By: Diane Benjamin
It isn’t up to government to decide what documents might interest citizens, all documents belong to the citizens.
The new City website is up and running, I still haven’t heard why the City has a new website or when the Council approved it, but a lot of the information is missing! Starting in 2011 and going backwards, AGENDAS for meetings are listed – but no Packets. The packets are where all the supporting documents are located along with explanations of why items are on the agenda. The agenda only lists what the City Manager/Mayor want the Council to approve.
What’s the effect?
FOIA requests have to be filed for missing information! The City claims FOIA requests are a nuisance and cost too much staff time. Wait until FOIA requests for around 144 missing packets are submitted! Hint: It would be much easier for IT to put them back on the website!
Here’s why it matters. I need to look at David Hales original employment contract. It’s not listed under Human Resources, or City Manager, but I was able to figure out what meeting the Council approved the contract – 12/8/2008. From the agenda:
The packets are Bloomington’s history. Actions taken by the City Council frequently wreak havoc years later. (Think Coliseum) The history needs to be available for research.
The City Clerk can now waste time with a FOIA request.
Attn: Illinois Policy Institute:
Please repossess Bloomington’s transparency award!
See the 2011 information available here: http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-222
Compare that to 2012 here: http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-221