You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Aug 9, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

Public art tax? Ann Arbor City Council considers putting question to voters in November

By Ryan J. Stanton


Council Member Christopher Taylor, D-3rd Ward, laid out a proposal Thursday night for a new public art tax that he said would cost the average Ann Arbor homeowner less than $1 a month.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Ann Arbor voters could be asked later this year to approve a four-year tax for public art if the City Council acts on a ballot proposal announced Thursday night.

Council Member Christopher Taylor, D-3rd Ward and primary sponsor of the proposal, said the ballot language for a special public art millage already has been vetted by the state attorney general's office.

He's hoping it will be voted on at the council's next meeting Aug. 20, just in time to place the 0.1-mill levy on the Nov. 6 ballot for voters to decide.


This $750,000 bronze water sculpture in front of city hall was paid for through Ann Arbor's current Percent For Art Program.

Ryan J. Stanton |

If approved, he said, it would create a new public art program replacing the city's Percent For Art Program, which has been controversial since its inception.

Taylor said the new tax would raise nearly $460,000 in the first year and cost the average household $10.97 per year ($10.86 plus a 1 percent administrative fee) or 91 cents per month. That's based on a taxable value of $108,600.

"For that $1 a month, Ann Arbor residents would receive the benefits of public art freed from the substantial restrictions that constrain and inhibit the success of the current program," Taylor said.

Under an ordinance approved by the City Council in 2007, 1 percent of the budget for city capital projects — up to a limit of $250,000 per project — is set aside for public art.

One of the reasons the program has been controversial is because it has diverted more than $2 million away from various city funds, including the water and sewer utilities and the streets and parks millages.

It also leaves the city's Public Art Commission with its hands tied — able to spend those revenues only on permanent art installations that somehow relate to the source of the funds, such the $750,000 water sculpture in front of city hall that was paid for with water and sewer utility funds.

Taylor said having a dedicated millage specifically for art — something critics of the city's public art program have been calling for — would allow more flexibility.

For example, he said, it could pay for temporary or short-term installations (he mentioned the "Gates" in New York's Central Park) and even performances and events such as FestiFools.

"This is a recipe for a vital, successful public art program," Taylor said. "I look forward to the public conversation that will take place before the next council meeting about the wisdom of this proposal. In particular, I hope to hear from the Public Art Commission."

Other council members expressed appreciation for Taylor's proposal at Thursday night's meeting, including Mayor John Hieftje, Stephen Kunselman, Tony Derezinski, Sandi Smith and Jane Lumm.

"I think it is fantastic you're bringing this forward," said Lumm, an Independent who represents the 2nd Ward on council.

Kunselman, D-3rd Ward and a frequent critic of the city's current public art program, said giving voters a say on a public art millage is exactly what the city needs to move forward on its public art efforts.

The introduction of Ann Arbor's art tax proposal comes just two days after voters in three nearby counties approved a special arts millage for the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The 0.2-mill DIA tax — twice what Ann Arbor might be asking from its citizens — passed with 67 percent approval in Wayne County, 64 percent in Oakland County and 50.5 percent in Macomb County.

At its core, Taylor said, city government is simple: Pick up the trash, fix the streets, keep crime down, keep the water clean, fight fires, plow the snow, clean the sewage, maintain the parks and serve the residents.

He said Ann Arbor does those jobs very well.

But he said Ann Arbor should be a city that does more than simply provide basic services, and he's hopeful voters will agree public art is a core value worth funding.

"Public beauty, aesthetics, and whimsy are vital to a thriving community and fundamental to Ann Arbor's competitive advantage," he said during a brief speech Thursday night.

"I believe that the average Ann Arbor voter agrees, and will for less than $1 a month support that tradition of cultural and civic leadership through the creation of a new and vital program of public art."

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.


Mike Reid

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 6:06 p.m.

Despite personal reservations about the message these non-essential expenditures convey, I'd support putting the question of public funding for arts before the voters in November. If nothing else, the ballot question will provide observable data to help inform a policy debate that historically has required Council to make assumptions concerning community values and priorities. Councilmember Taylor is on the right track.

warren weeder

Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

I am shocked at the idiocy of the existing program which can divert funds from utilities essential for the basic upkeep of the city.


Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

If supporters can win a vote then there are clearly enough of them to voluntarily fund public art.

David Cahill

Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

The only way this public art millage will pass is if it is linked to an unconditional repeal of the unpopular and ill-starred Percent for Art Program; that is, Council should promise that the Percent for Art program will be repealed regardless of the outcome of the vote on the millage. In this way, people will have a clear-cut choice: either a greatly improved art program that doesn't steal money from other City funds, or no program at all. I have been clear in my disdain for the present program. However, I would support an art millage if it has such a repealer of the present program attached.


Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

Another example of our elected officials thinking they can spend our hard-earned money better than we can. Just fix the potholes, OK?

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

I really like Council Member Christopher Taylor's proposal because we, the voters, get to decide. Yes, this will mean you'll actually have to go out and vote.


Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 1:25 p.m.

Sometimes things can be simple--put questions about public expenditures to the voters whose taxes fund them, for example. Why is that not the standard approach to resolving issues like this one? I'm pretty sure that we'd have turned down the water sculpture in front of the new City Hall (and probably the hideous City Hall itself). No one's prevented from organizing a fund-raising effort to purchase works of art and present them to the city or erect them on private property, as far as I know, so the snarky comment about how we'd have "only the art that I like" (the presumption of philistinism among the voters is pretty obvious, don't you think?) doesn't hold much water. --Not to bring up a sore subject once again with my metaphor, of course.

chris crawley

Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

let me understand this? If I like a peice of art, I should buy it. it you like one - then you buy it. why should I or widow Smith be TAXED to buy art for you. We need less taxes, less government deciding what we "need' even more so in ART!


Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

I'd vote yes on an art tax: if the money went to pieces that were NOT permanent, were in a variety of media (oil, acrylic, ceramic, glass, printing, digital, fiber, metal, etc.) and HAD to be Michigan artists. However, SOMEONE would have to find, curate/display, then store pieces for later viewing, or find permanent homes. Maybe have the pieces displayed for a year, then auction for local charities? It could be an event held every year, with lots of local food, music, etc. If the pieces were varied, smaller-works, they would be more-affordable and appeal to a wider-audience. But if you want to go BIG: I (like many A2 folks) do not like the fountain by New City Hall. It has a 1980s blah-modern vulgarity that looks dated and silly...frankly, like it came from a 1986 IKEA catalog. I would have liked to see a neo-classical representation of "Ann Arbor", some proud and beautiful figure with stylized trees, animals, vines, flowers, and yes, industry...that people would take pictures of, and marvel at, not something that looks like an IKEA bedside lamp.


Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 11:05 a.m.

This is so transparent. Hizzoner knows that his beloved "percent for art" program will likely be repealed by the new Council. So they put a modified program to a vote of the sheeple, thereby creating yet another "bucket" of funding for whatever the heck they want to waste our money on. The interesting thing is that they had this scheme in the works before the election, so they must have been planning for Hizzoner's lapdogs to lose.

martini man

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:30 p.m.

What a wonderful idea !!!! Lay off Police and Firefighters, and impose an "art " tax on the citizens. These progressives just keep getting smarter and smarter.. I hope that even a liberal would know that this is total nonsense.

Stuart Brown

Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 4:31 a.m.

Yes, we do. I am offended that you think Hieftje is in anyway progressive.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 9:48 p.m. should only be spent on what I CALL art.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

You should all band together to form the Internet Message Board Party and start running for office.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

One thing that saddens *me* is the trend towards tacked on "art". Very rarely is there real forethought to integrate art or beautiful design to projects. Look at the new Stadium Blvd/South State bridge. There is a budget for art, but it *could* have been worked in such a manner that it was not just superficial. I was lucky enough to go to Paris once. The lamposts, the bridges, the buildings are BEAUTIFUL..and functional. That is a lost art. As much as I would have liked to see a beautiful and thoughtful bridge design, considering it is a main entrance into down town Ann Arbor, I would not have recommended delaying the bridge repair to do this! As it was too long over due.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 6 p.m.

Oh my goodness. And here I thought the greenbelt tax was the dumbest idea I ever heard of and the last straw for me. I am so happy I moved out of A2. My problem with a lot of "art" is that I look at it and think, "that is not art." Fortunately for artists they alone can decide what is art. So they put crap up and call it art. Please do not get me wrong I am not anti art, I just have my own tastes. When it comes to paying for art, most people buy what they personally like. With an art tax you pay but someone else decides what art will be bought. If the art fund is a problem repeal it. Good to see this on the ballot and not a council decision.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

i hope you do.. i think it a great idea. then when voting is done you will see how bad art goes over in ann arbor. it will be beaten so so bad you will be sorry you finally asked the right people.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

"One of the reasons the program has been controversial is because it has diverted more than $2 million away from various city funds, including the water and sewer utilities and the streets and parks millages." This says it all. Streets aren't plowed in the winter, potholes aren't filled, and storm sewers back in parts of the city during heavy rains. And the city wants another millage for art? After the disaster in front of city hall? Who made that decision? It's awful, an incredible waste of tax dollars, and worse yet, it skimmed funds from necessary services. NO NEW MILLAGES!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

"Streets aren't plowed in the winter, potholes aren't filled, and storm sewers back in parts of the city during heavy rains." Guess why? Because of people who say things like "NO NEW TAXES!" and "NO NEW MILLAGES!"


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:59 p.m.

Isn't there some sort of large stash of cash still in the "Percent for Art" fund? And they are asking for a tax? I don't think so. Nada. NO NEW TAXES! If the water sculpture in front of city hall is an example of how this "art" commission uses money in A2 for so-called art, then there is NO reason to give them a dime.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

And, it seems to me that the picture of this fountain that you CONTINUE to use reduces your journalistic integrity; that picture has clearly been altered to romanticize and/or exaggerate the fountain's dimensios. You can see fromt he angle of the Larcom roof and the roof of the church (as well as other indicators) that the image was pinched and distorted to skew the fountain and its ground effects. That is NOT how the fountain looks from ANY unaltered, non-photoshopped angle.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

My apologies for the apparent insistence that it was POST shot alteration that was done. However, Kyle, whether the effect is produced by a lens or software, you must admit (assuming you've been to this location) that this image is a far cry from the reality. I can see using this image on a "visit Michigan" or "Come to Ann Arbor" brochure, but not in stories that include the cost and hullabaloo that surrounds this installation's entire history. A nitpick, I'm sure, especially given the severity of the litany of other follies involved, but still...icing on the cake, no?

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

RUK- As with any photo by our staff it has not been altered in any way other than the occasional cropping. The distortion you notice is due to the use of a wide angle lens which was used to fit the entire scene into the shot from that viewpoint. Here is a link to some older photos of the sculpture from the unveiling last fall:

Frustrated in A2

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

I'd vote to pay more if I could get more police and fire out of it but that's about it. I'm not voting for more are. We have all of these kids spray painting up town, let's use them Lol!!!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

Ann Arbor....28-square miles surrounded by reality.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

Ann Arbor reminds me of a hidden place where almost everything is perfect..except for the fact that there are no street lights on the highways....

Frustrated in A2

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:20 p.m.

My bad, meant to vote up and hit the wrong button. I agree with you though!

