Bloomington mayor to US Army: “I agree that you may conduct urban military training in our community.”

This letter, though undated, was sent on April 14, according to Bloomington’s office of the mayor. Image links to .pdf of complete letter. (Blue highlight by The B Square.)

On Wednesday, an undated letter from Bloomington mayor John Hamilton to officers in the US military, was released by the city of Bloomington in response to a records request made under Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA).

The APRA requests were made by The B Square in connection with military training exercises that were conducted inside Bloomington city limits on the night of June 7. [Request 1] [Request 2]

The opening paragraph in the letter from Hamilton begins: “On behalf of the City of Bloomington, I agree that you may conduct urban military training in our community. In my capacity as Mayor I am duly authorized to represent, act and sign on behalf of the government of our city.”

In the final sentence of the letter’s second paragraph, Hamilton appears to indicate he believes he has the authority to decide whether the exercises are allowed to take place. He writes: “I also understand that this is not to be considered blanket permission, and that I may change my mind at any time—without cause.”

A few hours after the training exercise was conducted, The B Square submitted several questions to the mayor’s office, including one about who made a decision to give permission for the June 7 military exercises to be conducted in the city.

The mayor’s office answered on June 8 without identifying anyone who made a decision to give permission: “The City cannot prohibit the federal government from conducting a training exercise.”

In its written response to that question, the mayor’s office did not mention that the mayor gave the kind of permission that was revealed in the letter released on Wednesday. Continue reading “Bloomington mayor to US Army: “I agree that you may conduct urban military training in our community.””

US military conducts nighttime training exercise at location of future affordable housing site in Bloomington

The thwacka-thwaka thrum of military helicopters on a training exercise drowned out the buzz of cicadas on the south side of Bloomington on Monday night.

According to the Monroe County sheriff’s office, a similar scenario will unfold on Tuesday night in Richland and Bean Blossom townships.

According to the Bloomington mayor’s office, Monday night’s training operation was conducted by the US Army. It’s one of the facts about the commotion that the city of Bloomington was able to confirm.

Based on social media reports, the geographic focus of the military training exercise was 1730 S. Walnut, the former location of the Night Moves strip club, and the adjoining Switchyard Park.

The mayor’s office confirmed to The B Square that those two locations were included in the operation, but could not say if other places in the city were also included. Continue reading “US military conducts nighttime training exercise at location of future affordable housing site in Bloomington”