Is Bloomington lying on my latest FOIA, or just incompetent

by:  Diane Benjamin

Since the Financial Statements for the City of Bloomington have very little detail, and even less information is available on-line, I have to file Freedom of Information Act requests for information.

Lately many sources have been saying David Hales saved the city.  I’m looking at page after page of expenses only entered as Commerce Bank instead of who actually got paid.  It’s really hard to control expenses when the vendor isn’t known without research.  Way too many employees have City debit cards and I see no proof the massive statements received every month are reviewed for accuracy or compliance with the rules for using a card.  Over $2,000,000 was put on these cards in fiscal year 2012.  They aren’t a minor expense.

My latest FOIA request was for how many employees the City had before David Hales took over and how many the City has now.  Supposedly the City is saving a lot of money since early retirement was taken by around 60 employees.  Here’s what I received for employees in 2009.  The original isn’t any more legible than this copy and I have no idea what -4 at the bottom means.  My question about it hasn’t been answered.

emply2But what they sent for current employees REALLY got interesting.  I received an Excel spreadsheet that DOESN’T add!  Excel isn’t that tough – it does the math for you.

I don’t know if what I received was an attempt to deceive me on the number of employees the City really has, or if the person who put the spreadsheet together is just incompetent.   Frankly, I don’t care.  Getting less than adequate information on nearly every FOIA I file shows the City of Bloomington has no interest in being transparent.

Since David Hales is supposedly in charge, he is responsible for the complete lack of transparency.  The citizens aren’t allowed to know what is really going on at the City, but they want more taxes.

Below is what I received.  I added the correct numbers below the ones provided by the City.  I left the misspellings, but I shortened the titles because they were way to wide to print.  Even if the 990 number is correct, it’s obvious David Hales is hiring people to fill the jobs cut by early retirements.  If 1155 is correct the City is mismanaged.

I’m done asking for clarifications on FOIA requests.  If they want to clarify the number of employees, they can contact me.  Hopefully in the future I will receive better information.  If not, I will continue to print the nonsense they send.  Later today I have another good example of government accounting verses common sense.  Stay tuned.


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