Honest Abe

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

When is the tax going to be imposed for the air we breather? I've been waiting on that one.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:17 p.m.

The UN is awarding credits to companies for the amount of greehhouse gases they eliminate. These companies have increased producton to cut more gas and earn more credits which are worth a lot of money from polluters you might give money to (tax). Unfortunatly the air we breath is now worse.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

I'm the biggest proponent of public art there is, but we already have a % for art deduction from the general fund. Not to mention the fact that the city is unable to maintain the most basic of services such as solid roads (the ones they aren't fighting to nonsensically reduce the lanes on), snow removal and leaf pickup.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

I agree with Tom. The city can't perform basic services such as snow removal and filling potholes, and they are asking for taxes for more art? I don't think so. Not to mention the bad decisions that the art commission has made regarding public art installations. Who are these people on this commission and why aren't they elected officials so they can be voted out?

Jeremy Peters

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

This would replace the % for art.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

"Public beauty, aesthetics, and whimsy are vital to a thriving community and fundamental to Ann Arbor's competitive advantage," Taylor said during a brief speech Thursday night. "I believe that the average Ann Arbor voter agrees, and will for less than $1 a month support that tradition of cultural and civic leadership through the creation of a new and vital program of public art." This proves that Ann Arbor Latte Liberals will always tax themselves for "the public good". Ann Arbor is whimsy that's for sure. Clean up the city entrances like the Briarwood area. That will do more for the city image than whimsy!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

ITH - C'mon, man. There's no such thing as a conservative who's afraid to speak out. Puhlease.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Ghost You are correct 22% of Ann Arborites are conservatives who are in the closet afraid to speak out.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

try not to lump all of ann arbor into your preconceived notion of 'latte liberals" your prejudice does nothing but harm political discourse.

Jeremy Peters

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

It saddens me that so many commenters are intent on living in a drab, boring city, devoid of beauty. In other words, a simple suburb, which is what this town will turn into without a commitment to beautification. I for one, will be voting yes if this is on the ballot. I trust and hope that I'm not the only one.

chris crawley

Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

a simple suburb, vs the situation now of simpletons with too much education, forcing their ugly opinions on normal people.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

The historical photos and comments on many downtown corners are far superior than that thing that was chosen by a committee that ignored the diversity of buying diverse art from local artists and locating the local art in several locations throughout town. It would even be better to rotate the art projects, if possible so that people in all parts of town could see the different art. Besides all the other criticisms of the $750,000. thing outside city hall, is the fact that people who don't go to city hall don't even see the art they paid for. I guess people driving west on Huron can hope they will be stopped far enough back at the 5th Ave. stoplight to see that thing. It helps to be in the right lane and have cars ahead of you at the stoplight.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 6:06 p.m.

No matter how much art you put up it does not erase the ugliness of poor streets, litter, sidewalks highly populated with vagrants, excessive parking fees, etc.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:49 p.m.

I think your problem, Jeremy, is that you equate the beauty, benefit, and necessity of "art" with the people who are wasting this money, presumably for art's sake. It doesn't matter how important art is when the people who use the art money do dumb things with it. I hope you'll really enjoy that publi art they put inside the Justice Center. And I'm assuming you think the 3/4 of a MILLION dollars is a good return on investment for that fountain that was way over schedule and remains a constant upkeep project? Adn do you think that these are the results we see after the also use some of the moey to ADD STAFF to the art commission? Do you really think this is how art is best served?


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:07 p.m.

A city is beautiful with green trees, parks and historical buildings. You do not need art to make it beautiful!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

Not at all. I am intent on a beautiful city. I also hope that the implementation would be better than in the past. (bicycle racks that shout "ART" are pretty feeble example). I *may* vote for it, but there is a good chance that I would not, my decision depends on the state of the city and the details of the proposal. There will ALWAYS be art in *my* life.

John of Saline

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

You could have a tax with a "trigger" based on state economic growth. If the economy's doing well, then the art tax would be implemented. If not, it would be halved or eliminated for a given year.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

You have GOT to be kidding me!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

I have a B.F.A. and am a HUGE supporter of art (especially public art), I even accepted a Golden Paint Brush Award from C.A.P.P. (The Commission for Art in Public Places, now Ann Arbor Public Art Commission >AAPAC)on behalf of the urban-fairies of Ann Arbor. HOWEVER, I never accepted any money from them nor did they have anything to do with *my* projects. I feel that infrastructure: utilities, roads, Fire fighters, police, trash pick up... are WAY more important and not adequately addressed at this time. > PRIORITIES <


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

My guess isd this is coming forward now, after the election, because come November 7, the mayor will NOT have a majority, and there will be enough votes on the city council to get rid of the percent for art program once and for all. This is an end run to try and still have money for art available, since the percent for art is doomed with the new city council!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

Absolutely correct! I sure hope the percent for art theft is doomed.

Paul Wiener

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

Yes, please, please put this issue to the voters! As long as you promise to abide by their vote.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:01 p.m.

oh my goodness, why do they have such an obsession with the arts......take care of the basic needs of running the city, THEN, and only then, look at this.....


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

Exactly. The difference between essential services and non essential services. The later should come only after the essentials are in place.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

I cannot believe that this article does not make clear what happens if this goes to a vote and is voted down. Does the current "1%" stay, go, what?? That's quite significant.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.

That wasn't the question I asked though. I want to know what happens if it does go on the ballot and is NOT approved. What happens to the current "1%" ordinance in that case? Because if it isn't automatically "killed" then we really aren't being allowed to vote on public art funding, we're only being allowed to vote between two different flavors of public art funding. That sure wasn't what I was talking about.

Jeremy Peters

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:01 p.m.

"If approved, he said, it would create a new public art program replacing the city's Percent For Art Program, which has been controversial since its inception."


