Our entire city is an artistic marvel. Planned streetscapes, the traditional town plan used and decreed by the Spanish King, the pioneering poured concrete building method, the creations of the young architects Carere & Hastings, and the recreation and/or restoration of our Spanish Colonial period structures are the very reason we enjoy such a volume of visitation. If we St. Augustinians do not protect, maintain and encourage the good stewardship of our historic and artistic resources then no one else will (as we have seen this year in the Stateâ€™s inability to commit funds for maintenance of the historic properties). We must stay on course with those priorities first and foremost.
I support a very cautious approach to uncontrolled outdoor events that could lead us down the path of recreating the flea market atmosphere that existed in our central plaza when I first joined the City Commission. We can move toward the New Orleans/Key West model or toward the Williamsburg model. I prefer the latter and so do our growing population of Heritage Tourists. I have no doubt that a WalMart downtown would draw a paying clientÃ¨le, but that is not our goal, our goal is to be good stewards of our downtown historic resources while encouraging economic viability.
I will personally keep collecting artwork for my own pleasure. I will purchase local artistsâ€™ creations whenever possible. (Bo Sterk, T. Clover White, Mary Joe Sinclair, Emmet Fritz, Todd Lindenmuth, E.B. Warren, Eric Holmes, Hildegard Muller Uri, to name a few!) A city of our size must partner with the much larger county for programs as we do for Parks and Recreation. I am excited about a
coming idea for development of a theater/entertainment venue in the city (grant sourced, city owned, city managed). Other projects are: outdoor sculpture installed around the parking garage, consideration of murals and decorative treatment for the inside of the parking garage, get the power poles painted in San Marco area, continue to partner with entities for outdoor concerts, etc. I still want someone to come forward to hang artwork in City Hall.