Transparency in Bloomington? Don’t make me laugh!

by:  Diane Benjamin

I sent the following Freedom of Information Act Request to the City of Bloomington on March 31st:

Date: Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 9:11 AM
Subject: FOIA request
To: Tracey Covert <[email protected]>

I am requesting the following information under the Freedom of Information Act:

              All emails written to the City Council from Mayor Tari Renner from both his City email address and his personal email accounts.
              All letters, statements and reports written to the Bloomington City Council by auditors of the City and the auditors of the Coliseum.  These are a separate report from the comments made in the CAFR.  I am requesting reports for the last 5 years.


This request is a non-commercial request.  I am requesting electronic copies.  In the event papers copies must be provided I am requesting the fees be waived as outlined in the FOI Act as this is a request for public information that is to be shared publicly. 

According to the law, the City has 5 days to respond or request an extension.   I asked about the FOIA today while filing another FOIA:

A FOIA requested filed on 3/31 is PAST DUE

I received this response:

I have reviewed the City Clerk’s FOIA request and have not found this one from you.
I will gladly add it to the FOIA system this date.
Thank you.
Tracey Covert
City Clerk

I am requesting information the “powers” at the City don’t want me to have.  It’s very convenient to “misplace” a FOIA request hoping I’ll forget about it.  So much for the transparency award the City received!

Transparency in Bloomington City Hall is only a talking point, not reality.  When I finally do get the information, anybody want to bet on how much is redacted?





8 thoughts on “Transparency in Bloomington? Don’t make me laugh!

  1. I can see why the mayor’s gov’t e-mail address is subject to a FOIA request, but his personal e-mail address? Isn’t his privacy protected in that respect? I mean there could be extremely sensitive information on there like his credit card information.

    If you really want the emails sent to his personal email address, why don’t you just ask the NSA?

    1. Personal emails are written in the law. Why would he send his credit card numbers to the City Council? If they weren’t subject to FOIA, every politicians would use their personal address to avoid making anything public.

      1. Oh so you’re saying other people’s personal email addresses with the messages they sent the mayor? (I.e.: The mayor’s gov’t email address’s inbox?)

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