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

At a fundamental level, Mr. Taylor is correct: " government is simple: Pick up the trash, fix the streets, keep crime down, keep the water clean, fight fires, plow the snow, clean the sewage, maintain the parks and serve the residents." And he is wrong: "He said Ann Arbor does those jobs very well." Ask the folks who live on Dexter Road how well the roads are paved. Ask the folks who live in Churchill Downs about stormwater management. Ask the FD about whether they are staffed to nationally-accepted standards. Ann Arbor does manage some bits well enough, but it can do better at the fundamentals first.

Carrie Roberts

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Does this new program include a budget for maintaining and preserving existing public artworks? I hope so.. Continuing to commission artworks with no plan to maintain them is irresponsible, and will end up costing the city more when the materials comprising the works (metal, stone, paint, etc.) begin to degrade.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

Get it on the ballot now before our "mayor" loses his rubber stamps.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

If it passes it replaces the "1% theft for art", but if it fails the 1% apparently stays? Wow, wouldn't that have been a great question to ask? My guess is that's the case because that would be the absolutely, positively most underhanded way to handle it. And this comes out right after the election? Priceless.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

Rehab 415 W Washington and turn it into a public space for local artists (and not arts organizations who can fund themselves). Make it part of the Allen Creek Greenway. Do it with the existing 1% funds. Plant seeds for tomorrow.

Ron Granger

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

If the council and art board had managed the percent for art program better, this would not be quite so controversial. They started with a large, expensive project and they completely blew that. It is an eyesore. It has become a monument to excess and mismanagement. Issues: Better Art - not ugly art that does not work in winter, and 300 other days a year Art that is too expensive and violates the charter spending limit Stop squandering the funds decorating your palace - a palace the voters rejected Art locked away in their palace, unavailable to the public - in violation of the charter


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:24 p.m.

" government is simple: Pick up the trash, fix the streets, keep crime down, keep the water clean, fight fires, plow the snow, clean the sewage, maintain the parks and serve the residents." He said Ann Arbor does those jobs very well. Really? The fire department often doesn't have a working ladder truck, a series of sexual assaults went unsolved last year, the streets are a mess, trash overflows bins in parks that are rarely mowed and in my sub division (association), the association pays to plow the streets and cul-de-sacs when we get a major snowfall that doesn't immediately proceed trash day. Not to mention the city is watering the weed garden in the middle of roundabout at Nixon and Huron Parkway. How on earth is that "serving the residents"? Instead of putting "% for art" up for vote, why not just admit it was a bad idea and use the funds for core services?

Ron Granger

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

"For example, he said, it could pay for temporary or short-term installations and even performances and events such as FestiFools." I support the art program but I will not support any expansion of funding to include temporary projects and street parties. I don't see that direction creating anything of sufficiently lasting value. The street parties and festivals may be cool, but let them seek their own sponsors and funding. Similarly, I don't want my art tax dollars getting dumped into art fair anymore than they already do.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 6:57 p.m.

Gosh, I thought "FestiFools" was referring to the City Council. Sorry, until leaf pickup and Christmas tree pickup are re-instituted, I'm not interested in any more art installations - permanent, temporary, or quasi-idiotic.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

But what about City Hall Kabuki dance? And high-speed murals over a new gateway station. And airborne calming scents with music for downtown traffic. Just think of all the temporary possibilities... Ya gotta have arrrrrt,,,


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

Why not leave these types of issues (public art, etc) to the University of Michigan. It is one of the few ways they, as non-tax payers, should be contributing to our community. The University is already spread over a significant portion of the City and has over a dozen museums and galleries (see list below). Please leave us (tax-paying folks) out of this one. UM Museums & Galleries Detroit Observatory Kelsey Museum of Archaeology Matthaei Botanical Gardens Museum of Art Museum of Natural History Nichols Arboretum Herbarium Museum of Anthropology Museum of Paleontology Museum of Zoology School of Art & Design: Robbins Gallery Slusser Gallery Work: Ann Arbor Work: Detroit Exhibitions gallery in the U-M Detroit Center. Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments


Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

"The city needs more quality outdoor art." The thing by city hall isn't quality outdoor art. Also, it's not fair to spend the huge amount of money on just one art project/installation that's in an area where most people won't see it. Some of the historical buildings in town are gems. One historic site available to the public is County Farm Park. That piece of "outdoor art" isn't a gem.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

I think 57 is right. The University of Michigan has many fine in-house artists, not to mention many, many alumni srtists. Plus, they have world-wide connections in the art world. I wonder if the city has talked with the U. and asked for the assist. If not, maybe they should. A great university in a great city should provide gteat art. If the U provides it, that's a cheap way to go, fershure.

Bob W

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:24 p.m.


Ron Granger

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

Those are closeted away in non-public University buildings and not public enough. The city needs more quality outdoor art. This isn't Flint.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

Watch for maneuvering to delay and have this appear on the off-election ballot cycle (like in May). This issue would then join with some other AAPS ballot item, and could pass with the smaller arts and education crowd/turnout.

J. A. Pieper

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 10:34 p.m.

You got this right! AAPS is a master at manipulating to get a millage passed, and since everyone values education, they vote yes! AAPS is not a good steward for our tax dollars either! Think the state controls all the money AAPS receives, don't forget all those sinking fund millages that are a loophole for bringing in more dollars!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

The city is going to let us help decide where our money is to go? That's awfully generous of them! I wonder why the change of heart?

Dog Guy

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

"The ballot language for a special public art millage already has been vetted by the state attorney general's office." Is this top-secret ballot language an ex post facto legitimizing of the "percent for art" diversions? Does it actually end "percent for art" so that the lame geese cannot reinstate it by council ukase in mid-November?


