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Posted on Tue, May 8, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Ann Arbor City Council approves $150K sculpture for Justice Center lobby

By Ryan J. Stanton


This $150,000 public art project to be installed in the lobby of the Ann Arbor Justice Center, titled "Radius," was designed by Portland artist Ed Carpenter.

Courtesy image

A $150,000 hanging sculpture will make its way into the lobby of Ann Arbor's Justice Center later this year following an 8-2 vote by the Ann Arbor City Council.

The council approved the artwork Monday night after a lengthy debate during which Council Member Jane Lumm proposed canceling the project altogether and redirecting the $150,000 back to the Municipal Center project budget where the money originated.

Council Member Stephen Kunselman, D-3rd Ward, joined Lumm in opposing the project, saying he thinks there are better places for public art.

Kunselman said he doesn't think the installation will be very visible to the public. He believes it would be better located inside the new atrium between city hall and the Justice Center.


Jane Lumm, right, and Tony Derezinski were on different sides of the issue Monday night as the council debated a public art project.

Ryan J. Stanton |

But a majority of council members, including Mayor John Hieftje, supported the project as proposed and said they look forward to resolving issues regarding public accessibility.

Currently, visitors must ditch their cell phones in a locker, empty their pockets and go through a security checkpoint to enter the lobby of the police-courts building.

City Administrator Steve Powers said the city's staff has been looking into reconfiguring the security checkpoint for the building.

"We have looked at options — both for downsizing the current footprint of the screening equipment as well as the relocation of the screening equipment," he said. "There are budgetary and space challenges depending upon the option and there are four or five options."

Details about those options weren't provided.

Powers noted the lobby is still accessible 24-7. If someone wants to come in at night, he said, they can be buzzed in by the police department.

Hieftje said he was comfortable approving the art project now and continuing to work on the accessibility issue separately so as not to hold up the installation, planned for later this year.

The city undertook renovations to its 1960s-era city hall and added on the new Justice Center for the city's police and courts staff as part of a nearly $50 million project.

Lumm took issue with the fact that the city is now funding bathroom upgrades in city hall using general fund dollars.

Believing those improvements should have been funded within the Municipal Center project budget, Lumm proposed the council reject the $150,000 art installation and instead send that money back to the Municipal Center project budget to spend on the bathroom upgrades.

"By redirecting it to the Municipal Center fund, certainly something council could do, you then free up money in the general fund," she said.

Lumm's proposal sparked frustration among Hieftje and other council members who considered it yet another attack on the city's public art program.

Council Member Tony Derezinski, D-2nd Ward, reminded Lumm the council already has debated the issue of funding public art several times in the past, and that those who were in favor of eliminating or scaling back the program lost that fight already.

"It's kind of nibbling it to death by ducks," he said of trying to fight individual public art projects as they come along now.

Council Member Marcia Higgins, D-4th Ward, said the bathroom upgrades in city hall were decidedly not included as part of the Municipal Center project budget. Rather, she said, it's a standard upgrade that the city needs to have done.

Tom Crawford, the city's chief financial officer, said there's a lot of deferred maintenance in city hall that needs to be done and it was an expectation all along that once the Municipal Center project was finished some of those maintenance needs, including continued asbestos removal, would be addressed outside of the Municipal Center project budget.

Crawford confirmed Monday night that $50,000 of the $150,000 set aside for the Justice Center lobby artwork came from the city's general fund.

In light of that fact, Hieftje said he hopes to bring forward a resolution at the council's next meeting to take $50,000 out of the city's public art fund and send it back to the general fund in an effort to put to rest any concerns that general fund money is funding public art. He noted general fund dollars are now restricted from going toward public art.

In addition to the Justice Center lobby artwork, expected to be installed by November, council members heard an update on several other projects the Public Art Commission is working on, including a $400,000 project at the site of the Stadium bridges. The artwork there is expected to be installed by the fall of 2014, according to Monday's report.

Another $12,000 mural project at Allmendinger Park is expected to be done by September of this year, while two other murals — totaling $40,000 — are to be done by August 2013.

The Public Art Commission also plans to spend $27,000 as part of a rain garden project at Kingsley and First street, also with a completion date of August 2013.

Meanwhile, the commission is working on collaborating with the Detroit Institute of Arts on the installation of seven other artworks around the city in 2013.

