New Bureaucratic Rule – Keep Nothing (Important) in Writing

When I saw the following in Tim Kane’s Chicago Tribune article about McHenry County College’s approval without allowing informed public debate—let alone competition–on a new minor league baseball stadium, I said, “Ah, ha.”

Read this and tell me what would pop into your head:

(Baseball stadium promoter) Heitman said bringing the unnamed team to the school was the idea of Crystal Lake City Manager Gary Mayerhofer, who alerted Heitman’s business partner Mark Houser.

I don’t know about you, but I immediately asked myself,

What did he say and when did he say it?

I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a straight answer as to why the contact was made, but I thought there just might be some record sitting around the Crystal Lake City Hall about the interaction between Heitman and the city manager.

So, you can guess what I did next, right?

I filed a Freedom of Information request.

I asked for

All communications, including e-mail, and records of communications between the officials of the City of Crystal Lake and Mark Houser and/or Equity One and/or Pete Hietman. This request is stimulated by Tim Kane’s Chicago Tribune article which reports City Manager Gary Mayerhofer alerted Mark Houser to this (Mayerhofer’s) idea to bring a minor leaguer baseball team to Crystal Lake.

And, by $4.64 mail Thursday I got this answer:

“This letter serves as a formal response to your request for the aforementioned information. The City of Crystal Lake is unable to locate any documents that meet the criteria of your request at this time.”

Any suggestions of what I should have requested?

= = = = =
The head shot is of Mark Houser, President of Libertyville’s Equity One. The body shot is of Pete Heitman, the minor league baseball stadium promoter.

It is not difficult to figure out why they are smiling. They had just left a secret meeting with McHenry County College, accompanied by the Frontier League’s Bill Lee, who exited by the back door of the MCC board room.

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