Councilor James Robinson: An Apology To The Art In Public Places Board

Vice Chair
Los Alamos County Council

On Tuesday night, during the regular session, Councilor Sara Scott, Councilor David Reagor, Councilor David Izraelivitz, and Councilor Denise Derkacs opted to postpone recommending the proposed art for the Leisure Lagoon, pending further discussion with staff and the Art in Public Places Board (APPB) about process and come back to Council with a summary of that process for the proposed art for the Leisure Lagoon. 

I strongly voted against this motion, and I profoundly apologize to the all-volunteer members of the APPB for Council’s action.  

Council asked you to investigate and present us with recommendations for how to spend the Arts in Public Places fund. At its heart, public art is a very tricky expenditure because people’s tastes and political affiliations vary.  We asked you to do an almost impossible job of selecting art for the County. 

After months spent gathering ideas and public input on those ideas, responding with letters to the editor, and considering comments on Facebook before presenting your recommendation to Council. 

All this hard work didn’t result in a flat “no” vote, which in the long run might have been better. No, this resulted in a motion to “postpone” the vote so the board and staff could have conversations with staff about “process”. No clear deliverable on what would make those Councilors comfortable to vote yes was requested, only a summary of the discussion. It was also not clear which County staff should be consulted. 

The vote to postpone the APPB recommendation was a slap in the face to all the hard work put into this effort. The goal post was moved at the 11th hour.

Please be aware that the hard work of all our volunteer boards and commissions is greatly appreciated by our community. 

Thank you to APPB and all boards and commissions for your time and dedication to our community. 

James Robinson, Vice Chair Los Alamos County Council