The commission also is planning a $150,000 public art project at the site of the new Argo Cascades.

Council Member Margie Teall, D-4th Ward, was absent.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Lili Marlene

Wed, May 9, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

I agree 150% with Councilmember Lumm, and really don't care who-all discussed it in the past, or for however long they did so. If that bizarre slab of metal with the Christmas tree lights that sits on Huron outside City Hall represents their combined wisdom, I say throw all those bums outta office and give us some more Lumms. Speaking of that horrific "art" piece on Huron, why on earth would Ann Arbor, which purports to be an important center of sustainability, install something that requires electricity to light?


Wed, May 9, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

honestly, if you made an offer of $110 G on a $150 G "sculpture" most "artists" would probably take the money and run.


Wed, May 9, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

Stop complaining, you voted these people in, what did you expect some type of conservative spending?


Wed, May 9, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

$150K for a sculpture most of the city will only see when going to pay tickets. Wonderful.

The Black Stallion3

Wed, May 9, 2012 : 12:55 a.m.

The people of Ann Arbor are not as smart as they would have us believe...I mean...who in their right mind would keep electing these politicians that do not represent the people? They represent themselves and their wealthy friends. How can you people of Ann Arbor expect others to respect you when you do not respect yourselves? How?


Wed, May 9, 2012 : 12:53 a.m.

Why doesn't the A2 City council let the voters decide how to spend all this extra cash floating thinks they are afraid of the result! These decisions do not reflect the voters' priorities in A2. Let the voters decide!


Wed, May 9, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

The $150,000 for the Justice Center would have paid for some of those laid off police....... There is no excuse not to the right thing with the other $150,000 earmarked for the Argo Cascades: hire more police! Ann Arbor needs to get its priorities in line with reality.

Linda Peck

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 9:47 p.m.

It is pretty, we paid for it, but it is hardly "public." What is this obsession with bike lanes for the few and "public" art we can barely see?


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.

Here's some pretty cheap public art that can go in the newly renovated men's bathroom:

nancy meader

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

This is a slap in the face of all the people who are in need. What a waste of taxpayers money. Thank you Jane Lumm for trying to bring a little common sense to our city council.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

$150,000 could have paid for how many police officers & fire fighters?

Arno B

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 8:43 p.m.

Two comments: 1. Jane Lumm and Steve Kunselman commented on having "a better place for public art." I think that they should have commented on having a "better uses for the $150K." 2. Personally - since there is money to be squandered - I would recommend putting up a statue of Shakey Jake at the entry to City Hall. Why not?


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

Radius? Should have named it "Wastius".


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

150K = at least 3 maybe 4 downtown beat cops.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 8:01 p.m.

At least they are farming out the work. Lord knows there are no capable local artists, pssssshhh.

A2 Rulz/Rulz

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.

Ughhhh... what a waste of tax payer money! Why not create a UM art scholarship with that money and put FREE student created art in the lobby...


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

Great idea.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

In other news, City Council votes to set 150,000 $1 bills on fire. Mayor John Hieftje hires world renowned German photographer to take the picture for a mere $50,000 with his iPhone. Don't worry though, City Administrator Steven Powers assures the council that the entire city will be invited to the fire.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

Who on earth is going to dust that thing?

Honest Abe

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

Our economy is terrible. Police and fire are being laid off. What police we do have are being assigned to monitor dogs defecating at a school property, there are people who are hungry or in dental pain, there is a kid out here with worn clothes, there is a mother out here with a utility shut off notice, there is a jobless father trying to provide to his family, there is an elderly person not able to get a prescription filled but we can fork over $150,000.00 for a sculpture? And think, most of you "ann arbor' ites" complain,but you vote these folks into office every time.

Honest Abe

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 6:41 p.m.

$150 grand could have fed a lot of mouths.

Honest Abe

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 6:39 p.m.

Ann Arbor has had the fingers of Libs and Dems on it for years. It is time for the conservatives to give it a try.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

I like art.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

I need a couple bathrooms remodelled, wonder if the General Fund would pay for it....since we pay so much in taxes anyway??? Ya think??


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Judge: "I hereby sentence you to 30 days in jail. Do you have anything you'd like to say to the Court at this time?" Convicted Person: "Yes your Honor. Before I go behind bars could I have just one more look at that beautiful artwork in the lobby?"


