The “Officials” Don’t Want You To Know

The Northwest Herald's Keven Craver's Blog's masthead.

The Northwest Herald’s Kevin Craver is again pointing to the incongruity of our tax dollars being used to lobby against our self-interests as citizens and taxpayers.

McHenry County government and other tax districts from townships to school districts belong to associations that lobby in Springfield.

McHenry County Blog found these groups lobbying against Jack Franks’ bill to limit this year’s taxes to last years (because the assessed value had decreased):

Right after the new, broader Freedom of Information law went into effect, the House and the Senate voted to exempt employee performance evaluations.

Craver zeros in on House Bill 3137, sponsored by double-dipping Republican State Rep. Roger Eddy.

Eddy has received $60,000 from the Illinois Education Association’s Political Action Committee.

Here’s what he wants to keep secret:

  • the date of birth of public employees,
  • medical and health information of public employees,
  • the names of applicants for public employment, a
  • applications for public employment,
  • recommendations and opinions regarding the qualification of public employment applicants,
  • investigative notes of public employees, and
  • outlines or drafts of oral statements, presentations, or remarks

So, FOIA filers wouldn’t be able to get applications of those who apply for the empty Regional Superintendent of Schools slot…nor their names.

Back to the good ‘ol days for the good ol’ boys.

Craver points out that your tax dollars are going to the Metro Counties Council (on which my father used to serve when he was on the County Board) to lobby in favor of this bill.


The “Officials” Don’t Want You To Know — 2 Comments

  1. Some of these items are matters that should not be public due to privacy concerns such as the date of birth (makes identity theft much easier) and medical & health history. They should not be public for any one, be they in the public or the private sector.

    And perhaps what can be known about APPLICANTS for a position should be different from what can be known about those who are appointed or elected to a position.

    Will having recommendations regarding an applicant made public make those writing such things less likely to be really candid about their opinion?

  2. More Info has it right.

    There’s no need to give up truly personal information like the date of birth or social security numbers. There age should be sufficient.

    Medical and health records are (and should be) strictly off-limits.

    I don’t think even my employer is allowed to know what medical information my insurance company has on me, what treatments they may be paying for, medications, etc. even though they are paying a goodly portion of the premium for my healthcare coverage.

    Not sure whether that’s right or wrong (them paying but not knowing) but that’s the law. Why should a public employee have less protection in this area.

    That said, the Freedom of Info law needs to be expanded.

    There’s enough dirt going on in the dark without them trying to turn out more lights.

    Asking for the right to see everything under the sun is no more legitimate than the crappola the bureaucrats continually seek to pull off.

    Another way to cure some of the abuses might be to attach criminal penalties to some of the more blatant violations.

    In other words, start holding these clowns personally responsible when they pull stuff like this.

    No fine or handslap to the city or village that employees them, a criminal charge against the person who violates the law.

    That would result in a job opening at the city or village and I’ll bet with the loss of just one pension for this sort of thing, abuses would decline like nobody’s business.

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