Another lawsuit Bloomington?

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:

From: John Kraft
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2015 4:14 PM
To: Andrew Coffey
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information Act request

Mr. Coffey,
Please forward this opinion (link below) to the Water Department and ask them to unredact the names on the past due accounts.
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Any further refusal to comply with the Freedom of Information Act will result in my seeking access thru the Circuit Court.
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Thanks,
John Kraft
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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.

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7 thoughts on “Another lawsuit Bloomington?

  1. $400,000 I wonder if that was a lot of dead people or developers leaving the water running while doing construction. Just incredible that amount of money is due. Maybe that is average for a city this size but it sure seems to be a large amount. Perhaps the city can pass a resolution to print that deadbeat list in their local gossip newspaper. That would be an eye opener to see.

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  2. I really hope you find a smoking gun someday. I’m sure they’re hiding something. But I’m curious. Do you know or care how much your FOIAs are costing tax payers? And is it worth all your work, their work and the cost to all of us? Because so far…I’ve been disappointed in the results.

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  3. keep going, it is all about taxing bodies being good stewards of our taxes. if they are not transparent then that opens the doors for cheating, corruption, etc. checks and balances are in all of lives. why should a city government not comply with the law?

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