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Posted on Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

Ann Arbor budgets $150K for public art inside police-courts building lobby

By Ryan J. Stanton

The city of Ann Arbor is seeking an artist to create a piece of public art — or multiple artworks — for the lobby of the Ann Arbor Justice Center, the new addition to city hall located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Huron Street.

The city has set a $150,000 budget for the project to cover design, lighting, artist travel, fabrication, transportation, insurance and any subcontractor expenses and installation.

"The actual cost of the artwork is dependent upon the proposal, the selection committee’s recommendation and the final decision by the Ann Arbor City Council," according to the published request for proposals, or RFP.


Mayor John Hieftje addresses a crowd of about three dozen people during a ceremony inside the lobby of the new police-courts building in April. The city is now budgeting $150,000 for a public art installation inside the lobby.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The city recently sent out a formal RFP, with a Sept. 1 deadline for artists to respond with ideas (download the RFP).

The lobby of the Justice Center — informally known as the police-courts building — measures 3,160 square feet and has a ceiling rising more than 21 feet. Blue glass spans the length of the northern wall and floor-to-ceiling windows are on the remaining three walls.

According to the RFP, the artwork would be permanently installed in the southwest corner of the lobby, and city officials are looking for "the type of piece that can sustain a high traffic volume."

"This artwork should be a ceiling-mounted or suspended piece that will be visible and make an impression looking in from both North Fifth Avenue and Huron Street (southwest corner) during the day and at night with either incorporated or reflected lighting," the RFP states. "The artwork should complement the building and surrounding site environment. The artwork should speak to the public purposes of the building, which include public safety, justice, equality and security."

Work outside the new building — which houses the Ann Arbor Police Department and the 15th District Court, as well as the city's IT department — remains ongoing.

Once it's finished, when members of the public approach the Huron Street entrance, they will walk through a rain garden and past another piece of public art designed by German artist Herbert Dreiseitl. Dreiseitl won approval from the city to install a large water feature sculpture with integrated glass pearls at the east edge of the south plaza adjacent to the rain garden.

That's expected to be installed sometime in August.

According to a schedule for the interior artwork outlined in the RFP, a selection panel intends to review proposals Sept. 5-12, with selection of semi-finalists on Sept. 16, followed by interviews with semi-finalists Sept. 23-28. Finalists would be notified Sept. 30.

Detailed proposals from finalists would be due Dec. 1. Eventually, the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission would make a recommendation to the City Council in January 2012, followed by a council decision in February 2012. The city would like the installation done by June 2012.

The city pays for public art through its Percent For Art Program. Under an ordinance approved by the City Council, 1 percent of money spent on city capital projects is set aside for art.

Aaron Seagraves, the city of Ann Arbor's new public art administrator, and Sue McCormick, the city's public services administrator, could not be reached for comment.

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 e-mail newsletters.



Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 2:19 a.m.

If this kind of decision is made (with transparency) ...Just imagine what this City Administration is doing behind closed doors? That ought to frighten everyone!


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 5 p.m.

We just hosted the art fair. couldn't we have picked up a few pieces of art for the mayor at a reduced price? How about a couple of nice house plants, I love the idea of having an art space inside of that building it will make me feel better when I go in to pay parking tickets.

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

Please let them choose a local artist. Please let them choose a local artist. Please let them choose a local artist......... Lather, rinse, repeat. No more city money to foreign artists! We have some amazing talents in this town! I don't agree with the price tag for this, but it seems like it's already a done deal. I just hope they choose someone locally. Keep that money in town! Support local artists!

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

@Bill, I hear ya. But, unfortunately, based on what I've seen the majority of the City Council doesn't give a rip about what us voters/taxpayers think. I think it IS a done deal. Our opinions be damned. Emperor Hieftje and the Council have spoken! Huzzah!


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 7:21 p.m.

Don't accept this as a "done deal." Make it clear to city council that they are responsible for representing the people not just themselves. The $150,000 is a waste of taxpayer money at a time when people can hardly afford waste.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:37 p.m.

As long as it's a giant photo of cops beating Rodney King, it will be money well spent.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

A glass and mirror maze would be an appropriate art piece for this building.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:16 p.m.

Vote out every single incumbent today folks... Premoderating the rest...


