12 min

Should taxpayer money be used to fund murals over potholes?

(My Apr 23, 2014 comment at ToledoTalk.com)

"Stop stealing from the Capital Improvements Fund to pay for folly. Fix the infrastructure, hire the necessary cops and firefighters."

But Toledo city government transfers money from the "capital-improvements budget to balance general-fund operations like police and fire."

Apparently, funding police and fire means less money for roads.

By the way, it's not "stealing" from the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP). It's called "reallocation," which is permitted because Toledo voters approved Issue 5 in May 2010.

Passage of Issue 5 allowed Toledo government to take money from the CIP and use it for the general fund.

Prior to the May 2010 election:

Sarantou urges vote in favor of Issue 5

Toledo Councilman George Sarantou urged voters yesterday to vote in favor of Issue 5, which will allow the city to reallocate its 0.75 percent income tax.

The current allocation is split equally among the general fund, police and fire operations, and to the capital improvements budget.

"Passage of Issue 5 will allow the city of Toledo to use the dollars from capital improvement to be used to support Toledo general fund," Mr. Sarantou said outside the city's Hoffman Road landfill. "Approximately $7 million could be reallocated to the general fund, largely to support public safety operations."

Mayor Bell urges Toledoans to support Issue 5

Mayor Michael P. Bell and various members of Toledo City Council today joined together to urge Toledo voters to support Issue 5 on the May 4 ballot.

Issue 5 is not a tax. The ballot initiative will permit the Mayor and Council to redirect existing funds mandated for the capital improvements fund into the general fund while maintaining a capital program.

Approximately 32,000 votes were cast on May 4, 2010, regarding Issue 5. Fewer than 18,000 Toledoans gave city government permission to reallocate from the CIP.

Back in the spring of 2010, Sarantou said about raiding reallocating the CIP:

"Approximately $7 million could be reallocated to the general fund, largely to support public safety operations."

Mar 31, 2014 - Toledo Blade - Toledo City Council passes budget with 11-1 vote in special meeting

For several years, the city has taken millions each year out of the capital-improvements budget to keep the general fund in the black. This year, the Collins administration proposed using $14.1 million from that [CIP] fund — which pays for street repairs and other capital improvements.


"Is this in the City Charter?"

  1. http://toledo.oh.gov
  2. search results for 'city charter'
  3. click link for CITY OF TOLEDO CHARTER
  4. expand "CHAPTER 167 Arts Commission"
  5. click "Art in Public Places Program."
  6. scroll down and you'll see: One percent for arts; sources and uses of funds; method of calculation.

Here's the related section from the city charter:

167.06. Art in Public Places Program.

(a) Purpose.

The City hereby declares its commitment to assume a leadership position in establishing a favorable and supportive climate for cultural arts in the community. Through its Art in Public Places Program, the City seeks to create a stimulating and humanizing public environment by the inclusion and integration of high quality artworks in its public buildings and public spaces. The City further seeks to encourage public education to enhance the community's understanding and enjoyment of the artworks and the artistic process from which they derive. This policy therefore is established to direct the inclusion of works of art and/or design services of artists in public places in the City.

(b) Definitions.

(1) "Art in Public Places Committee" means a standing committee appointed by the Arts Commission as provided for in procedures outlined in the Public Art Master Plan to oversee quality control of the Art in Public Places Program and its projects, and to recommend the prioritized projects, specific fund allocations and design approaches itemized in the Municipal Art Plan. One member of the Art in Public Places Committee shall be appointed by the City Plan Commission.

(2) "Art in Public Places Program" means the program coordinated by the Arts Commission which places visual art on City owned properties and facilities.

(3) "Arts Commission" means the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo.

(4) "Artwork" means any creative work created by artists, such as, but not limited to sculpture, murals and paintings. "Artwork" does not include creative work designed solely by architects or landscape architects or engineers. However, "artwork" may include creative work designed in collaboration with architects, landscape architects and engineers when initiated by the Art in Public Places Program. "Artwork" may be freestanding, may be integral to the architecture or landscape, or may be incorporated into the construction project.

(5) "CIP Budget" or "Capital Improvements Program Budget" means the plan for capital improvements for the City approved annually by Council.

(6) "Design Review Boards" means committees of community residents, City representatives and arts professionals who shall select artworks for specific sites that have been itemized in the Municipal Art Plan. Procedures for appointments to these Boards and Board responsibilities shall be established and described in the Public Art Master Plan.

(7) "Eligible Capital Construction Project" means any capital improvement project:

A. That is funded wholly or in part by other than City income tax revenues,

B. To constructor remodel a building, facility or park, or any portion thereof, which, as a significant feature of its end use includes access to or use by members of the general public, but only if,

C. The entity allocating funds for the project, or the law governing the use of such funds, permits the use of those funds for the purpose of acquiring artwork as a feature of the project.

(8) "Municipal Art Plan" means a prioritized list of art projects, developed annually by the Art in Public Places Committee, with budgets and recommended design approaches, approved by the Arts Commission and subsequently by the City Plan Commission.

(9) "City Plan Commission" means the Toledo City Plan Commission as established by Sections 189, 190, 191 and 192 of the Toledo City Charter.

(10) "Public Art Collection" means all artworks which are acquired by the City through the Art in Public Places Program or otherwise.

(11) "Public Art Master Plan" means a document which shall be prepared by the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo upon recommendation of the Art in Public Places Committee and subject to the approval of the Plan Commission. The Arts Commission shall annually review the Public Art Master Plan and revise and update the document as necessary, subject to approval by the Plan Commission. The Public Art Master Plan shall include internal standard operating procedures for the administration of the Art in Public Places Program and a comprehensive site inventory of existing and potential artwork locations.