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

I will gladly donate money to the campaign of anyone running against the Ward 1 incumbents. They don't represent me, and they never have.

Raylan Givens

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

more waste of money. Council needs a reality check

Berda Green

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

that $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ could have been spent on low income housing omg


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 5:14 p.m.

Does the location mean that only judges, lawyers and criminals will see the art?


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

Oh thank heaven! I was afraid the Council would cancel this work and throw us back into the dark ages of art! I can feel confident that this City Council has its priorities straight when they rub elbows at NYC museums to find and fund art created by out-of-town nobodies. The Mayor and cronies know it's far more important for the city leaders to look and feel good when they come to work in their own new secluded and secure environs safe from the hoi polloi than to address such trivialities as inadequate fire protection, road repair or panhandler enforcement. To think that some of the unwashed (taxpayers, not panhandlers) would insist on seeing what their dollars paid for! How insolent. Thank god for people like Mayor Hieftje and friends--champions of the modern American caste system: "them out there" and "us in here." They must be studying at the Robert Ficano / Kwame Kilpatrick School of Executive Management...with tuition taxpayer funded, of course.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

I love art. I think more money should be spent on it. Wish this piece was created by a local artist, and I wish it wasn't behind lobby security, but I'm glad we've got more new art coming. And I'm voting for the AAPS Tech bond also. More money for schools! More Money for Art!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:53 p.m.

"....Lumm's proposal sparked frustration among Hieftje and other council members who considered it yet another attack on the city's public art program." If Hieftje and others on council are so certain these outlays of taxpayer money going to artists in other states is so universally supported by voters, why doesn't he put it on the ballot and take the pulse of all voters? ...oh....because he knows best.

A A Resident

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

Couldn't they just move those two metal trees in from West Park instead? Oh that's right, they're far too ugly.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

@ Toni Derezinski I see your signs for your re-election. We will remember you. You have to stop the power game going on in the City Hall. Money surely can be directed to more needy places.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

Nero probably had lovely artwork to gaze at while Rome burned. Keep fiddling Mr. Mayor...


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

In my opinion, that looks like something you might get at a baby shower to hang above the crib. As they say, Ooe man's mobile is another mans' art.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

I thought public art was for the public, i.e., those visiting Ann Arbor. Public art is not art in a building where residents and contractors, for starters, do business with the City of A2. Do you really think people will come to see 'Radius" only to have to get buzzed in to access the building. It completely blows my mind city council continues to approve ridiculous amounts of $$$ for public art when the Fire Dept is experiencing cuts like never before. Coming soon, $400,00 for more public art at the Stadium Bridge area. Get a grip Hieftje.

Daniel Piedra

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:24 p.m.

What is it with government bureaucracies and "public art"? The city should be ashamed of themselves. This is simply madness. Ugly and expensive "public" art should remain in Pyongyang and Leningrad, not in Ann Arbor.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

Don't waster your typing. They will never listen to the citizenry..they know what's best..


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 3:39 p.m.

Things wouldn't be so bad in Ann Arbor if people did their research and voted for candidates. Instead, they let their frustration with the federal government color their thinking and they vote straight party tickets at the local level. The only hope at this point is that these people lose their primaries (which won't happen) since a Republican doesn't have a chance of winning in Ann Arbor unless they become a Dino (democrat in name only). I have always voted mixed ticket and will continue to do so. It's the only rational way to vote.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

Margie Teall absent once again. The invisible woman, supposedly running for election? How many missed meetings does this make? Does not campaigning count? Not debating? Not responding to constituent concerns?

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

It only hurts her reelection chances when she talks. Lol. She was probably busy with the 4th Ward neighborhood floor problem.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

So the mayor admits they aren't allowed to take money from the general fund to use for art but they did just that and will "try to get the money back" from the art fund so there isn't a "problem". Too late, you already STOLE/Miss used the money when you took it from the general fund, regardless if you had a plan (or not) to replace it BEFORE you used it. waste of money.

Wolf's Bane

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

Yeah, I would have picked that one too. Too bad still have all this blight along Main Street.

Top Cat

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

The citizens of Ann Arbor keep electing the same Mayor and the same people to Council and expecting different results. Isn't there a word to describe this ?


