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Watch: Thornton Township approves new FOIA system, Tiffany Henyard says media is ‘part of the problem’

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (May 15, 2023) – The Thornton Township Board met on Tuesday, May 14 and heard three public comments, voted to approve bills, and discussed a resolution that would see the township enter an agreement with justfoia.

justfoia

Beyond the standard approval of bills and minutes, the main item on Tuesday night’s agenda was a resolution “approving an agreement with justfoia for Thornton Township, Cook County, Illinois”

According to its website, justfoia is a Freedom of Information Act request management software, designed to help public bodies simplify the process of responding to such requests.

Trustee Chris Gonzalez inquired about the resolution, first noting that a copy of it had not been included in his board packet. He asked about the justfoia system, and if switching to it would give the system access to township information.

Finance director Robert Hunt said, “It’s kind of like QuickBooks for FOIA. It’s kind of like a management system. It would help us keep track, but we still have to supply all the information. They give us the tools to manage the FOIA.”

“[It will] keep us in compliance. A lot of other municipalities use it throughout this area,” Hunt said.

Trustees Jerry Jones and Carmen Carlisle voted to approve the resolution, as did Supervisor Henyard. Gonzalez voted against it. Trustee Darlene Gray-Everett was not present at the meeting.

Supervisor Tiffany Henyard speaks

Supervisor Tiffany Henyard spoke at the meeting, repeating her claim that Thornton Township has a budget surplus, and decrying her critics for circulating “misleading information.”

Henyard also said to her opponents: “It’s like so many games. I’m just over it. You guys are older than me. Y’all should never be acting like that. Y’all say the youth should look up to you, and how can we look up to somebody older than us when you guys are acting a way that I would never go, and want to be?”

Henyard also addressed the topic of her portrayal in the media, saying, “You guys should stop using my name and Thornton Township for clickbait. You guys should actually write things that matter and things that actually have some substance to it, so we can grow as a township and be part of it, and not part of the problem, part of the solution.”

The Supervisor praised a Cinco de Mayo event held earlier this month, as well as a Mother’s Day event held last weekend. She also promoted a Big Bingo event that is scheduled for Thursday at 4 p.m., as well as a Tech Savvy event that’s intended to help seniors learn how to better utilize technology.

Watch the full meeting below:

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Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.

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