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

Where do we find out details on which City Council members voted for this, and is it possible to get the Percent for Art ordinance overturned? I looked briefly at the city's web site for this and could not find it. I do not have time to search for it anymore right now. Have there been any efforts to overturn the ordinance? Based on the reaction to this story (not one commenter supports it), could do some in-depth reporting to help residents find out how to prevent issues like this going forward. And I am a big art supporter. Showcasing work by local artists and students would be excellent, and it would get people engaged in the art and community. It might even bring a few extra visitors to downtown (to see their friend's or kid's art displayed). At least I feel motivated to vote in the primary now.

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 2:13 p.m.

Sue McCormick got back to me today via e-mail. She said the budget for this proposed art installation is reserved within the project budget for the Ann Arbor Municipal Center project. She writes: "The ordinance provides for 1% of the eligible costs of a capital project to be set aside for public art, to a maximum of $250K for any single project. That translates to $250,000 reserved for public art is held within this project's budget. For the majority of projects, the percent for art is transferred into the Percent for Art Fund, and therefore is not required to be spent on the project site of the contributing project, but is still restricted to serve a purpose related to the source fund(s). Here, because the percent for art contribution is contained within the project budget, it will be spent for art on the Municipal Center site. The recommendation to utilize up to $150,000 of the $250,000 for this particular installation comes from AAPAC."

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

"Isn't this project over budget to begin with?" That's an interesting hypothetical. If a project, any project goes "overbudget" does the 1% for art increase to reflect the actual cost? Normally I would think the question is too absurd to even throw out, but not in this town.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 5:55 p.m.

If you are holding a gun does that mean you have to shoot it.? Just because it is ear marked does not mean it has to be spent. Isn't this project over budget to begin with? Let the money go, I know its not easy when it is not your money, but it is somebody's money. Do the right thing here.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:43 p.m.

you said it better than me Bill. ;)


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

Sounds like it is time to change the ordinances along with the city council. This statement is simply a city employee trying to justify an incredibly insensitive and inappropriate decision by the current city council with no regard to to the wishes of the public they were elected to serve.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

and in the 1950's "The ordinance provides for" segregated schools, segregated drinking fountains, restaurants, clubs ..." the back of the bus was reserved for..... explaining/defending a law that serves no useful/acceptable/workable purpose is an exercises in..... fill in the blank. An overwhelming number of citizens would prefer adequate police and fire protection to art assuming there isn't money for both. Clearly most of us are not happy with the level of fire and police protection which means the citizens believe there isn't money for both which means....aaaarrrrrgggggg


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 1:38 p.m.

Look at the bright side. Who needs sitcoms when you have the Ann Arbor City Council, Mayor, and administration. The three stooges, Marx brothers, dumb and dumber all rolled into one. It does not say much for the intelligence of Ann Arbor's voters. The voters will return these less than stellar intellects to office again. Ann Arbor deserves these jokers as its citizens vote them into office.

Milton Shift

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

This has to sting for the cop who got laid off shortly after risking his life to stop a wild gunman. We got money, just not for you... No more cutting benefits and wages if we have the money for crap like this...


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

How about a 15ft toilet to complement the urinal ?


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 12:06 p.m.

Aaron Seagraves was not available for commment, does that make him an "artful dodger" ? Good Day


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : noon

I thought the metal dtectors and the x-ray machine in the lobby was the artwork.........

Les Gov

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 10:23 a.m.

"Once it's finished, when members of the public approach the Huron Street entrance, they will walk through a rain garden and past another piece of public art designed by German artist Herbert Dreiseitl".. God those elected government employees are so arrogant. Why do the artisans in this area support the people in AA offices? Why do the local artisans accept the city spending our tax dollars in Germany? Why do we keep elected these people?

Stephen Landes

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 7:50 a.m.

August 2nd is primary election day. Please use this article as a reminder to VOTE and to throw the bums out of office. We actually have some choices in the primary and general election. THINK and VOTE.

Kk Ichikawa

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 6:16 a.m. about they FINISH the police officers locker rooms (flooded 3 times since completed) in the basement of the building first, and let the officers get out of the ramshackle, garage bays locker room at the Wheeler facility?? Getting dressed before every shift in a sweltering 90 degree locker room (from the Ann Arbor journal article) can't be pleasant.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 5:28 a.m.

Gotta have art! On the other hand....How much does a serial rapist taskforce cost? I think sometimes it's ok to scrap a plan such as an art project when the high cost is the public's safety.I sureI hpoe it's not metal art. At this rate of spending the city will have to sell it for scrap shortly after it is dedicated.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:02 a.m.

