Item B.9 for 4/12/17 - The Space Whale

If you saw my post from yesterday, you saw that I am recommending to the City that we increase spending for arts, events and culture.  Today, this item popped up for the City Council this week:

"B.9 - Approval of Agreement with Space Whale LLC and temporary installment of the Burning Man “Space Whale” sculpture on City Plaza in the amount of $64,086 from the Room Tax Fund."

$64,086 in tax dollars for the setup, take-down, insurance and monthly rental fee for a single piece of art is too much.  One of my main campaign promises is better stewardship of resources.

Regarding my statement from yesterday, I still want to see more art and events to enhance the local culture, but I want to do it a better, more conservative, way in which we create jobs and bring in new business and tourism to the area.  I guess we will see what happens at tomorrow's meeting.  

UPDATE 4/12/17: This item was approved to move forward.  Room tax funds are supposed to be used to improve economic development through arts and events. Despite Councilwoman Brekhus's numerous questions regarding the contract, the end terms, the structural safety, and Councilwoman Jardon's questions about crane companies, they still moved to approved the one year rental. I still believe this was excessive spending.  

I think adding art to the city is great, but I don't agree we renting it.  The city should have started by planning ahead and set aside the funding in the budget.  Next, they should have opened the project up so all local artists could pitch their idea for the piece.  Finally, the contract could have been awarded to an artist based on the best presentation and idea.  

Finally, the city should have bought it upfront.  $64k is too high of a price to pay on renting art. Also, I love whales and support marine life and conservation, but humpback whales have nothing to do with Reno.  I get that its a Burning Man piece, but again, we should have solicited ideas from all the Burning Man artists first, then chosen art that also reflects Reno. 

Anyways, as you start to look at the candidates for Reno Mayor 2018, you can consider how I would handle some of these issues.