Commissioners again delay vote on arts ordinanace

"The Kitsap County Commissioners Monday again postponed a vote on a controversial arts ordinance until their next meeting, set for Aug. 20.I hate to do this, Commissioner Jan Angel said, but I am going to ask for another week.Thumbing through her notebook, Angel said she needed more time to review amendments staff members recently had incorporated into the arts ordinance proposal. The amendments were based on public comment. Angel said the edited measure introduced Monday appeared different from information on the measure she received from staff a couple of days ago.The 1 Percent for the Arts ordinance would earmark 1 percent of the total cost of capital improvement projects (CIPs) in Kitsap County to fund public works of art when appropriate. Since the measure's early summer debut, the proposal has incited both admiration and frustration among Kitsap County residents. Proponents say the plan would enliven Kitsap County projects and attract prospective employers, while opponents argue the government shouldn't subsidize arts with taxpayers' dollars.The amendments introduced Monday aimed to allow artwork to be included in normal architectural features, such as steps, railings and doors. It was intended to broaden the definition of art beyond the likes of paintings, murals and statues.County staff also submitted a revised estimate of how much the arts ordinance would cost the county - $37,000, down from the $130,000 staffers estimated earlier this summer. Staffers said the revised estimate is based on average capital improvment projects cost over the last 10 years. The estimate isn't an exact number and could vary from year to year.The lower figure reflects amendments to the ordinance that restrict funding sources, including forbidding use of impact fees to fund the arts program. Utilities and street projects also struck were from the capital improvement project list under the proposed arts program.Bremerton resident Phil Ryan asked the county commissioners to reopen the public hearing this week on the proposed arts ordinance. The commissioners closed the hearing several weeks ago.I agree that when changes are made to an ordinance, it should be reopened to public comment, Port Orchard resident Vivian Henderson said.The county commissioners said Monday they don't expect to reopen public comment.The arts ordinance also would create a nine-member volunteer board, appointed by the county commissioners, to establish criteria for selection of artwork and make recommendations to the commissioners about certain artists or artistic pieces. The board also could pursue private donations or funds for the arts program. "

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