Hope, change, the future and Time Myth
I like the idea of erecting the Time Myth sculpture on the Open Space along Traverse City's waterfront. This sculpture would bring a change to the Open Space, and I believe that we are ready for a change. Change is good. It brings us hope for the future and the Time Myth sculpture symbolizes our future, and inspires hope. A new future full of hope will bring the kind of change we desire.
Sorry about that, I'm suffering from overexposure to Obama Quest!
Based on phone calls and e-mails to my radio program, I am in the minority for my appreciation of Time Myth, the John Piet sculpture that K-Mart Inc. wants to donate to Traverse City via the Dennos Museum. City Commissioners claim that most of the feedback they received about the art piece and/or location at the Open Space was negative. They listened, and although they didn't take a vote, they were unanimous in their comments: don't put the Time Myth at the Open Space. Keep the Open Space open.
Presumably, those commissioners who made campaign promises to "listen" were influenced by citizen comments about Time Myth. But what about the people who attended and shared their ideas at the Your Bay, Your Say public input sessions? Based on their input the Open Space was pegged as a great place for public art in the final design plan, which was adopted by the City Commission. Even though they adopted the plan, they ignored the "public's" desires for art on the Open Space. A promise to listen doesn't mean a promise to act on what is heard: Really, not any different from the last City Commission.
If there is such strong sentiment to keep the Open Space open, the City Commission should pass an ordinance stating what, if anything, is allowed on the Open Space. This would be similar to the ordinance that limits the number of special events on the Open Space. This could help avoid a repeat performance the next time somebody wants to put a statue, fountain, farmer's market, playground or something else on the Open Space.
Other suggestions contained in the Your Bay, Your Say plan adopted by the City Commission include: slowing traffic to 25 mph on Grandview Parkway through the use of traffic calming techniques, a roundabout at Front Street and the Parkway, more parking garages, including one in the Garland-Hall Street district, incentives to build affordable housing downtown, and more public art. Maybe the Commission will never pursue any of these planning elements desired by the public. If they do come up for public discussion, commissioners will have to decide who to listen to: the public that attended the public input sessions for Your Bay, Your Say, or the raised voices of the public on the other end of the telephone line.
Speaking of public input…I've been at this column-writing thing for a little over a year. I'm grateful to TCBN publisher, Luke Haase for the opportunity and to editor, Gayle Neu for the encouragement. I am especially thankful to my wife Laura for her invaluable feedback! And I thank you for reading this column which is in need of a name! "Commentary" works, but I sense there's a better idea. I'd love to hear yours. A change is needed. I have hope for the future…I'm listening! Email me at email@example.com. BN