By: Diane Benjamin
I’ve said this many times, but I will repeat it again. If I send a Freedom of Information request to Normal I actually get the information I want. No games, no attempting to circumvent the rules, just transparency.
Bloomington will HIDE, IGNORE, PRETEND the rules don’t matter, and go to any lengths to NOT release the requested information.
Documents belong to the people – they paid for them. The City of Bloomington has NO money it didn’t take from citizens, therefore operating with honesty and integrity is a prerequisite for good government.
Since Bloomington doesn’t follow the law, the opposite of good government must be presumed. Information is only hidden if there is something to hide.
Here’s the latest Bloomington blunder:
A request was made for a list of past due water bills. Bloomington eventually came up with the list, minus the names of who was past due. Addresses were included, the list totaled almost $400,000.
The City picked the wrong requester to mess around with, it was filed by one of the Edgar County Watchdogs. Below is John Kraft’s response to the City’s nonsense:
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2015 4:14 PM
To: Andrew Coffey
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information Act request
Hint for you Bloomington: Start by presuming EVERY document is subject to FOIA. Only redact information if you have a law backing you up.
Next Tuesday both Edgar County Watchdogs will be on Cities 92.9 during the afternoon show talking with Americans for Prosperity about the new STATE-WIDE watchdog training program. When government doesn’t represent the people, it’s up to us to hold them accountable.