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

I think there is more than one. I will pick the one that combines another word used for "donkey" followed by an "a", that is added to the word "nine".


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.


Pat Ardner

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

This is such a waste of money from the taxpayers. Why does the Justice Center "need" such an expensive item. The money could be used for more important things rather than crappy art. The Justice Center is one of the ugliest buildings I've ever seen. Maybe we need to change council members if they're going to approve of spending money foolishly. Pat Ardner


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

Who voted for these city council people? You did! Please remember to voter smarter in November! Way to Go Council Member Lumm!

Ron Granger

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

It is bad enough that so much public art money is being squandered at one Taj Mahal government building that voters voted against constructing. It makes it even worse that the lobby is not a public space. Placement of the art in that space VIOLATES THE CHARTER of the percent for art program. It further undermines the credibility of the whole program, and that there are rules. It is disingenuous for the council to move forward without first finding a solution to the public access problem. Now there is no incentive to change the lobby. How many square feet of lobby have been wasted and closed to the public because certain people in the building want their own private area, free of general public?

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

WARD 1 Sabra Briere (D) 1418 Broadway 48105 734-995-3518 WARD 5 Mike Anglin (D) 549 S. First St. 48103 734-741-9786

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

City Administrator's Office City Administrator Steve Powers Larcom City Hall, third floor 301 E. Huron St. Ann Arbor, MI 48107 (734) 794-6110, extension 41102 Fax: (734) 994-8297

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

Mayor's Office Mayor John Hieftje (D) Larcom City Hall, third floor 301 E. Huron St. Ann Arbor, MI 48107 (734) 794-6161, extension 41602 Fax: (734) 332-5966 Email:

Ricardo Queso

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:04 p.m.

I see a resemblance to the "Wheel of Fortune" seen in casinos. In this case, after calling 911 to report a fire, property owners spin to determine if their neighborhood fire station is open and can respond.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:45 p.m.

Something is not working in the home of the Harvard of the Midwest. Dressing up the Justice Center is a worthy goal, but in the scheme of things is $150,000 for what looks like a fancy chandelier money well spent? Perhaps something more modest for $25,000 would do, and put the $1 25,000 saved into projects which are hurting. Ann Arbor has dire infrastructure issues which need to be addressed in a prioritized manner. Two which come to mind are 1. The abysmal condition of our streets. For example South Seventh resurfacing done a few years ago is falling to bits. 2. Storm water runoff and drain disconnect project. What proof is there that new construction will have adequate storm and sewer capability?


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

Eisenhower Pkwy near State St. Ann Arbor Saline Rd N & S of I94. Dexter Rd W of 7th.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

City Council, Stop this nonsense, seriously STOP. I had friends come from out of town recently for dinner and a downtown walk. They asked "what has happened to Ann Arbor, why is there so much graffiti ". Adding to the evening was three unpleasant encounters with the usual city panhandlers. They won't be coming back. PLEASE stop wasting taxpayer money on unwanted "public art" and do something about our increasing graffiti problem. Entering Ann Arbor via north main is utterly shameful, burned out houses, graffiti and trash, looks like mini Detroit. Of course we have a sparkling new city with nearly a million dollars of public art, shame on you Mayor Hieftje and city council, don't count on being reelected.

Ron Granger

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Did you call the police on the panhandlers? Or did they not break the law? If they did not break the law, then what do you expect the police to do? Graffiti is a problem across the country and not easily solved. Putting more police on the streets will not solve it.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

I've just gotta ask; does get more money for advertising on pages dedicated to public art articles? I think they must be exploiting the large and outraged readership on this subject to increase revenues ;-)


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

What a coincidence! I saw the same art at Home Depot marked down to $59.95. It even came with a dimmer switch.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:42 p.m.

You're making me laugh till it hurts!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

Kudos the Kunselman and Lumm for trying to be responsible with our tax dollars. I have no objection to public art -- but not while sidewalks are broken and missing. The council members are behaving just like many of the recently ousted dictators -- they lavish themselves and their cronies with expensive facilities and decorations, while the real priorities of the common taxpayers are scorned.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

I believe council is acting like so many did that lost their homes in the last 5 years. The difference is council is spending too much of our money and putting our city closer to bankruptcy!

