Editor's note: The Register asked the city about the issues raised by the author. Recreation & Public Art Manager Katrina Gregory responded with a letter, which is printed on the same page as this letter.
The online version can be found here.
I read with disbelief in Sunday's Napa Valley Register that the City Council had budgeted $ 350,000 for a "public art project" which would be installed adjacent to the new roundabouts now being constructed ("What kind of public art should grace the 3 roundabouts taking form near First Street?" Sept. 29).
Recreation Manager Kristina Gregory stated that "90% of the observers will pass by the site in their motor vehicles." In summary drivers will be able to look at the $350,000 piece of art as they decide which exit to take off the roundabout. Good luck . I recall the words found in motor vehicle manuals - "keep your eyes on the road."
Apparently $350,000 is not needed for more important city projects such as street, sewer, and sidewalk repairs or other capital needs.
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A member of the volunteer public art committee indicated that "this is a really important piece for downtown Napa for the identity of Napa as a place to stop, which Napa has never really had." Really?
I think most Napa taxpayers would disagree that a $ 350,000 art project will solve this perceived problem.