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

Every reader should contact his and her City Council representative and direct that person to support placing a art millage vote on the November ballot. HOWEVER, the wording of the millage proposal should clearly indicate that rejection of the proposal will terminate the present 1%-for-art program and return funds to their appropriate source to be used as originally intended. Furthermore, the millage proposal should establish civic input into the selection of art and its placement since taxpayer dollars are being used to pay for the art. Finally, the millage proposal should emphasize that every effort be exerted to contract with local artists (City and State) for which talent is plentiful. The specific state statute that supposedly forbids this must be identified and carefully reviewed to determine a means by which its restrictions can be eliminated or circumvented.

Dog Guy

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

Does anyone doubt that the lame geese who lost in the election will vote for this?

Steve Hendel

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

You don't have to be a philistine OR an art lover to appreciate the irony here; fast track a dedicated tax for public art while we are cutting back on police and fire protection! Say what?


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

Can you say TAX AND SPEND?????? Typical Democrat mantra......... I suggest waiting until after the current President gets replaced and the economy gets better, then there would be thriving businesses that would likely DONATE for the cause of Public Art.......


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Folks have donated if you asked. They just do not wish to donate and then have no say so in the matter. Perfect example - Ford Foundation. A perfect example of usurping a 1% center resources and then deciding to go on a political agenda. you don;t hear about them mush. Examples include - the Taubmann center, the Woodson welcome area. Taubmann is a lot more welcoming with wonderful art.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

The electorate will stay home to punixh both its-the-economy-stupids. Beyond some fringe issues it won't matter who gets elected. The economy will get better after Wall Street crashes and capital is re-energized with a base like gold. With all that coming, art library mills and "techs" abatement will fail. The current program will be re-visited and probably changed.

Ron Granger

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

They have not materially donated in the past. Not even in the "halcyon" boom years of our previous president.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 12:23 p.m.

Paula How about a poll question that ask Would you have voted for someone different if this was proposed 2 days BEFORE the election?

Linda Peck

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

For me, it is not the money, it is the way the program might be handled!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

Would that the views of those taking this poll were the views of the voters--but they are not. The same people that approve tax after tax for the library, for the greenbelt etc will pass anything about public art on the ballot.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

sorry but pass anything about public art is so so far off. wait until you see the results. then you will know how wrong you are.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

Au contraire. I am all for the public library, and all for our ecology. I also feel very strongly that all the expenditures that have been made for all this public art around the city would have 100% been better spent on the fire or police forces. Please check your stereotypes at the door.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:55 a.m.

I'm for it, IF we also get to vote on the Percent For Art fiasco at the same time.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:40 a.m.

I love artwork (DIA) but that "stick" in the sore public eye needs to be removed. Maybe a large aluminum oak tree with an embedded LED virtual screen wrap would have been better. Try two - A] local-only art supported by millage y/n B] stick with current art program y/n And where is that greedy 1% philanthropy ?

mike gatti

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:30 a.m.

This seems like a reasonable proposal if it in fact gets rid of the percent for art but how about inserting some language requiring use of local or maybe Michigan artists. I think it is important to keep a lively art scene going. The fact that our city looks nice is a (not the) reason people like to come here. I think sometimes we forget that we have it a whole lot better than other cities around the state and our leadership should get some (not all) credit for that. Thanks City Counsel for trying to keep stuff nice. Hard job and I don't always agree with what you do but I do know that it is a heck of a lot easier to sit and complain than to take action.

Ron Granger

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

"but how about inserting some language requiring use of local or maybe Michigan artists." Mediocre artists should not exist because of "affirmative action" programs. Either an artist's work is competitive and appropriate, or it isn't.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 12:24 p.m.

If it is so "reasonable" why bring it up AFTER the election?

Janet Neary

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

This proposal is better than the current absurd program of applying the one percent to every "project" including roads, utilities, etc. -- I can't imagine that anyone thought it would be used that way when it was first adopted. However, this proposal would still produce a flat amount -- $460,000 at least, every single year -- that could only be used for art. The result would, I expect, be the normal attitude of looking around to find places to spend money. Isn't it possible just to appropriate money from time to time for art projects that appear to be a good addition to the city? If we add another millage, it ought to be for something that is now underfunded, such as police, fire, streets, etc. (I profoundly disagree with Mr. Taylor about the adequacy of current production in those basic areas.)


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:18 a.m.

Probably the artist is some council person's buddy- we all know how that works.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:17 a.m.

"At its core, Taylor said, city government is simple: Pick up the trash, fix the streets, keep crime down, keep the water clean, fight fires, plow the snow, clean the sewage, maintain the parks and serve the residents." Well, Mr. Taylor, on that basis you and your colleagues are batting only 3 out of 9!

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

@Craig Lounsbury: Craig, thanks for the dialogue and for considering the reasons why my opinions are different in some cases from yours, because my daily experience and the experiences of those I know are sometimes different. I do note that in many of your opinions over the years, we see eye to eye. 1. I live in a downtown condo highrise. We downtown condo residents can't cut up and compost trees in our yard because we don't have one. 2. You only needed eyes to look around and see how bad the roads were before the recent orgy of road rebuilding kicked off, once the Stadium Bridge funding was secured. 4. Yup that is the source of the dioxane plume. Folks with contaminated wells have an issue, and sooner or later our city's watershed may be impacted. 5. It would be prudent if city council would only start to just hire the number of fire fighters the fire chief says he needs, which is his "magic number" of 88. But they don't. They spend money on other less important stuff. Talk to some of the family members of the people who've died in fires over the past ten years (the numbers increased by about 2 per year since they started gutting the fire department), and you'll find they don't agree with you. 6. My tires are pretty new and have lots of tread, fortunately! Going up hills is challenging in my tiny car when there is 4 or more inches of snow on the ground. There is a big hill on Washtenaw just before the entrance driveway to University Bank that I have to negotiate to get to work when it snows. I have talked to lots of people who are of the same opinion. The city's policy paradoxically has encouraged some people I know to buy SUVs with 4-wheel drive. If the policy doesn't change both in the city and county, it will ultimately drive our car insurance rates up.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

