Painting of bleak economy nixes public art fee proposal

Public art with private funding at Veterans’ Memorial Park remains in the sights of Marco arts committee members

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— A proposed requirement for developers to pay a fee for public art went from being on the table to being indefinitely tabled at a meeting held on Tuesday morning.

The Marco Island Arts Advisory Committee voted unanimously to table the ordinance that would ensure that future commercial development projects incorporate artwork or donate money to the city’s public art fund, announced City Clerk Laura Litzan in a prepared release on Tuesday.

The decision followed a backlash from the opposition on the public art fee proposal.

While the members of the art committee still voiced support over the idea, Litzan and committee Chairmwoman Claudia Klug-Kowel agreed it just wasn’t the time.

“Although we believe that the ordinance is in the best interest of the residents by requiring that commercial developers contribute public art to the community, we have heard that the timing is not good and we have considered this feedback in our decision to defer the matter at this time,” Klug-Kowel said.

Litzan, who serves as the staff liaison to the committee, said she recommended the public art fee proposal be disregarded, at least for now, due to the brewing controversy and lack of support from the public.

Several residents and some council members were seeing red following City Council’s review of the ordinance earlier this month. Given the current economic difficulties faced by developers and others, it wasn’t the time, opponents, including Council Chairman Rob Popoff, have said.

He and others also opposed the ordinance based on their perception of the proper role of government.

Marco resident and city watchdog Amadeo Petricca was among the opposition. Petricca, who also serves on the Marco Island Taxpayer Association board, has said that requiring a public art fee for commercial, as well as government construction projects funded by taxpayers, with a government committee managing that public art, was not a principle he could support philosophically.

The arts committee plans to continue looking for alternatives and seeking City Council’s guidance as economic conditions improve, Klug-Kowel said.

In the meantime, private funding to address the art needs of the community is being sought, Litzan wrote in the prepared release.

Veterans’ Memorial Park is in the sights of the committee for a piece of public art, said committee member Jo-Ann Sanborn.

Veterans’ Memorial Park, which is located at the corner of North Barfield Drive and North Collier Boulevard, will be renamed and have a new focus, she added.

“The site is perfect for a special piece of art—one that reflects our shared sense of community.”

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Comments » 6

RayPray writes:

“The site is perfect for a special piece of art—one that reflects our shared sense of community.”

This "park" should be renamed "Septic Tank Memorial Corner"

Public art reflecting shared sense of community might then be a de-commisioned septic tank filled with flowers.

MrBreeze writes:

The "special" piece of art should be a $$$ sign, with the lettering "Marco Island Welcomes You".

We all know how much this town wants your dollars.

Then next to that the Marco Island currency conversion chart which shows how a "Marco Five" is really 50 dollars.

JoeFubietze writes:

I think that the park should be 'renamed' to the original name "PARK WITH NO PURPOSE" because that is exactly what it is. It should really be noted that before this parcel became a 'park' it was a residential lot (that I believe couldn't get sold on the fair market for what the seller wanted). So maybe it should have that big dollar sign sculpture and maybe another sculpture with a bunch of people negotiating some 'back-room' deal? Or, maybe it should have just one really giant sculpture, like billboard size, that just says "FOR SALE". It would have multiple meanings. It would even show arriving visitors what the mindset has been for the majority of residents in the most recent years.

Seawaller writes:

With the burdens of water bills, taxes, and fees do we really need "public art"? So typical here, somebody wants something and wants others to pay for it. I want a...dog park, bicycle lane, ball park, tennis court, trees,... The final decision was good, I just don't like the "defer" and "not the right time" parts.

OldMarcoMan writes:

Boy, when the Big Dog Developers and Fat Cats on this Island don't want a fee on their Developments they have a way of not getting one.
Once again the Chamber/ Realtors pass the expense away from them and onto the Home Owners.
What confuses me is how Seawaller and his knuckle dragging friends could be manipulated into thinking that paying their tax money for art was a better deal than making the Developers do their fare share for a change.

costarica (Inactive) writes:

Thank goodness the Government has seen the light and is not making the developers pay for public art. Good job on making a common sense decision! Maybe there is hope for our Government after all?!?! Lets just hope the defer part is forever!

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