This is absolutely sickening to me in the face of economic cut backs across all areas of the budget, layoffs across the city, and especially the elimination of police and fire safety positions. This city council just nauseates me, and I am a strong liberal Democrat normally. I hope for major changes beginning with tomorrow's vote but am not optimistic given how used to the abuse we are becoming used to.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:45 a.m.

These are thre kind of stories that reinforce my decision to move out of the city limits to the township. They should use that 150 k for the massive heating and cooling bill for that space with all those windows. That being said, for $150 I will construct a mobile of DTE bills that they can hang from the ceiling. I will donate the remaining $149, 850 for scented urinal cakes to use in the outdoor art piece.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:27 a.m.

"The artwork should speak to the public purpose of the building, which include public safety, justice, equality and security." Great. How about one big collage of a sexual predator, a home on fire with no fire department to put it out, various criminals committing various crimes, and, of course, a city council admiring a piece of art while telling the citizens that the city is much safer because of their efforts. It's like a sick joke. How can they not view this as a slap in our faces?


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

Sounds good to me????? WHAT!!!! CRAZY...


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 2:16 a.m.

Wait until you all find out how few pieces we'll get for $150,000. One piece will be something whimsical for $25,000 and the other piece will be a $100,000 creation by a visionary from outside Ann Arbor. $25,000 will be for cleaning up after frustrated community vandals. Oh, and I forgot to predict that in a renovation of the new city hall, the artwork will end up in a basement/storage facility that will be uncovered and sold at the PTO Thrift shop.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 2:46 a.m.

That big German urinal would look great in an alley between two bars.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 2:13 a.m.

Please let it be a Mapplethorpe...


Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 3:19 a.m.

Not exactly the pictures I had in mind actually...


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 4:04 a.m.

So you want pictures of flowers and nude men in a police station? Yeah, that sounds about right.

Ron Granger

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

What happened to the interior portion of the $800K piece? The artist never delivered but was paid anyway? I support public art but not the way it is being bungled in Ann Arbor.

Ron Granger

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 1:22 a.m.

If they want art that bad, tell them to look out those ridiculously expensive windows at that piece of German "art" we had no choice but to buy for the government building.

Ron Granger

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

Why is this government building sucking up so much of the art budget? People *hate* to go to government buildings. Especially court houses and police departments.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 1:11 a.m.

I support public art however to build a 800k fountain and now spend 150k on art for the new police headquarters and court house is not right. Not in a time when the city is laying of police and firefighters and the school systems are so strapped for cash that they are cutting back on art programs. You say imagine a city without art i say imagine a generation raised without art education..would be nice if they paid the AA public schools to create something for the would be like buying a Michigan made product, the money would go back into the AA's school system to support art Ed and the city would have a mural that judges, lawyers, police and accused criminals can admire on a daily basis..


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 12:19 p.m.

Truly, like these ideas. Surely wished city hall would concern either of these options. Thanks for posting.

Susan Beech

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:27 a.m.

Let the school students make art that can be displayed in the lobby. This could be a permanent exhibit, or a group of pieces that changes seasonally, or yearly. We have awesome and creative young artists here in town. This art would be free, or at a minimal cost (to frame and display) and the students would get the honor of having their work on display.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 1:11 a.m.

What a waste of money! The City of Ann Arbor government is out of touch with reality. Thankfully I don't live there.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : midnight

That sounds like some money well spent. How about some real pictures of criminals being lead away with handcuffs on. I'm sure you could find some cheaper art, then use some of that money to repave Ann Arbor-Saline rd from Eisenhower to I-94 interchange. You people need to get a grip


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 11:45 p.m.

I am an artist and I support public art and art education. But not now. Not in Ann Arbor right now. Please redirect this money to keeping the public safe. I support the idea of running it as a gallery and make it self-supporting.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 11:38 p.m.

Good time to table this idea and to use the money for additional police.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 11:37 p.m.

"Aaron Seagraves, the city of Ann Arbor's new public art administrator" The city has hired a public arts administrator? At what cost?


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 12:06 a.m.

His job is to figure out how to spend taxpayer money.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 11:30 p.m.

$150,000 would fill a lot of potholes around town.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 11:27 p.m.

>>The city of Ann Arbor is seeking an artist They are seeking a rapist too; which one will they find first?.

