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FOIA Abuse? . . . or Truth Seeking –

April 21, 2016   ·   10 Comments

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EDGAR CO., IL. (ECWd) –

In our continued efforts to provide absolute truth to our readers, we must once again point out inaccuracies in how a certain local publication prints quotes by Farnham, Edgar County Board Member, without fact-checking them.

The quote used was in relation to the Edgar County Airport and its solicitation for bids for fuel. Farnham was quoted as saying that “One company refused to bid…they said the tanks at the airport are too small and they can’t afford to come here for 500 gallons.”

We figured that to be a false statement, so a FOIA was submitted for the vendor response Farnham stated, and…surprise! (not really a surprise) – nothing was found because the “statement was made in jest.”

So here we have more false statements by a county board member in his attempt at garnering support for an unneeded project at the Airport. We say unneeded because the historical fuel sales do not show a need for larger fuel storage tanks.

Another issue was reported ss far as the salary resolution passed at the last county board meeting. The truth is that it did not “clarify” that board members could participate in the county health insurance programs, it “authorized“, as part of their compensation, participation in the county health insurance program. There is a huge difference, the difference between unlawful and lawful compensation.

For some background information, in a December 10, 2015 editorial, the PP called our fact-checking an “abuse of FOIA,” and failed to even get the facts correct in their editorial (read our ‘Kings of Petty Politics” series here). Now, in their most recent edition they want to lecture on the truth and how it is “sometime uncomfortable, embarrassing, and painful” – but nevertheless their duty to report it. We agree – so why not report truth when it comes to public bodies and public officials, or at least qualify statements made by Farnham as not intended to be an accurate representation of the truth?

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The bottom line in this is that when an elected official states something as fact during a meting, the public should be able to accept it as fact – and be able to verify the statements made. If we cannot verify what is stated, how do we develop any trust in our elected officials?
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Readers Comments (10)

  1. Robert O. Bogue says:

    Subsequent to my last comment, additional information was received that once again, under scores the importance of the FOIA process.

    On February 10th, 2016 the Edgar County Airport received a fuel delivery of 2,402 gallons of AVGAS. This was from Arrow Energy of Saline Michigan:…the earlier delivery was from Superior Fuels of Newton, Illinois for 1,774 gallons of AVGAS.

    Neither of these suppliers likely receive the local Paris paper where the bid invitation was published. These deliveries prove the existing tank size statements; that more than 500 gallons of fuel can be delivered to PRG and more.

    Reference my earlier comments regarding the change of fuel products and the need to fill fuel tank about once a year………….

    Then, add to that, a responsive comment from the county, that “I did not contact, nor am I aware of anyone who contacted, any fuel suppliers and asked them to bid.”

    And then, reconcile the comments made by Karl Farnham, that ‘no suppliers wanted to deliver only 500 gallons to the airport’ which were not only wrong but certainly appear to be disingenuous and misleading: especially coming from a airport committee member and board member that should know what the facts.

    And last, add the statement that Karl indicates he had actually contacted someone…anyone…which is now proven false by this FOIA request.

    In so much as Homer…something’s comments. I like concrete and I’m even a great fan of CCI Concrete, even noticing their new plant construction in Marshall. But Homer something, don’t you know a fueling facility cannot be built on Asphalt because any fuel spills, regardless of size will dissolve asphalt?
    But I do appreciate you comments, Homer something……

     Reply
    • Homer says:

      Just homer thanks for your comments mr bogue

       Reply
    • nellie says:

      In so much as Homer…something’s comments. I like concrete and I’m even a great fan of CCI Concrete, even noticing their new plant construction in Marshall. But Homer something, don’t you know a fueling facility cannot be built on Asphalt because any fuel spills, regardless of size will dissolve asphalt?
      But I do appreciate you comments, Homer something……Mr bogue there is such a thing as fuel resistant asphalts

       Reply
      • Robert O. Bogue says:

        Dear Nellie, The key word is resistant….if you can provide FAA approval documents showing that it is approved for use at Illinois Airports and used in Illinois Airports, then I would be wrong…..having said that, have you ever noticed concrete is in use at gas fueling stations, convenience stores, and especially at bulk fueling terminals: (and yes even at our own airport’s existing fuel tank/pumping/storage facility ?

         Reply
        • nellie says:

          STANDARDS FOR SPECIFYING CONSTRUCTION OF AIRPORTS FAA standards part 7

           Reply
          • Robert O. Bogue says:

            We’re discussing fuel storage pads, tank farms and fueling points…not taxiways, runways or other….remember?

             
  2. Homer says:

    If concrete wasn’t needed then mr bogue wouldn’t have a problem it’s been about concrete for years but lets get zoning done properly and move forward

     Reply
    • jmkraft says:

      that’s funny, because every time concrete is brought up, county board members claim “nobody said anything about concrete” and “who said any concrete was going to be used” – so it cannot be about the concrete. Maybe they just need to do things right?

       Reply
  3. Robert O. Bogue says:

    Nice article! The FOIA process is indispensable. Why? Because of the many …..and reoccurring situations similar to what has been noted above.

    Regarding airport fuel projects and fuel at our airport. The facts are: there is one 10,000 gallon fuel tank at our airport presently used for Jet A fuel. When full; (and based on the FOIA documents’ provided by the county as found in the airport fuel bid package) it holds about 3 years and 4 months of Jet A fuel. More or less. The two year fuel consumption average is something like 3,000 gallons…more or less.
    There are two additional fuel tanks storing Avgas with a combined capacity of 3000 gallons or about 4.5 months worth of fuel. Again this is a two year average as declared in the bidding documents.
    Simple math indicates, if the tanks were re-purposed (with the products of each exchanged) (as they were in the past): then there would be something like a 15 months supply of AVGAS on hand and something like a years worth of JET A fuel in hand when full.

    So, were talking about filling one tank once a year and one tank slightly more than once per year…pretty complicated isn’t it?
    AND so, where do we arrive at a 500 gallon delivery comment….if not, for any other reason than to make light of county’s business, the airport’s fuel needs, or……….. to poke fun at the legal process that one does not agree with? A legal process that needs to be followed.

     Reply
  4. Fed up citizen says:

    AMEN

     Reply




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