Dog Guy

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Is this Radius chandelier Energy Star certified? Where is an illustration of the Allmendinger Park mural and will it depict Ann Arbor citizens being mugged? For $400k, will the Stadium Bridges get ten full-size replicas of that little Dreiseitl thing as sign posts? Will they order several extra Dreiseitls for the men's room upgrades? For $27k, will the Kingsley rain garden be as big as West Park's? Are these projects asbestos the council can do?


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

It better be energy star certified.

Bertha Venation

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

They can all go stick it.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

Albert Howard for Mayor is looking better all the time!

The Black Stallion3

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

I thought Detroit was messed up but it looks like the folks in A2 are gaining ground...........what is wrong with all you so called "educated" people?


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1 p.m.

Vote 'em out come fall. Now, Mayor Hieftje, I would be 'comfortable' with that. And put a proposal on the ballot to trash the AAPAC until we actually have money again. This makes me sick.

Rose Garden

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

I knew people would be unhappy with the light fixture/art. I think it is beautiful. I wish it were more visible so that I could pop in when I am walking about and look at it without having to go through security. I am happy that the art lovers in our town get to look at and appreciate the public art that we currently have and will have in the future.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

I agree it's a nice piece of art, but it is not displayed in a public manor. It's inside a bldg for crying out loud. And a bldg with 24 hr security at that. Public art should be outside. As an artist, I don't see lots of townie art lovers seeking out this particular art.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

I love art as well, but 1st it should be from a local artist to showcase the talent in Ann Arbor, 2nd it would be nice(highlight) to see something beautiful to make up for that ugly ### building, and 3rd if there are things that need(highlight) to be upgraded or improved at the new municipal building then that should be handled 1st.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:36 p.m.

I don't agree in this case, but give you a thumbs up for fighting the tide.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

Lumm for Mayor - soon as possible.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

I am so embarrassed to say I'm from Ann Arbor. Once again city council proves that it does not represents the will of the citizens, but only serves it's own desires.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Our elected officials at every level any more seem to be out of touch with the fiscal reality. Eeven France who is brioke voted in a politician who promised he will spend more and tax people up to 75% of their income. That's what we're heading for with politicians who spend $150,000 on art projects while real needs are left unfunded. Unbelieveable............

zip the cat

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

All you whiners and complainers on this site have no one to blame for the way this city is run but YOURSELVES. You have your chance to rid the city of the off the wall council and mayor each election time . But hardly anyone shows up to vote them out. So if you have a hard time accepting what the council does ,look in the mirrior,the person you see is the one to whine and complain to


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

I suspect many people who post hear are not AA residents and can't vote. There is nothing wrong with their posting, but you can't blame them for electing yahoos.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

I doubt the people complaining here are the one's not showing up to vote.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

Vote all the people who voted for this out!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

One issue voters are superficial thinkers...


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

All those people that come on here and say "it's art money and can't be spent on things like police and fire." Well guess what? You can't say that anymore!!!! This place is absolutely ridiculous.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

We still have firefighters that are LAID OFF!!!! If you are so flush with money why aren't we calling these guys back to work???


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:24 p.m.

Never trust a rendering! The non-functioning thing out front barely looks like the sketches that were put forth to sell us the "Hurinal". You can see visible wiring (totally hinky) and the serpentine trench that was in the drawing became blocks screwed on top of a concrete slab! I guess it doesn't matter because it has yet to work! Okay..I get it! It symbolizes A2 gov't!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:11 p.m.

It seems to me not ONE person in this city wants the city council to spend $150k on this laughable "art." Why was it still supported 8-2 by our city council? This is beyond disgusting....

Ulysses Wong

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

@Billy, your cognitive dissonance is caused by trying to reconcile the fact that those in power are supposed to represent the people when clearly the actions of the mayor and this council are the opposite. Once you accept that they do as THEY wish, you'll be better.

Rose Garden

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

I am the one person who is happy to see money being spent on art. It beautifies our delightful city.

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:09 p.m.

I am so glad I don't live in Ann Arbor!!!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

Your opinion might matter if you did.

Rose Garden

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

If you have a bad attitude, it is just as well that you don't live in Ann Arbor.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

We are too.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:08 p.m.

Nothings is too good for the ruling Elite!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:04 p.m.

You know when you look at the old ruined buildings in Detroit and think: "This must have looked beautiful back in the day. The craftsmanship, the attention to design and detail...". Someday, 70-80 years from now we want our ancestors to think the same thing about the ruins of Ann Arbor.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:54 a.m.