( c ) One percent for arts; sources and uses of funds; method of calculation.

(1) The annual Capital Improvements Program Budget submitted to Council for approval shall include a line item in an amount equal to one percent (1%) of the total income tax-funded CIP budget, excluding from such total the amount dedicated to pay debt service to be used for design services of artists and for the selection, acquisition, commissioning, creation and installation of artwork, and for restoration of existing artwork in the Public Art Collection as needed, and for administration of the projects itemized in the Municipal Art Plan. The use of funds derived from this source shall not be restricted to any project-specific location and may be pooled, aggregated, allocated and used for artwork at any location with a high degree of public use or accessibility. These funds shall be transferred to and maintained in an appropriate account or accounts within the Department of Natural Resources.

(2) Appropriations for Eligible Capital Construction Projects shall allocate one percent (1%) of the total appropriation for design services of artists and for the selection, acquisition, commissioning, creation and installation of artworks, and for administration of the acquisition of artworks for those projects. If required by the entity allocating such funds or the law governing the use of such funds, placement of the artwork shall be restricted to the sites of the subject construction or remodeling projects. These artwork funds shall be maintained within the account codes of the City department responsible for the construction or remodeling project.

(3) In applications to outside granting authorities for Eligible Capital Construction Projects, the responsible officials within City departments shall include a request for funds for artists' services and/or artworks as specified herein.

(d) Allocation of funds.

(1) After passage of the annual CIP budget by Council, the Arts Commission shall review and approve a Municipal Art Plan, which designates specific project sites, funding allocations and recommended design approaches for all artwork projects to proceed during the year, as well as amounts to be allocated for restoration of specific existing works and administration of projects. The Arts Commission shall submit the Municipal Art Plan to the City Plan Commission for approval.

(2) Following the approval of the Municipal Art Plan by the City Plan Commission, the Arts Commission shall prepare and submit to Council a proposed annual ordinance, and such other ordinances as are necessary from time to time, authorizing and directing the appropriation and expenditure of the one percent (1%) moneys described in subsection ©(1) hereof in accordance with the approved Municipal Art Plan.

(3) Artwork projects approved in the Municipal Art Plan pursuant to subsection ©(2) hereof shall be included in the authorizing legislation initiated by the affected City department to appropriate and transfer funds for approved CIP projects into departmental accounts and to let contracts and agreements. The Arts Commission shall oversee and manage these artwork projects. Artwork funds shall be maintained within the account codes of the City department responsible for the construction or remodeling project, or within other appropriate City account codes that may be designated and established from time to time.

(e) Responsibilities.

(1) Arts Commission representatives shall meet with the Mayor or his designee on an annual basis to ascertain the capital construction and remodeling projects planned for the current year and the project budgets therefor and the status of any capital projects planned for the next four years.

(2) The Mayor or his designee shall inform the Arts Commission of proposed and planned Eligible Capital Construction Projects at the earliest possible point, in order to allow for adequate review of the projects' potential for incorporation and planning of appropriate artwork. Integration of the artists' design concepts and/or the artwork into the project architecture should be ensured, insofar as feasible, by concurrent selection of the artist(s) and the architect or designer.

(3) The Arts Commission shall be responsible for the administration of the Art in Public Places Program, including development of the Public Art Master Plan, approving an annual Municipal Art Plan, negotiating contracts with artists, managing those contracts through completion and installation of the artworks, appointing the Art in Public Places Committee, establishing program policies and guidelines, approving selection of artwork, coordination of artwork creation and installation, coordination of public information and dedication related to projects, coordination and oversight of the Art in Public Places Committee and all Design Review Boards, validating payment requests that are submitted to the City, coordinating artist selection procedures, producing published information related to competitions associated with those projects, maintaining appropriate records and correspondence related to all projects, committees and Design Review Boards, responsibility for curatorial services related to the Public Art Collection, and shall have the responsibilities concerning deaccessioning and deposition of surplus artwork that are set forth in Chapter 187 and other administrative responsibilities associated with and necessary to the aforementioned duties.

(4) The Arts Commission, upon recommendation of the Art in Public Places Committee, shall be responsible for approval of all proposals for restoration of artwork in the Public Art Collection. Subject to appropriate funding, from time to time the Arts Commission shall arrange for a survey by an arts professional to determine the condition of the Public Art Collection. The survey shall include a condition report on each artwork and recommendations for the restoration of each artwork. Professional restoration methods shall be required to maintain the integrity of the artwork. Such methods shall comply with any contractual obligations which may have been entered into in the acquisition of those artworks. To the extent practicable, prior to any major restoration, the artist shall be contacted, and, if appropriate, asked to perform such restoration.

(5) The Arts Commission shall be responsible for public education programs and activities associated with the Art in Public Places Program in order to increase public appreciation of the Public Art Collection. These activities may include, but are not limited to, programs initiated by the Arts Commission, programs cosponsored with other community agencies and groups, and activities which support existing programs in the schools and in the community.

(6) The Arts Commission, as an advisory body to the City Plan Commission, and upon the recommendation of the Art in Public Places Committee, shall review and recommend for acceptance or rejection, according to criteria described in the Public Art Master Plan, any artwork proposed to be donated to the City. The Arts Commission shall establish such policies and guidelines as may be appropriate to facilitate and encourage the donation of high quality artwork to the City.

(Ord. 612-92. Passed 9-1-92.)

#toledo - #politics - #art - #activism

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