Comments on: Feb. 18, 2014 Council Meeting: Live Updates it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: John Floyd John Floyd Fri, 28 Feb 2014 05:21:29 +0000 @17 Donna

You are welcome – and kind.

By: Donna Estabrook Donna Estabrook Mon, 24 Feb 2014 13:33:45 +0000 @16 John,
Thank you for your civil, reasonable comment.

By: John Floyd John Floyd Mon, 24 Feb 2014 07:08:36 +0000 @13 Fuzzbullah,

Your passion for publicly-funded art in public places is heard, loud and clear. Your support for Mayor Hieftje, and the changes made on his watch, is heard, loud and clear. The things you want are not evil or crazy. They just may not be what other people want. That doesn’t make them evil or crazy, either.

Having some experience, myself, with the sense that the perspectives you support are not taken seriously, are not heard, not allowed even to be at the table to be heard in the first place, your anger is understandable. It’s also not fun to feel unsupported in a public forum.

It might be nice to see funding for the urban forest restored. Better landscaping and up-keep in parks might be nice. Better social service funding might be nice. Potholes are much, much harder on bike riders than on car riders, so a town HAS to have streets in good repair to be bike-friendly. High property taxes are ONE of the elements that raise rents, and result in a town unfriendly to lower-income residents such as (archetypally) artists. While Detroit remains under-invested, a case can be made for the idea that development in Ann Arbor – encouraging further migration out from the center city – IS sprawl. Most beefs about the DDA are really beefs about tax capture, not about the DDA itself. Tax capture (the DDA’s funding mechanism) is bad government because it is anti-democratic by design and intent, it results in poor budgeting and inefficient resource allocation, is not transparent to voters or taxpayers, deprives other local government units of funds to fulfill their missions, functions as a tax on out-county residents without their approval, and mis-appropriates the taxes, that city residents DID vote on, for uses outside of what voters approved – it breaks faith with voters (the % for Art program likewise takes funds legally restricted for certain purposes, and uses them for activities that are prima facia outside of the legal restrictions).

My point is that it is possible to have priorities for tax dollars ahead of Art in Public Places, and still make a plausible claim of being progressive. It is possible to oppose Mayor Heiftje’s agenda, and still make a plausible claim of being progressive.

Further, it is possible to be skeptical of Art By Narrowly Drawn Government Committee and still love art. It is possible to have profound aesthetic disagreements with those in political power, or whose hand is on the public till, and sill love art. It is possible to honor the rule of law, and still love art. It is possible to not fret over what Those Other People (whoever they are) think of us, and still love art.

Everyone needs to be heard, to have their points of view at the table, and to have their points of view respected. Civility – even in disagreement – is the foundation of, well, civic life, and can be an art form in itself. Let’s put THAT art in our public spaces.

By: Peter Zetlin Peter Zetlin Sat, 22 Feb 2014 11:08:47 +0000 Fuzz, ad hominem attacks don’t add a whole lot to the discussion.

By: Patricia Lesko Patricia Lesko Sat, 22 Feb 2014 05:04:25 +0000 @Fuzzbol I am so busy with other things that reinventing the wheel of private funding for public art just is not at the top of my list. The unworkable plan to fund public art with millage money paid to fix the roads and rebuild the sewers evidently irritated voters as much as crumbling roads and raw sewage floating down the Huron River. Voters sent the Percent for Art millage proposal down to Davy Jones Locker. Quit cryin’ in your hand-crafted micro brew about it.

Run for City Council on the 50 Percent For Art, Artists and Bloviators Platform. I don’t ever donate to political campaigns, but if you live in my Ward I’ll read your lit and offer you a glass of water if you end up on my front porch in late-July. It’s frustrating, but try and remember that Boomers control the vote in Ann Arbor. Your typical Boomer will trade 10 future taxpayers for 1 actual taxpayer any day of the week; they need actual taxpayers to pay for their entitlements.

Finally, if as you claim local artists are huffing off in droves because they can’t get their hand on road and sewer money to buy glitter, glue and scissors, good riddance. As my Irish grandmother used to say, “Get a job and see how the other half barely gets by, boy-o.”

By: Fuzzbollah Fuzzbollah Sat, 22 Feb 2014 04:22:22 +0000 That’s all right David. I’ll remind my grandkids, as they’re whizzing on your grave, and before they embark on the local art-festooned, solar-powered, UM/Google neo-trolley at stop #1, the world-renowned Hieftje/Dreisteitl fountain, that Ann Arbor used to be such a forward looking city before the anti pedestrian, anti artist, anti DDA, anti development-of-any kind (except for the university which nobody can do anything about) anti bicyclist neanderthals took over City Council.

By: David Cahill David Cahill Fri, 21 Feb 2014 23:42:19 +0000 Margaret Parker’s disgraceful attack on City Council this past Tuesday should result in her program being killed, all the funds being returned, the Hurinal being dismantled, and the area sown with salt.

By: fuzzbollah fuzzbollah Fri, 21 Feb 2014 02:45:11 +0000 Libby, calling a very popular draw to the City of Ann Arbor Parks, the Cascades, a Disney ride, I believe started the name calling process here in this thread. You opened the door, threw the first stone. I, and thousands of others LOVE the Cascades, and wouldn’t mind seeing a bit of Public Art along them. My observations lead me to believe that you are one of the Curmudgeons.

Vivienne, so Percent for Arts programs in other places are very different from what was not even allowed to get off the ground here? Perhaps council tweaking the PFA program to make it function better would have been more appropriate than simply yanking the funds, but I guess this council could care less. I find it hard to believe the current batch of council members didn’t have some kind of backup plan other than destroy what the evil Hieftje wrought, but here we are…

Jack, nice lawyerly politician non-answers, unfortunately I am seeing too much of that and am very disappointed with what is going on in Ann Arbor now. So when are you and Pat Lesko and Kathy Griswold coming up with a workable plan for Public Art? How nice of you all to drive away the young people, artists, and future taxpayers of Ann Arbor.

By: Leon Bryson Leon Bryson Thu, 20 Feb 2014 23:19:27 +0000 What I understand is that the Percent for Art money was set aside to provide funds to “beautify” city capital projects with art. Wonderful idea, however, the implementation and execution of the “idea” was horrible. Therefore, the money that was set aside from the millage sources that was for art (the one percent), must be used for the original purposes. Pretty simple. (no pun intended!) So, we will be stuck with “ugly” Sewer Projects and “bland” street repairs! (I was actually looking forward for beautiful “green” streets, but with no art money, I guess the streets will be paved black!)

By: Jack Eaton Jack Eaton Thu, 20 Feb 2014 19:46:17 +0000 In comment (6), Fuzzbollah said “so I still want my tax money back for this bait-and-switch.” The real bait and switch is found in having voters approve a street repair millage only to have part of that money used for art, or charging utility users a water fee that is partly used for art. While the ultimate source of those funds are the pockets of all taxpayers, the collected taxes should be returned to the accounts where those taxes and fees are authorized by law to be used.

The only way to avoid a “bait and switch” scenario regarding the funding of art would be to ask voters for approval of funding for art and then using those funds for art. Of course, that was attempted when the arts millage was presented to the voters. Unfortunately, voters said no.

Re: (7) Thanks Vivienne for the reminder about, and link to, the percent for art posting on Local In Ann Arbor.