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.”
Additional details are emerging about the helicopter-based military training that was conducted the night of Monday, June 7, in the city of Bloomington.
The geographic focus of the exercise was 1730 S. Walnut, site of the former Night Moves strip club, and future site of a city-supported affordable housing development, on the eastern edge of Switchyard Park.
The US Army had been working with the city of Bloomington since mid-April of this year to coordinate the training exercise, according to Elise Van Pool, who is deputy public affairs officer with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
The June 7 training exercise—which included helicopters flying low enough to rattle houses and loud bangs that kept residents awake through the early morning hours—centered on the eastern edge of Switchyard Park. About 100 soldiers, including planners and support personnel, were involved, according to Van Pool.
The Square Beacon asked the Bloomington mayor’s office questions about permissions that might have been given by the city of Bloomington for the US Army exercise on Tuesday.
The response from the mayor’s office stated: “This was not a City training exercise, and the City cannot accurately characterize the required permissions.” The Bloomington mayor’s office response added, “The City cannot prohibit the federal government from conducting a training exercise.”