Remember when youcould get a couple houses built for $150,000 ?


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

Public art in my neighborhood consist of lawns that the lazy renters or owners refuse to mow.

Rose Garden

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

Keep setting a good example of a neatly kept, mowed lawn. Others will catch on.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:52 a.m.

I might add that the slum lords are not keeping up their end of the bargain!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:50 a.m.

Note to 4th ward voters - if your councilperson Teall had her way they'd set aside 2% for art, not just 1%. Remember that in November.


Wed, May 9, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

Well noted, Brad. She's not very popular in our Lansdowne neighborhood. Lots of flooded basements, no communication, and no representation. I've said this before several times in the comments section, but she gave us no reply whatsoever last summer to our emails and phone calls to her home. Our 4th ward no-shows need to go.

J. A. Pieper

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

I have been voting for her opponent all along, we just have to keep trying!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 3:35 p.m.

She didn't show up again anyway.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

Thanks, Brad. I will def. remember that!

mike gatti

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:50 a.m.

I don't think I am xenophobic or anything but I hope that they use local artists. My guess is there are a lot of local artists who might use a gig. This piece doesn't give details about the work or says not available. Maybe it is my issue but I don't mind the use of funds if they use local people but if they go to Germany or something it seems elitist and wasteful. Never said I wasn't odd.

Tony Dearing

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.

It's Portland, Oregon.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

Portland, OR? Portland, ME? Portland, MI? Doesn't say...


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.

'Radius' was done by a Portland artist. Local artists were invited to submit proposals numerous times. What would look nice in that space is one of Lynda Cole's pieces.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:44 a.m.

Thank god somebody is fighting for the taxpayers. Keep at it Lumm.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:43 a.m.

Are these people for real? THEY ALL NEED TO GET VOTED OUT! With a vote of 6-2, why debate it? Nothing like thinking they deserve a nice shinny new statue for themselves at our expense. Wish it was that way where I work, just purchase random crap and make the taxpayers fund it.

Jim Osborn

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:42 a.m.

I hope that this art is fireproof! (Ann arbor has too few firemen) Rehire a laid-off policeman to catch a vandal spray-painting graffiti on the walls of buildings? This would make our city look much better than any art. The only art that I approve of are those DDA history signs that are all around the downtown, and they are enjoyed by all, not those hiding behind a bunker. Often removing asbestos instead of encapsulating it placed he dangerous fibers into the air. It is not dangerous, unless it is airborne. If it is under layers of paint insulating a pipe or the outside of a heating duct, then leave it be. Is any of it airborne? I'd like to give us more news about this before the city spends even more money

Jeffersonian Liberal

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

When you have to steal the money of others to buy art it's not really art and you're no artist.

Rose Garden

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

I don't consider the money to be stolen from others.

Jimmy McNulty

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:35 a.m.

Jane Lumm seems like the only rational member of AA City Council.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

And Steve Kunsellman.

Silly Sally

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:33 a.m.

Oh, so silly! Art that the elite can enjoy while they confiscate our cell phones. Why not fix the roads? Fill in potholes? The name of this building, the "JUSTICE CENTER" sounds like something from the old Soviet Union. A normal person would not know what it is. Why not Ann Arbor Municipal Court? Other states have municipal courts, superior courts, state courts, and federal courts. But the people's republic of ann arbor? Oh, so silly.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.

The elite? 'Splain that one?

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:27 a.m.

@A2comments: I looked last night on my way in to City Hall for the meeting and determined that "The Hurinal" is not yet working (no water running down the trench despite all the recent rain). Why? Is it the maintenance disaster some of us predicted?


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

hehehe. People voting against physics! Then again, with all of the hot air produced on these pages, maybe the water can't freeze.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

Jim Osborn

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:44 a.m.

Most guys would get arrested if they made it work - too close to the police station.

Joel A. Levitt

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:24 a.m.

In this time of economic crisis for so many Washtenaw county residents, this expenditure is offensive.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:24 a.m.

I know that I'm eager to undergo TSA-like security to view the results of my money being *wasted*. Ms. Lumm - hopefully in November we can get you some company there on the sane side of council.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:21 a.m.

You people just DON'T GET IT!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 9:58 p.m.

