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.””