@Stephen Lange Ranzini 1. your Christmas tree isn't trash its compost. We don't own a dump we own a transfer station, a recycling station and a compost facility. I cut my tree up and put it in my compost bin for pickup in March. Find a solution instead of whining. 2. The third worst roads statistic comes from the The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association which is basically a lobbying arm of the road building industry. So while they may be accurate I decline to accept any of their studies as indisputable. Sort of a "fox guarding the chicken coop thing" 4. you mean the plume that started at Gelman Science? (which was actually outside the city limits) There is no dioxane in the drinking water that comes from the city to my knowledge. Folks with contaminated wells have an issue with the now defunct Gelman Science that caused the contamination. To my knowledge there is no known way to clean up that plume that wouldn't cost billions of dollars. Monitoring it and switching wells to city water is the best that anyone can reasonably expect. 5. I'd like more fire fighters too. But I don't fail them on a Pass/fail. You clearly do. 6. You've gotten stuck I never have and I drive two wheel drive vehicles. What kind of tires do you have? I can give you a list of tires that will likely solve your problem. What I can't do is get the city to buy your tires for you.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

@Craig Lounsbury: 1) They don't pick up our Christmas trees anymore. We have to drive them to their dump. (-1) 2) Until the recent orgy of road rebuilding Ann Arbor had the third worst roads of any city in the state. They are narrowing Jackson Road to 2 lanes (with a middle turn lane) from 4 and have plans to do the same to more major arteries. I don't call that "fixing" streets. It makes them worse. (-1) 3) Crime is down overall despite a recent spike in home invasions and an overall increase in sexual attacks, yes (+1) 4) Keep the water clean. I think the huge spread of the dioxane plume in Ann Arbor is a major threat to our water safety. (-1) 5) Fight fires. Well, they do get to 34% of fires within the national standard, and the new plan to close three fire stations and open the one near the Mayor's house in Burns Park will increase that to maybe 74%, but it still doesn't meet the national standard best practice of 90% and our insurance rates will go up as a direct result when the city gets rated next by the ISO. (-1) 6) Plow the snow from streets. Only when there is 4-6 inches from a single snowfall. I've gotten stuck driving to work going just 2 miles across town even if I wait till 10am. (-1) 7) Clean the sewage. Check. Although they could have bought the spare capacity from YUCA before Northville and Canton did and saved maybe half the +$100 million cost of the new sewage treatment plan. (+1) 8) Maintain the parks. The new budget actually does that for a change from the practice of the last few years. (+1) 9) Serve the residents. Police response times frequently suck. The attitude of many members of the current administration is dismissive and arrogant towards citizen complaints and input. Secret decisions are made and implemented without citizen input. (-1) So I give them a thumbs up on 3, 7 & 8 only.

E Claire

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

I watched the garbage truck hit and turn my bin sideways last week, pick it up that way, spill half the trash in the street and drive away. I had to contact the city last winter after I couldn't safely get to the bus stop for all the ice that covered the city portion of the sidewalk for 4 days after a storm. My street (which is plowed 0 times each winter, we don't even get the ridiculous dirt cover) has had a pot hole big enough to swallow a child for over a year. My ward 4 council person is basically missing in action. I'm sick of paying more and more taxes for services that get worse and worse. They may do some things right but not enough to justify asking for more money for their idea of "art" (those whirly children's toys taped to light posts are an embarrassment).


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

Not to undermine your well-stated point, but batting .333 is actually quite the achievement :)

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:56 p.m.

and I will add that have not been overly friendly to city politicians within this forum.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

1. Pick up the trash.... check ...happens every Tuesday at my house. 2. fix the streets....check I drive Packard, Platt to Carpenter several times a week and I can confirm they are fixing the street 3. keep crime down,...check.... according to FBI statistics 4. keep the water clean...check .....I drank some this morning out of my faucet. I drink it every day and suffer no water born disease 5. fight fires....check, .....the fire department responds when a structure is on fire 100% of the time. 6. plow the snow...check .....doesn't always happen as fast I'd like but I've only been stuck in my dead end street twice in 18 years. 7.clean the sewage...check..... as good as any other municipality does. 8.maintain the parks .....can't say for sure as I rarely use one anymore. 9. serve the residents...arguably that is what the first 8 are all about. This is more a description of those than a separate function. Now we can all wish a single was a double or a double was a 3 run homer but a single is still a hit. But to suggest they fail at 6 out of 9 is just not true.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:15 a.m.

Oh, man, bunnyabbot is totally right. I got all excited about this thing finally being a VOTE, and didn't consider that the percent for art is still there if it's a no vote. That IS underhanded. We need a vote to abolish taxation and expenditures for this program PERIOD; whether art is important or not, these people do NOT spend the money wisely, well, or artfully. City Council: We need a vote on ANY of our money being wasted by council under the guise of "public art." When you look at the money spent, the INCREASE in PAC staffing, and the results (3/4 Million fountain that doesn't work well, was over schedule, "public" art placed in a building people only enter to pay tickets or be judged for crimes, etc.). For decency's sake, one of the poll options really should be for NO "art" money being stripped from us.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:08 a.m.

