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March 3, 2024

Mr. Wells: “We Don’t Lease the Farm Barn”…

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On March 10, 2013


I sit in complete amazement at the level of ignorance shown by Jimmy Wells, a public servant at the Edgar County Airport. It has become increasingly harder to believe anyone could be this ignorant of the law, and stoop to these levels to ensure the “good old boy” system of the past 20 + years continues.

The era of people thinking they “own” public property is quickly coming to a halt. The sooner this is realized, the better all of us will be. So, I have to ask Mr. Wells – are you going to continue this course of ignoring your obligations under the laws and statutes of the State of Illinois? If not, may I suggest you start reading?

The Chevy Truck – Free Storage

Mr. Wells replied to part of my FOIA request asking for information on the old junk truck stored in the Ag Barn on Public Property. His response was exactly what I had expected and already knew –

The truck is stored there FREE of charge.

We don’t lease the farm barn.

If the truck is an issue we can get it moved.

If you don’t lease the farm barn, then why is a privately owned vehicle stored inside of it? It is an issue, unless you are willing to allow every resident of the county to store their private things in the barn also.

He failed to state who the truck belonged to, and since it is on public property we have a right to know whose property it is. I guess he doesn’t see it that way. So now we have another FOIA denial, albeit a partial one.

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General Provisions of FOIA?

General Provisions? Really? Is that a proper response to a FOIA request denial? NO!

Here is where even a little effort exerted to actually read the statute would pay off:

When denying a FOIA request, you must state the specific reason for the denial – “General Provisions” is not a reason. Private Information can be REDACTED from the pay stubs in question and the remaider SHALL be provided to the requester.

Mr. Wells: Please read Section 7 of the Freedom of Information Act to find our what is exempted information – Then read Section 9, it will explain in detail how to properly deny a FOIA request. You can also read Section 11(j) to find out what is in your future should you continue down this path of stalling, incomplete information, improper denials, and concealment of public records. By the way, civil penalties are assessed against the individual – not the public body.

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  • Lori Newman
    Posted at 09:09h, 10 March

    Lori Newman liked this on Facebook.

  • Kirk Allen
    Posted at 11:21h, 10 March

    Is the County on the hook if that vehicle is damaged if that old barn is hit by a storm or some other disaster?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 11:33h, 10 March

      Does the vehicle have INSURANCE to cover the building should the vehicle catch on fire or otherwise damage public property? Is the County of Edgar named as additional insured in that nonexistant policy?

  • Diana Jennings
    Posted at 22:45h, 10 March

    yep got some around here

  • Diana Jennings
    Posted at 02:24h, 11 March

    Diana Jennings liked this on Facebook.