Seating of New Arts Commission Delayed

City Council votes to expand public arts commission to seven

Written by YINTING HUANG / Published February 1, 2013

The inaugural meeting of the Temple City Public Arts Commission will be delayed as a result of the city council’s decision to expand the advisory body.

The unanimous decision was made at a special city council meeting on January 10.

According to city documents, the public arts commission was tentatively scheduled to hold its first meeting in mid-February.

However, some city council members expressed concern that the recommended pool of candidates excluded those currently serving on Temple City’s public arts advisory group.

A total of 17 residents and business owners applied for five seats on the commission. The public arts advisory group members Robert Hepler, Kathy Keelin, and Joanne Rosso also applied, but only Ms. Rosso was recommended to serve as an alternate to the commission.

“The panel felt strongly the new commission start fresh without a set agenda of activities to complete, and that the collective selection of their recommended five candidates reflect a strong coalition of residents, businesses, arts professionals and those with extensive non-profit and volunteer experience” Brian Haworth, assistant to the city manager, and Lesley Elwood, the public art consult, jointly wrote in the Jan. 10 memo.

Last October, the city council agreed to hire an outside consultant to interview prospective public art commissioners.

A contract was eventually awarded to Elwood and Associates, which made the following recommendations on December 10: Hilary Larsen, Jianxin Zhao, Angie Kim, Maryann Rachford, and David Ho.

All of the recommended candidates, excluding Zhao, are Temple City residents.

After a much debated conversation, the city council approved the recommended candidates and agreed to expand the commission to seven seats with one alternate. This arrangement would make the public arts commission the largest of all city commissions.

This agreement, however, is ultimately contingent upon the city council’s approval of an ordinance that would amend existing municipal law. This would also delay the seating of the new commission until the final two candidates, plus the alternate is selected.

Additionally, the city would pay $2300 for city attorney and consultant fees.

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