —–
To: <[email protected]>
From: “Robert B. Fazzini”
Date: 04/24/2012 12:32PM
Cc: <[email protected]>
Subject: U. N. Flag
Thank you for the succinct and businesslike answer to why we have the U .
N. Flag in our council chambers . We should be proud to honor the most
widely known and respected citizen on the world stage from our
community by displaying the flag of the organization where he served his
nation. Any further discussion time at a city council meeting or staff time
spent on this would not be time well spent in my opinion . Rob
Robert B. Fazzini

From City Attorney-referring to Council Member Judy Stearns:

I think Adlai alone was more than sufficient to stop the conversation from
Judy. Rob

From a Council member:

Re: U. N. Flag
Mboka Mwilambwe to: Todd Greenburg 04/25/2012 09:46 PM
Cc: City Council and Mayor, Barb Adkins, David Hales, “Robert B.
Thanks for the explanation. I had a constituent ask me about it last week. I was also not aware of it
because it was tucked in the corner of the fishbowl (I had to ask Katie last Friday). I was not sure what the
reason was for having it there but it now makes sense. My interest beyond this explanation would lie more
in making sure that what we learned today is transfered through all the transitions we have periodically as
I am sure over time with new actors both within City administration and our engaged citizens, this will pop
up again. At least I am glad that you were around to help us with the connection.
On a side note, we are familiar with Donald McHenry on the ISU campus. He was instrumental in helping
the University being able to host Madeleine Albright at Braden Auditorium (around 1999) in front of close
to 3,000 people. This probably would not have been possible without his connection to her because the
both taught at Georgetown University in addition to having both served as Ambassadors to the UN. So
this is one of the ways that the community benefited from his service. It is not often that we get a sitting or
former US Secretary of State to grace our community with their presence. This was a tremendous
opportunity for our students, not to mention faculty, staff and the rest of the Bloomington-Normal
Mboka Mwilambwe
Alderman, Ward 3
[email protected]

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