By: Diane Benjamin
Operations of the BCPA and the Creativity Center are looking a lot like a private club for the well-connected. Zero transparency existed with shows until I FOIA’d the recaps, all of them have not been posted. The last event report posted is from November. Obviously unless I FOIA the information nobody will ever see it. http://www.cityblm.org/government/advanced-components/documents/-folder-1702
Last March the City Council passed an agreement with the Friends of the BCPA. http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16026
The City agreed to hire a fundraiser for them. Since the City has still not posted the Total Compensation Report for last year, I don’t have any idea how much the person they hired is being paid. I wrote about her in this story: https://blnnews.com/2019/01/26/what-no-one-in-bloomington-talks-about/
Keep in mind: Taxpayers are paying her salary and benefits to raise money for the “Friends”.
I filed a FOIA request for a list of contributors and amounts Cara Peterson has raised since being hired. Even though the taxpayers are paying her, my request was denied:
The obvious place to look next is for tax returns filed by the “Friends”. All tax returns from non-profits are public information, if they file one:
There is a link to Guidestar for more information:
How did a non-profit raise over $1 million without a tax return showing that? I believe that amount was raised YEARS ago. Old tax returns would be available in Pro Publica is they were filed. Raising over $1,000,000 wouldn’t have been filed “on a postcard”.
This information is up to date on the GuideStar link:
The only reason the BCPA and Creativity Center exist is because the well-connected in Bloomington want it.
Meanwhile the jobs government is supposed to do are underfunded. Worse, this whole endeavour has no transparency.
- We don’t know what Cara Peterson is being paid
- We don’t know if she has raised any money for the “Friends”
- The “Friends” have no financial information on-line
- The City isn’t forcing them to produce information even though taxpayers own the properties
- The Creativity Center is not an essential service government should provide, especially with no transparency
If Bloomington operated in the best interests of the citizens instead of their “Friends”, both locations should be sold, given away, or shut down.
Both are a game citizens can’t afford to play when the roads are barely drivable and crime is making it more dangerous to live in Bloomington.
Anybody driven Hershey Road north of Oakland? Did anybody witness the bombs that destroyed it? East Washington? Others?