Bloomington Council tables Public Arts Commission vote

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — There will not be a Public Arts Commission in Bloomington for now. On Monday night, the city council decided not to vote on the item, tabling the topic for a later date.

Councilmember Scott Black was the reason behind the halt. He said he likes that the city is prioritizing public art, however, he felt a seven-person commission does not accurately represent the entire community. Instead of allowing only the commission to determine when and where art can be displayed, he suggested they use public input.

Except for City Manager Tim Gleason, who said the funding is “flexible,” others questioned the funding of the commission. Councilmember Donna Boelen said as it is currently written, the ordinance did not specify where the money is coming from or how the commission would be able to use it.

“I think they (the commission) need to have a public hearing, so it is very transparent, and everyone that wants to come can come and weigh in,” said Councilmember Joni Painter. “I also think that the funding needs to be discussed more in detail because some people are quite upset during this time of COVID that we are even discussing this.”

The vote has been rescheduled for the Oct. 26 city council meeting.

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