Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dunedin considers public arts ordinance that requires nothing

DUNEDIN — A majority of city commissioners voted for a public art and beautification ordinance at their meeting Thursday that will not require anyone to do anything.

It still managed to evoke a lot of emotion.

Vice Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski, who ultimately voted for the measure, brought the fireworks.

The ordinance was approved on the first reading 3-2, with Mayor Bob Hackworth and Commissioner Deborah Kynes opposed.

It is the product of five years' work. The city established an arts and culture advisory committee in 2003 and the group started the ball rolling toward a city cultural plan. Then, a consultant developed the Dunedin Cultural Plan in 2005 and the commission adopted it the next year.

The plan called for more art in public places and for an art ordinance, so the arts and culture advisory committee set to work.

An earlier version of the ordinance required that both city and private building projects set aside 1 percent of the budget for arts projects. With the economic downturn, private participation went to voluntary, to be encouraged with unspecified incentives.

When a version was presented to commissioners individually before a meeting last month, they suggested more changes. The requirement for city participation was dropped, too.

Now the ordinance says the city will commit up to 1 percent of the total construction budget for projects of at least $1 million for public art. So if the ordinance passes on the second reading at the commission meeting Feb. 19, contributing nothing for public art will be fine, too.

"What's the meaning of the ordinance?" Hackworth asked city staff members at the meeting Thursday.

"It makes public art part of the conversation," Assistant City Manager Harry Gross said.

Although city officials say all but one of the arts and culture committee members agreed to the most recent changes, the three who spoke at the commission meeting opposed the ordinance in its latest form.

"This is not the ordinance that I wanted," said Gregory Brady, owner of Gregory's Salon on Main Street. "… As a committee member, I think it needs to be redone."

Two other committee members were not happy that the city would be off the hook now, too. They wanted the "up to" removed that now precedes "1 percent."

Kynes agreed and said the incentives to encourage private participation should be spelled out in the ordinance. She made a motion to that effect, which was not seconded.

Commissioners Dave Eggers and Julie Scales supported the ordinance as a good first step that shows the city values public art.

Hackworth questioned the legal sufficiency of an ordinance that doesn't require anyone to do anything. The ordinance should have some obligation that's enforceable, he said.

"An ordinance is supposed to move us to a new place," he said later.

Bujalski sharply, repeatedly and loudly questioned City Attorney John Hubbard about why an ordinance was coming to them "at the dais" when it was questionable whether it should be an ordinance at all.

Hackworth tried to stop her questioning by ruling that Hubbard had given his legal opinion and it was up to the commission to vote on whether to make it an ordinance. But she persisted and he resorted to repeatedly gaveling before she was subdued.

"We're all human, even commissioners," she said Friday. "My frustration certainly got the better of me."

Theresa Blackwell can be reached at or (727) 445-4170.

Fast facts

If you go

The proposed Dunedin Public Art and Beautification ordinance will come before the City Commission for a final hearing at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at City Hall, 542 Main St. Call (727) 298-3001.

Dunedin considers public arts ordinance that requires nothing 02/06/09 [Last modified: Friday, February 6, 2009 9:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo


    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  4. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies


    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.