"Ann Arbor residents would receive the benefits of public art freed from the substantial restrictions that constrain and inhibit the success of the current program" Not really. The restrictions that inhibited success were numbd people spending the money in horrendous ridiculous ways. Those people are still going to be in charge of the money. "city government is simple: Pick up the trash, fix the streets, keep crime down...He said Ann Arbor does those jobs very well" Uhh, you're kidding right? I mean really, it's a really bad joke, but you ARE kidding, RIGHT?!! Readers, please, please, PLEASE tell your friends, family, and coworkers about this, and try to convince them to find the time to vote NO on this; these things keep passing, and I think it's possible just because voters either don't know about them or don't consider how wasteful things are getting over time. This is our chance to give some indication that we are watching what they do with our money. It is a rare and wonderful chance, PLEASE take advantage of it.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 10:51 a.m.

The City has not demonstrated that it is a worthy steward of the monies needed for public art. The twinkling blue light special in front of City Hall is an unmitigated disaster. It is way too small for the space-- tiny really-- yet cost a small fortune. Too small for motorists to notice, and when pedestrians walk up to it they discover that it doesn't work and is without water. The space in front of City Hall (which looks like a corrugated big box warehouse) needed a sculpture 100 times the size.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 10:41 a.m.

If I vote for it, could you please use the money to fix some streets? How about starting with W Madison between S Seventh and S Main. . .


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

Ron is right. I would love to have north main and miller fixed, but I also understand the consequences, the A2 dragstrip moms would be racing to the next lights.

Ron Granger

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

Think of it as free speed bumps.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 10:36 a.m.

Prince john and his merry band just like those east of the beltway don't give a way or another ,front door or back they'll get what they another commenter said it's just replacing % for art with % for art.. knife or gun take your choice....

Paula Gardner

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 10:18 a.m.

A poll was just added to this story.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 9:30 a.m.

Seems like most of the commenters above haven't actually read the article. This millage would REPLACE the terrible "Percent For Art" system that we have now. The proposal seems like the lesser of two evils. I'd still prefer an option to vote for no public art whatsoever ... or at least a moratorium on new art installations and the discontinuation of any collection of revenue for public art until the economy drastically improves.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

Not interested. We have this piese of junk as art. Who decides what is art , and what is junk? I guess another govt. official who may or may not have a relative to be sustained for all I know. While we are it, why did we place those placards (or whatever we call it) to supposedly show the history of Ann Arbor at the corner of Main/Huron. They are an eyesore as well. Plus no one reads them


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

@fjord. I would recommend you re-read the article. Yes, this NEW millage would "replace" the Percent for Art...but it is a NEW tax. The Percent for Art is not a new diverts funds from capital projects to the art program. But I it for vote! The question - unanswered in the article - is whether the elimination of the Percent for Art program is dependent upon the passage of this new millage.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 10:30 a.m.

I suspect if the millage is defeated, the council will repeal the existing program.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 9:21 a.m.

Since the Attorney General has already approved the language for this ballot millage, this plan has been in the works secretly for some time. Whether you would be for or against this millage you have to appreciate the raw arrogance of revealing it, just two days AFTER the election! But that is typical of the secret and non-transparent way that the "Mayor's Party" operates. They also think the gag order on the fire fighters to prevent them from talking to the press about how the three fire station plan is secretly being implemened is completely acceptable as a matter of public policy, too! This is a prime example of the *opposite* of how city government should be run! Transparency not secrecy should be the style of our elected leaders! This alone is a valid reason for the voters to clean those who knew about this secret millage plan before the election and said nothing, out of office!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Also remember that they quickly put off any further consideration on the "park repurposing" charter amendment until after the primary. And they've already had the AG check this out, yet we're still awaiting word on the legality of the "1% skim for art"?

Ron Granger

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

"Whether you would be for or against this millage you have to appreciate the raw arrogance of revealing it, just two days AFTER the election!" Actually, I think that was a good move. Otherwise "some people" would have claimed they announced it ahead of the election in order to influence the election outcome.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

@Stephen you are right, this has been in the works most likely as a "back-up" plan in case the election didn't go as hoped by the mayor. Now the mayor needs to get this on the ballot before his controlling party is out of office. How many times has the mayor said the percentage for art can't be changed? Now it appears it can be changed. If I recall correctly, the council never asked the city attorney for an opinion on the legality of the present program. It won't be too long until Ann Arbor will have some new leadership and the new council members can begin to put the priorities where they belong.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 9:12 a.m.

Just think of all the public art we could have purchased had we not decided to spend $55M doubling up on a police station/courthouse that was already perfectly functional. But hey, you know - "other people's money."

Stuart Brown

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:54 a.m.

Reduce the dozens of accounting buckets down to two: restricted and unrestricted; this would free up millions that could be spent on public services. It is outrageous that the city is sitting on millions in unrestricted funds squirreled away various buckets while needed city services are starved for funds. I find it really offensive that the city would dare ask for more revenue when it can't even explain how its current money is being used. I am still waiting for a valid explanation as to why $29 Million was allowed to accumulate in the Roads Bucket while Ann Arbor roads were crumbling.

Stuart Brown

Sat, Aug 11, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

So, nobody approves of the Ann Arbor Fire Department because its funding comes from the General Fund? I think it is the other way around; the things the citizens want get put into a limited fund (the General Fund) subject to constant renewal and the things the politicians want get protected with an untouchable restricted fund that is never subject to renewal.

Stan Hyne

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:14 p.m.

If the money is for a worthy cause the city will ask for a separate millage. If it is for something no one would approve, those come from the general fund


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:20 a.m.

Odd that Kunselman is an advocate of a public art vote when he's proud for suppressing a city income tax vote. Millage after millage after millage after millage after millage after millage after millage after millage.............get the point?

J. A. Pieper

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 10:05 p.m.

Don't forget to add the AAPS millage requests to this, they are looking at a spring millage vote!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:06 a.m.