Harry Callahan

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 11:23 p.m.

And the hits just keep on comin'


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 11:19 p.m.

I have a friend named Art. If I bring in a picture of him, can I have the $150,000?


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 5:38 a.m.

That would be a little under budget...sorry

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

this one should be a keeper.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 11:14 p.m.

My vote for the art project would be a statue of a police officer with the word "IRONY" bronzed underneath it.

Stephen Landes

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 10:11 p.m.

I would rather have a additional policeman in the street than "public art" in City Hall. Give us a break, PLEASE.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 10:08 p.m.

Why don't we assign artwork to community service projects OR have former aa residents that reside in or prison system donate some with a few words about avoiding this end.

Disco D

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:42 p.m.

Just because the City Council previously passed an ordinance that states the City can spend 1% of the cost of a project on public art doesn't mean they have to spend it. How much is the structural deficit? How many police and firefighters have been laid off? I liked InsideTheHall's comment...this is folly!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

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


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 2:19 a.m.

1, maybe 2?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

Bronze the Hieftje and his cronies on council, just like baby shoes (reflecting their level of maturity), and maybe construct a mobile with some cross-pieces and piano wire, and they would all be immortalized forever, slowing turning whichever way the wind blows in the lobby of Hieftje Hall. Or, maybe, with some strategically placed sticks, they could give a whole new meaning to "art-on-a-stick"


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

That is final straw. Vote them all out.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

My bad typing. Meant to say "That's the final straw.".

Stephen Landes

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 10:12 p.m.

Good article timing -- day before the primaries.

David Briegel

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

Nah, it's just a straw. Nothing final!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:12 p.m.

I like the gallery idea with pieces for sale. What about having rotating exhibits in the lobby? Temporarily donated pieces of art or even displays art or educational themed. Maybe I'll hate going to pull permits less when they move back into the city building if there is something new to look at once in a while. Is anyone in the public actually supporting this? Tomorrow is a primary people. Maybe we should get out and vote... Side note: Please leave the planning/development services on Industrial. Everyone I work with loves it there. Easy parking for large vehicles, close to our suppliers. That makes so much more sense! Oh, wait. Nevermind.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

Please don't forget the $300000 some dollars just blown on trees that no one knew they were supposed to water. Just shows you were the police & fire depts rank on the cities food chain.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:07 p.m.

Wait I thought April fools day was in April...

Jack Gladney

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.

Our government, at every level, is simply out of touch with the real world. Hmm... $150,000. Seems like that would be enough to free up a couple of desk jockeys get them back on the street and hire a couple of temps to shuffle paperwork and catch us a rapist.

Ming Bucibei

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:58 p.m.

Vote out all incumbents in november!! Ming Bucibei

David Briegel

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:33 p.m.

No, but they are all art experts!!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

November is too late. Since almost all Dems in this city run unopposed, our only opportunity to get rid of incumbents is to knock them out in the primary...tomorrow!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:15 p.m.

Primary tomorrow for Wards 2 ,3 & 5. Doesn't anyone know this?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:55 p.m.

We have one article about a rapist and another about a guy jumping out of a building on fire cause there were no firefighters with ladders and now this. Not only does the cose of the art surprise me but the fact that we have a "public art administrator" is crazy. Shouldn't that be the first job to go before a cop or firefighter

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:48 p.m.

"The city pays for public art through its Percent For Art Program. Under an ordinance approved by the City Council, 1 percent of money spent on city capital projects is set aside for art." What we need in these difficult times is to repeal that ordinance. That rolls the 1% back in to the capital projects fund. Then roll 1% out of the capital projects fund in to the cops and firemen fund. IT AIN'T THAT HARD


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

The City Council decided it was too important to keep the art program and had many reasons (excuses) why the money could not be used for keeping non-essentials such as police and fire fighters.

Susan Beech

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:21 a.m.

THis is exactly what I wanted to say. We have to follow the law, but this is America where "We the People" can change the laws!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

It's too logical for the city.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:47 p.m.

Wow, amazing. Somebody needs to rein these nuts in.

zip the cat

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

All you whiners and complainers voted the council in so live with it or vote them OUT


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

Listen Zippy, even if we voted for one of these council members, that doesn't mean we shouldn't express our displeasure when they do something boneheaded like this. Why does that make us whiners? Are we supposed to just shut up and eat our peas?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:06 p.m.

