By: Diane Benjamin
If you missed Tari’s State of the City address last Monday you can see my recap and listen to it here: https://blnnews.com/2019/01/15/taris-state-of-the-city/
Recycling his talking points, Tari once again proclaimed the Illinois Policy Institute “continues” to give the City an A+ transparency score.
Disregarding IPI discontinued the program in 2014, their transparency scores were based on what information is available on websites. It has ZERO to do with how accountable government is to citizens. Tari always leaves that part out.
Now there is proof Bloomington is far less than transparent!
The Better Government Association (Illinois’ non-partisan Full-Service Watchdog) recently completed a study on how frequently government agencies violate the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act. They used data from the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access cases.
I’ve written many times about Public Access and their inability to comply with the law, the report only slightly mentions that. This section is the most interesting:
Top 14 offenders: Public bodies that wrongly used exemptions to deny records
Illinois has 6963 public bodies, so being in the top 14 proves the law is really immaterial to these 14. Keep in mind the results only show FOIA requests appealed to Public Access. If a person denied records didn’t appeal, that denial of records is not included.
What did they find?
Percentage of FOIA violations:
Many on the list are from Chicago.
This report proves Bloomington corruption now rivals Chicago while Tari pretends Bloomington is transparent.
Bloomington’s documents belong to the people who paid for them: taxpayers.
The citizens of Bloomington should be outraged you are on this list.
Tari wanted a “culture change” when he first took office. Evidently that meant laws are immaterial, you aren’t entitled to documents, and government For and By the People is passe.
See the entire report here: Illinois law hasn’t stopped public agencies from withholding records
One more note: Illinois has more government bodies than any other state. Voters failed to get rid of one when you had the chance – the Bloomington Election Commission. Illinois corruption will never end when thousands of fiefdoms are allowed to exist.