Mayor urges suspension of public art funding policy

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Mayor Jerry Sanders sent a memo Thursday urging the San
Diego City Council to suspend a policy that provides funding for public art in
certain capital improvement projects.

The policy, adopted in 2004, mandates that 2 percent of the cost of
certain municipal construction projects over $250,000 be allocated for public
art.

According to Sanders' memo, the policy can be suspended if the mayor
“determines the anticipated revenues in the current or upcoming fiscal year
will be insufficient to maintain the current level of city services.”

Sanders said eliminating the public art funding is necessary as the city
grapples with a projected $72 million budget shortfall next fiscal year,
which could result in additional cuts to public safety.

“While the goals of public art are important and commendable, they must
be closely examined at a time when our public safety goals cannot be
adequately funded,” Sanders wrote.

The mayor plans to bring the issue before the City Council for
consideration within 30 days.

Alex Roth, a spokesman for Sanders, said the number of projects impacted
and the anticipated savings are not known yet. He said that information is
being compiled and will be made available to the City Council when it takes up
the issue.

Categories: KUSI