And exactly what facts do you have that they all voted for them.Can I borrow your crystal ball ?

Mike Schiller

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.

i hope it's a giant circle with the word "art" in the middle of it! then it could match all the neat artistic bike racks around town! i like art!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

Gosh, I sure hope that the lawyers and the perps really appreciate this. Maybe it will promote whirled peas.

Elaine F. Owsley

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:30 p.m.

Wait -isn't that area where the space shuttle is supposed to be housed?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:15 p.m.

Can we sell of some Greenbelt to pay for more art?

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:29 p.m.

Or we could lay off some more cops and firemen and commission some "crop circles" to be artistically cut in to the greenbelt.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:13 p.m.

Are you kidding me? 150K in Art?? Let's just hope that the art work stays off the 2012 Pioneer HS Scavenger Hunt list.

Boo Radley

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 11:19 p.m.

Don't worry, it couldn't be stolen with all of the police officers right there to ...... Oh ... wait Never mind ...

David Briegel

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:35 p.m.

And I'm certain it won't stink!?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

I'll give them 150K of what the Pioneer kids left on Huron's tennis courts.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:13 p.m.

I see this as an abomination of office, and duty to the people by our elected officials. Everything else I have to say will get this comment deleted...quickly.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

This could be a Saturday Night Live skit. Why does it have to be my town?

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:22 p.m.

I'm glad I got to see it ;)


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:15 p.m.

0. But it lasted 5 minutes, or about 4 1/2 longer than I thought it would.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:01 p.m.

Great idea letting people display there art work with a price tag outstanding. Then put 150,000.00 in to repairing the streets


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:57 p.m.

A2 could install around 30 miles of bike lanes for the price they are paying for this art. Awesome.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

how about a picture of a freshman going to high school with a soccer ball.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

This clearly indicates that the city council has no understanding of the wants and needs of the citizens. While the mayor and council will tell you this is such a small part of the city budget or that these funds can't be used for personnel or whatever other excuse they invent, the idea that we would spend money on public art while laying off police and fire department personnel is just incredibly insensitive I do think the one suggestion that local artists should be able to display and make their art available for sale makes the most sense. It is after all a public building and why not promote local artists. We should not necessairly open up a sales outlet but at least allow people to view local art and provide the artists contact information for purchases. I hope that the city council will open their eyes and realize how foolish they look to the public.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

@Carole the local artists might even be voters!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

Indeed, well said. But, I'm wondering about "local" artists part since the city seems to like out-of-state folks more than our marvelous local folks -- and we have an abundance of great "local" artists.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:07 p.m.

ditto...well said


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:02 p.m.

Well said Bill


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:52 p.m.

How nice. When our local sexual deviant is apprehended, I'm sure he will be pleased to look at all the wonderful art the City chose to spend money on. Of course i would prefer the City spend more on police but I'm silly like that.

Terry Redding

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:51 p.m.

This does seem to be an odd item to be going to RFP just as an election is upon us. Wait, AA always votes the same peope back into office so of course there's no concern (not real concern) by council.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:50 p.m.

I'm glad most of the comments covered my exact thought when I read the title of this article. The first thing that went through my mind was "And you're making cuts to the police force?" What is the matter with the City of Ann Arbor lately?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:50 p.m.

But how come we keep voting in the mayor and his cronies?

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:04 p.m.

you ever notice how your ballot goes in to a machine that looks like a shredder?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.



Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

Why don't you let some creative types spray paint the outside of the building for free. It's got to be the uglist building in town. It looks like scrap metal from WWII quonset huts was used. Then use the $150,00 for police or fire protection. If the money can't be used that way then just don't spend it and reduce the debt load from this "ugly duckling".


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

Perhaps a statue of a sexual assault...That way city leaders can be reminded that police layoffs have consequences.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

Wait!, Wait!! You poor ignorant "little people" are thinking about this all wrong. Buckets. Think buckets. We have a bucket full of money for art, just not for police or fire. Do I have to do everything around here? Sheeze.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:55 a.m.

Apparently, they have buckets for stupidity too.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:02 p.m.

if you don't mind could you put a little water in the fire bucket....just in case


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

Have they no shame?

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 6:39 p.m.

I don't usually agree with you, but on this subject, I think you're 100% spot on!

Bertha Venation

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

No, they don't.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:01 p.m.

The answer was that a trick question?

monroe c

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:30 p.m.

