Arts coordinator retained for another year |

Arts coordinator retained for another year

After nearly three hours of labored debate by councilmembers and passionate endorsements from community arts supporters, the South Lake Tahoe City Council agreed Tuesday to continue funding a full-time arts coordinator – at least for one more year.

“My initial concern was that this contract was too much for what we’re getting in return – and frankly, I’m still not sure it is not,” said Councilwoman Brooke Laine, referring to the debate which began in July concerning arts coordinator Phylise Walker’s consulting contract with the city. “But I don’t feel it is right to pull the rug out from under the arts community after all the work they’ve done and all the time they’ve donated. I think we owe it to the arts community to allow them to formulate a plan.”

Renewing Walker’s contract came at the conclusion of the city’s all-day preliminary budget hearings, and nearly 30 residents showed up at the council chambers to show their support for the cause.

“I feel at this point we might loose something we’ve been working long and hard to achieve,” arts commissioner Sharon Reardon told the council. “Eliminating the arts coordinator position would be a big step backwards for this town.”

The council agreed to use $32,000 out of a General Fund contingency, and approximately a $9,000 contribution from redevelopment, for a total $42,000 contract. The council demanded a full report and outline of future plans by the arts coordinator and arts commission in six months.

Councilman Hal Cole voted against renewing the contract, and Bill Crawford abstained from the motion.

n The council also approved the preliminary 1999/2000 preliminary budget.

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