Sadly, they do.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:21 a.m.

i just plain give up! they will not go away. the money will still be spent on ART. nothing is going to change.

A A Resident

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:57 a.m.

How many of these "art thingeys" are coming from local artists? Ann Arbor happens to have an unusual concentration of world-renowned violin makers, and one of the instrument makers also happens be a sculptor. How about commissioning a giant granite violin from her to capitalize on this unique quality of Ann Arbor, feature a local artist, and also keep the money local? (wink)


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Why they have to go outside our community for these products eludes me. The talent is here. Keep that taxpayer money circulating around Wash County!!!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:50 a.m.

I think it is misnamed....." Reamus " would be more appropriate....


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:50 a.m.

More BS and yet another reason to VOTE NO on giving these morons any more of our money!!


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:49 a.m.

Is the new "fountain" outside working or not?


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 8:08 p.m.

Why would we install a work of "art" which MAYBE can be used June, July and August? Because it MIGHT be working for the ART FAIR! Just think! 3/4 million of our tax dollars for a piece of art that is out-of-scale and too small for the area, and will rust away as time goes on.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

I guess since you're so smart you can explain why they'd install a piece of "art" that you can only use in non-freeze-threat months here. Also known as "August".


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

Frost/freeze is still a concern. With so many smart people on this thread I would have thought they knew about water and cold.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:26 a.m.

@A2comments: I looked last night on my way in to City Hall for the meeting and determined that "The Hurinal" is not yet working (no water despite all the recent rain). Why? Is it the maintenance disaster some of us predicted?

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:47 a.m.

"City Administrator Steve Powers said the city's staff has been looking into reconfiguring the security checkpoint for the building." At what cost?


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:39 a.m.

I have public art in my neighborhood too -- the graffiti that I reported a month ago. I guess the city doesn't have the money to put up a new stop sign.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 12:11 p.m.

The funny thing is if this were your property you'd get a ticket for not cleaning it up.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:39 a.m.

The priorities are all wrong! Where is the story about city council buying a new replacement Ladder Truck or Tower Truck for the Fire Department so they have at least ONE that actually works, or changing the budget to add fire fighters and police to end the Mayor's failed "experiment" with public safety? No, their priority is better upgraded bathrooms in city hall and artwork for the city officials to see.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:34 p.m.

The bathroom do need upgrading. They are in sad shape.

Jim Osborn

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 11:50 a.m.

The dangerous thing is that they block off north bound State Street so even if they call for help from Pittsfield Twp, they can't come quickly. I wonder if they even know ahead of time or have to take the very long detour vial Packard. I asked a high ranking Pittsfield Twp fire dept oficer why they have this truck, since they don not have all the tall buildings that Ann Arbor has, and he replied that many homes are big 3 story homes and it is hard to quickly get to the back or sides without the truck.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:38 a.m.

Please keep fighting, Ms. Lumm, as discouraging as it must be. Perhaps if we get one or two more rational human beings in that council we can start feeling a little more at ease. As for this expenditure; I am absolutely disgusted. With every move this council and mayor get more and more ludicrous. Adding insult to injury, rubbing salt in the wound. Did everyone see what must be done to get in that lobby? And they squeeze that somehoe through public art money? To what, try and offset the already ridiculous amount the building has cost already? Absolutely disgusting. DISGUSTING.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:36 a.m.

Disgusting. Period.

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:36 a.m.

"Powers noted the lobby is still accessible 24-7. If someone wants to come in at night, he said, they can be buzzed in by the police department." "Crawford confirmed Monday night that $50,000 of the $150,000 set aside for the Justice Center lobby artwork came from the city's general fund." Kudos to Lumm and Kunselman. Shame on the other Council Members (you know who are you) who were gutless and roll over and play dead when it comes to asking any questions about 'art'. Where at the quotes from Margie Teall, my 4th Ward Council representative? She was Ms. Chatty Cathy about the 'art' issue before she faced opposition to her reelection. The access issues should have been resolved BEFORE the project was approved with a cost of fixing the screw up. AAPAC again can't seem to do anything right. Surprise.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 4:19 p.m.

You said it all Alan.


Tue, May 8, 2012 : 10:34 a.m.

Unbeliveable - seems that council and the mayor cannot see any better use for our taxpayer money.