$21,376 on Art

I was reading over a press release from Executive Councilor Debora Pignatelli when I came upon a line that jumped out at me.

The release was a list of items approved by John Lynch and the Council on the January 14th meeting.

Authorized Bureau of Public Works Design and Construction to enter into a contract with TLT Construction Corp., Wakefield, MA, for the construction of the new Merrimack Courthouse for an amount not to exceed $4,275,200. (2) Further Authorized a contingency in the amount of $313,760 for unanticipated expenses for the Merrimack Courthouse, bringing the total to $4,588,960. (3) Further Authorized a transfer of $21,376 to the State Art Fund, Department of Cultural Resources to purchase art for the Merrimack Courthouse. Effective upon G&C approval through January 8, 2010. 100% Capital (General) Funds. Some of you may have read newspaper reports about this item being tabled by us Councilors. There are some questions about this company and alleged problems they are having in Massachusetts. We think that a couple of weeks to investigate these allegations is warranted.

You can read her release in full here.

$21,376 for art for a single building?  Really?

I've been in plenty of businesses in NH that had paintings and photographs hanging in which the artists allowed the businesses to hang them so they could advertise the artists business or in an attempt to sell them.  Why when our state faces a deficit of hundreds of millions of dollars are we tossing this kind of money for decorations?

This is how our state budget got the way it is.  This may be small change when you look at the bottom line of $10 Billion but that bottom line is made up of a lot of individual lines made up of much smaller numbers.  This is one of them.  Maybe it's time we get an executive council and governor with some business sense willing to look at artist who may be willing to loan or even donate their work in an attempt to drum up business for themselves rather then forcing tax payers to cough up more and more of their hard earned dollars to pay for something they may not even support or appreciate.

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. – Thomas Jefferson