Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back room Ranting: not simply misleading, but untrue

It has come to my attention that the local News Press Blog and at least one wannabe City Council candidate continue to rant about the lightblueline approval as a "back room" deal made by the City Council. This is absolutely untrue. As the Chair of the Historic Landmarks Commission noted when asked about this "The project went through the same process as any other public arts project."

It took several months of public city arts committee meetings (none of which the Blog attended) before the lightblueline effort was approved (unanimously and enthusiastically) at that level and thus ready to be considered by the City Council. The City Council then approved the project (6 to 1.... guess who the Blog interviewed). Then the project was ready to go before the Historic Landmarks Commission for the installations inside the historic district. The HLC also approved the lightblueline in a public meeting.

The lightblueline was and remains a project of Santa Barbara residents, not a "City-sponsored" effort. Only when the City Council approved this was the project able to coordinate with city staff to plan its execution. This is, of course, true for any public art effort.

That the News Press Blog neglects its responsibility to attend public meetings even though it wants to report on them (it did not even attend the City Council meeting when the lightblueline was approved) is disconcerting. That it neglects its professional responsibility to report facts that come to its attention is unconscionable. That it would support for city council a candidate the only platform of whom is a complaint against a News Press Blog-created fictional "back room" process is...priceless.

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