"One of the reasons the program has been controversial is because it has diverted more than $2 million away from various city funds, including the water and sewer utilities and the streets and parks millages." yes, because a couple orange metal trees in a park (that offer no shade) and a junkety water feature were way more important that water and sewer utilities and the streets and parks, I'm sure most people think that is wonderful everytime there is a flood, or they hit a pot hole or they can't find a garbage can to throw the bag of doggie poop out in that they so carefully and dutifully picked up while walking through their nearest park. so much for them 'keeping the mone buckets separate"


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 6 p.m.

..and this is the major reason that your water & sewage rates have recently gone pay Peter after robbing Paul!! and now they want MORE of your money!! I say NO!!! Let those who feel we have to have more art reach into their own pockets to pay for it.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 5:01 a.m.

Instead of having us vote on something that would REPLACE something that has been "controversial since its inception", how about doing away with something altogether that is controversial and THEN ask us to vote on a "public art tax", which yes, would risk no public art at all. Otherwise keeping the "controversial since inception" "just in case" in your back pocket is a really crappy way to keep something around people are PO'd about. That's not much of an olive branch, it's more a sharp stick in the eye.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 10:45 a.m.

Right. Vote yes or no, but current program stops regardless.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:35 a.m.

Why not put it on the ballot with the proposed millage for a new downtown library building? Then we could vote both millages down at the same time. There's already the possibility of having to pay more in the future for extra expensive the underground garage strong enough to hold a high rise building. Why? Some doubt that garage revenues will be enough to make all payments necessary. There may not be reserve funds left to pay the bills since I've read that the DDA (Downtown Development Authority) already needs to use some money in their reserve fund. There was another "campaign" to "Just say no," but the three words "just say no" may work very well on these ballot proposals.

J. A. Pieper

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 10:03 p.m.

And just wait for AAPS to have a millage vote in the spring, everyone needs to remember that is coming!

Real Life

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:08 a.m.

Good proposal, let's vote on it. Do you want vote for cr@p? Yes or no? I vote no.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:06 a.m.

Dear City Counsel members, lets get very serious. When the city does Not collect street leaf collection and many more cuts, are you serious? It seems like only sane person in the counsel is Jane Lumm. Way to go Jane.... I wonder if our dear major is thinking really good? Next year may not be so great for our mayor. Many people are sick of this no nonce. Does the City of Ann Arbor ever consider there are many older people would like to be able live in their house. We the people who put out so much for our beloved University of Michigan, we have done it so many years. We never get a simple thank you from anyone at all. @ president of U of M we do not even get a recognized. At some point University of Michigan has to come in to the picture.We the people Michigan Alumni loves this town. But we can take it so far, we are fed up.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

Let it go to a vote.... and the people will finally have a say!!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

I thought you had to have a MI drivers license, body search, and retinal scan or thumbprint to vote.

Dog Guy

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

The U of M sophomores, out for their first presidential election, will also vote to give us the gift of art and a new library and a dozen other wonders before they go home and stick us with the bill. It is called Democratcy.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:50 a.m.

"At its core, Taylor said, city government is simple: Pick up the trash, fix the streets, keep crime down, keep the water clean, fight fires, plow the snow, clean the sewage, maintain the parks and serve the residents." When Mr. Taylor and the council can show that these simple respnsibilities are completed to the public's satisfaction, I will vote for an art tax. Start with fixing the streets and maintaining the parks. As for picking up the trash I would appreciate the return of the fall leaf pickup probably as much as the public art I have seen so far.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

Agree completely. The city's snow removal is a joke and a shadow of what they used to do back in the 90's and before. And with overgrown trees and uncut weeds in highly visible areas, I say this money would be much better spent on basic services that the City is doing a poor job on. Taylor is completely out of touch with reality with his statements.

Dog Guy

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:50 a.m.

This millage would be in addition to the current "percent for art" imposed by council ukase. Public art is an oxymoron because of the oxen and morons appointed to the committee by Dear Leader.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 9:31 a.m.

Read the article. It would replace Percent For Art, not be in addition to it.

Dog Guy

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:52 a.m.

The millage is intended as punishment for not voting as the boss dictated.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:43 a.m.

it is auto time. if anyone taking a bet on it doing down. let me know. first chance the people have a chance to show them it is joke in hard time. vote it down. i would be utterly shocked it if passes. let the people speak.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:44 a.m.

it is about time sorry.. tpo


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:34 a.m.

No. No no no - not at this time. I'm concerned that very soon we'll be paying more to subsidize county transit; and we'll get hit up by the downtown library boosters, who are still agitating for a new building; and now comes the suggestion of an art tax??


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:25 a.m.

LOL. What a waste of $$.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:25 a.m.

I am intrigued that you refer to the City Hall "water sculpture" both in the article as well as the accompanying photo. Not mentioned is the fact that it never has worked properly and requires near-constant visits from various technicians. Also, is the $750,000 price confirmed as a final price? I thought the initial budget was a bit higher. Who is paying for all of the follow-up wok to get the thing to actually work? Lastly, nice job in the photo. You were actually able to make it look in scale to the surrounding buildings, as well as the budget, by gettig on the grouns and shooting it straight up. Those who have seen it in real life know that it is grossly under-sized and looks kind of ridiculous, given the backdrop of 6-story buildings. Not that anybody would want that ugly thing any larger.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

meh, not so much really. And having earned a BFA in NYC, I think I get to say that.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

Working in all its blinky-blue-light glory? That must have been something to behold!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

To be fair, the Hurinal appeared to be working this past Tuesday evening.


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:22 a.m.

I am speechless! And certain members of city council are clueless!


Fri, Aug 10, 2012 : 3:15 a.m.

Excuse me?