This crazy ‘public art’ installation was recently… ahem, erected, at Indian School Road and Marshall Way.
“In the end, they [the artist and the public art division of Scottsdale Arts] went directly to the city council, which has the power to overrule the [city] design board. In February, all but one city council member voted to approve the design…”
Lynn Trimble, Phoenix New Times
Herein lies the problem.
If you know anything about me, you know that I like art but I don’t like political entrepreneurs. So, I’m REALLY not a fan of “Scottsdale Arts,” formerly known as the “Scottsdale Cultural Council.”
Scottsdale Arts is a private business with a 20-year, no-bid city contract. It enjoys free rent in taxpayer-owned and taxpayer-maintained facilities. It shares none of its revenue back to the taxpayers. And it gets a $4+ million annual, taxpayer-funded subsidy, for which it’s contract contains ZERO objective performance metrics.
I previously assumed that the cost of this ‘art’ came out of Scottsdale Arts’ regular budget. But then I saw an email from Dan Semenchuk that indicated it came out of bed-tax money.
I think the bed tax has turned into it’s own little scam and slush fund (with hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to the mayor’s campaign PR hack–Jason Rose–alone), but it’s ridiculous that it’s now been used to further subsidize the con artists that run Scottsdale Arts… including Diana Smith, the wife of city councilman (and former city treasurer) David Smith.
I hope you’ll remember that Smith is campaigning to keep his seat, and a big part of his platform is asking you to further tax yourself (via Ballot Question 1) to repair our crumbling streets, bridges, and other infrastructure. My question is, why are we paying money for 3rd-grade cardboard cut-out ‘art’ instead of spending it on infrastructure?
Furthermore, as the Phoenix New Times’ Lynn Trimble pointed out, only one council member voted against this project: Kathy Littlefield. That means that mayor Jim Lane voted for it, along with the aforementioned incumbent council member, David Smith (are you surprised?), Suzanne Klapp, Virginia Korte, incumbent candidate Linda Milhaven (who is a Wells Fargo vice-president, and former board chair for Scottsdale Arts…surprise again), and our biggest recent disappointment, Guy Phillips.
Let me reiterate: These folks voted to spend millions of dollars of YOUR tax money EVERY YEAR on this kind of pure crap, while simultaneously neglecting a billion dollars in debt (Scottsdale has the highest per-capita debt of any metro-area city) and well over a billion dollars’ worth of deferred infrastructure maintenance.
And Jim Lane’s new bro-mance with Bill Crawford show’s Crawford would be more of the same… IF he can finally get elected.
So, bottom line: Don’t vote for Bill Crawford, David Smith, or Linda Milhaven.
Source: Phoenix New Times, Giant Rabbit Sculpture Hops Into Old Town Scottsdale