Junior College Refuses to Release Mega-Tower Documents that Would Prove Anyone Did Any Due Diligence

Under the Freedom of Information Act, I requested

  • All communications between BMB, the TV-radio aerial company seeking to buy MCC property, and MCC
  • All reports and memos concerning the proposal
  • All documents not included above which reference the company or its proposal

The answer?

You get nothing.

The excuse listed are Section7, paragraphs 1(f) and (s) of the Freedom of Information Act.

I can sue in circuit court, if I wish.

That’s what McHenry County College President Walt Packard writes.

So all that is on the public record is the contract proposed by BMB and a letter from a risk management firm.

There is no indication whatsoever that any expert in the broadcast tower business was consulted to advise whether $6 million was a good or bad price for the property that John Macquire wants to build.

The college is following in the muddy footsteps of its poorly analyzed minor league baseball stadium.

Officials do not have the expertize to analyze the proposal themselves and apparently refuse to hire someone to advise them who might.

Or, maybe they did hire such a antenna business consultant and just won’t tell us.

And, just in case you are interested what those two little exemption paragraphs are, read on

Section 7. Exemptions.


f) Preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, memoranda and other records in which opinions are expressed, or policies or actions are formulated, except that a specific record or relevant portion of a record shall not be exempt when the record is publicly cited and identified by the head of the public body. The exemption provided in this paragraph (f) extends to all those records of officers and agencies of the General Assembly that pertain to the preparation of legislative documents.

(s) The records, documents and information relating to real estate purchase negotiations until those negotiations have been completed or otherwise terminated. With regard to a parcel involved in a pending or actually and reasonably contemplated eminent domain proceeding under the Eminent Domain Act, records, documents and information relating to that parcel shall be exempt except as may be allowed under discovery rules adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court. The records, documents and information relating to a real estate sale shall be exempt until a sale is consummated.

So much at the junior college is top secret, hush-hush. I wonder if any of those privy to it ever had a Top Secret clearance.

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The towers you see above were supplied at the BMB Communications Management presentation to the public and the MCC Board on Wednesday, February 18, 2009. The one at the left is blowing in a 40 mile per hour wind. The one to the left isn’t.

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