TO: Mayor Hornaday / Homer City Council
FROM: Walt Wrede
DATE: August 22, 2012
SUBJECT: Failed Memorandum 12-124, Public Art Selection Committee
The Agenda for the August 13 City Council meeting contained Memorandum 12-124 from the Public Arts Committee. This memorandum failed for lack of a second. The primary purpose of the memorandum was to attain Council approval for membership on public art selection committees. This pertains to the 1% for the Arts provision contained in the City Code and the $6 Million Cruise Ship Head Tax grant. Selection committees are provided for in the approved bylaws/operating manual for the Public Arts Committee.
I am bringing this issue back to Council again for its consideration for several reasons. First, it was not clear why Council did not approve this memorandum. As noted above, the primary reason for it was appointment to the selection committees. All of the discussion, at both the Committee of the Whole and the Regular Meeting, revolved around the idea of art at the restrooms. I was not sure if Council merely found this idea amusing, or if there were serious objections to incorporating art into the restrooms. If that is the case, please let us know and we can address that directly. We probably did not do a good job explaining this. Many communities have incorporated art into restrooms. This does not necessarily means pictures hanging on the wall. It can mean art incorporated into the design which would make the building attractive. Remember, two of these restrooms are located on Pioneer Ave. and what they look like will matter too many. Many think they should help to enhance downtown, not detract from it. Recall that the ordinance calls for art in “public facilities” and art on the Deep Water Dock, which is a huge part of this project, has already been removed from consideration.
I would recommend that Council approve the recommendations contained in Memorandum 12-124 as they pertain to approval of selection committee appointments. We are moving ahead with the cruise ship passenger facilities enhancement project expeditiously. RFP’s are already on the street and we are soliciting proposals that include art incorporated into the design of the harbor trail and the restrooms. If these committees are not appointed, as required in approved policies, it will really slow the process down and affect our ability to evaluate the proposals in a timely manner. Proposals are due soon.
If the Council objects to art incorporated in the restrooms, we would have several options to slow the process down and change direction. Please let me know if that is your desire.
RECOMMENDATION: Approval of the Art Selection Committee recommendation contained in Memorandum 12-124.