This is just pouring salt in the wound! I mean, it's bad enough to pay that much for art when we are laying off our safety personnel, but then to display it in the police building? It almost makes me want to laugh. Almost.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:29 p.m.

I thought the $800,000 urinal was for there or is that outside ? I'm a little confused now


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:54 p.m.

Outside is not inside. See there, that's the difference. Next week they will spring "office art" on us, because "inside" is not "office"


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:28 p.m.

"Aaron Seagraves, the city of Ann Arbor's new public art administrator" Is this position funded by tax dollars? Would it be better spent employing one policeman or fireman?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:23 p.m.

And you wonder why the poor are angry.

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 6:38 p.m.

@eagleman, The poor do pay taxes. Ever hear of sales tax? (And, let's face it, the rich have enough disposable income to hide their assets offshore and to pay accountants to minimize any taxation they face.)


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:53 a.m.

Cash, depends on your definition of poor. Those below a certain level do not pay taxes. In fat, 50% of all taxes are paid by those making $250,000 or more.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

Zman, You assume the poor do NOT pay taxes????? Wake up!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

And why is it that the poor are angry? How about those of us who are paying for this through our taxes?


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

"Aaron Seagraves, the city of Ann Arbor's new public art administrator, and Sue McCormick, the city's public services administrator, could not be reached for comment." Couldn't be reached for comment? I wonder why. If you can't take the heat, maybe you need to get out of the kitchen.

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 6:37 p.m.

@ mw and Carole: I could not agree more with you two. It seems like a totally superfluous position.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 12:12 p.m.

The elimination of Public Art Administrator is one position that could be eliminated.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:15 p.m.

"Public Art Adminstrator"?!? Why do I suspect that administrator position also costs us $150K (when you figure benefits & pension) this year, and next year, and...


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:18 p.m.

The city must be joking. At a time they are laying off police and firefighters, they are spending 150k on art? I'm all for art in public places, but not on the backs of recently laid-off safety personnel. And how much was spent on the rain garden and other piece of public art designed by German artist Herbert Dreiseitl? I'm sure these are "nice" features for the building, but come on. Not at the expense of these police and fire cuts. Talk about screwed up priorities!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

Hopefully people won't forget stories like this next time they are standing in an Ann Arbor voting booth. The entire city administration needs to be swept out of office.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

With the proverbial "boot print".....please!


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

Perfect! This is a great idea! Hopefully the artist comes here in the next couple of weeks s/he looks at the last remaining police officers and does a sculpture of 1 or 2 of them. So that generations down the road (or 5 years from now) people can stop in and say "I remember when Ann Arbor had it's own police department", little children can ask their moms and dads "what was it like to walk around Ann Arbor and not have to be armed mommy and daddy?" It'll be nostaglic and contemporary at the same time.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:11 p.m.

Here is an idea. Let local artists display their works with price tags besides them. The building will have artwork, and artists will be able to display their art to potential buyers. Artists can apply to display and the art committee/council (whatever they call themselves) can have fun picking new artists every few months.


Tue, Aug 9, 2011 : 3:39 a.m.

Deb- I was just talking about this with a few friends last week. My words were exactly the same as yours. With this three more firefighters or policemen can keep their jobs....

Bertha Venation

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8:02 p.m.

Excellent idea, Deb!

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 8 p.m.

with all due respect deb, your suggestion makes sense so it doesn't qualify for consideration.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:10 p.m.

Send in the clowns. This is folly.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:10 p.m.

I couldn't think of a better way to spend $150k. Its not like we have a serial rapist running around, night club shootings or have to lay off police due to budget concerns.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:08 p.m.

I expect a lot of rational, informed debate on this thread.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:48 a.m.

Uhm, expectations only lead to disapointment for ther expectors, ask my parents and high school counselors.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:06 p.m.

I'd suggest a sculpture of a fire truck and a police car staffed by sculptures of police officers and firefighters. This would be in honor of what was cut to pay for the sculpture.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

Can we just get the Robocop statue that Detroit didn't want?

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 5:13 p.m.

Awesome! You honestly made me laugh out loud.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

It would draw a lot of visitors to downtown A2.

Bertha Venation

Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 7:03 p.m.

That's wonderful! (NOT). Don't EVEN get me started.


Mon, Aug 1, 2011 : 9:48 p.m.

Bertha, this is enough to make me take my teeth out and shake my head. The logic escapes me.