Suppose that, on you birthday, a friend gave you the keys to a new little Chevy Aveo. However, after the party, they quietly slipped you a booklet of payment coupons. They actually bought the car on credit using your identity. And, oh yeah, they used you six month old Lincoln Town Car for the trade in.
Would you be happy?
That is about what Governor Brewer did to Arizona when she presented the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum (see the following online news release):
February 12, 2010 (602) 542-1342
Governor Announces Centennial Birthday Present
Privately-funded museum dedicated to telling Arizona’s remarkable story of growth
State of Arizona
Janice K. Brewer Office of the Governor Main Phone: 602-542-4331
Governor 1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007 Facsimile: 602-542-7601
CONTACT: Paul Senseman email@example.com, Karen Churchard (602) 364-3723 firstname.lastname@example.org
How she slipped the taxpayers the payment book is explained in the July 21, 2010 blog post entitled “Who will pay for the Arizona Centennial Museum”.
The press release says: “The Governor also explained that no public funds will be used to build this new museum”.
Unfortunately, that’s not true, unless possibly if there is total emphasis on the word “build” as opposed to maintain and operate. The latter is costing taxpayers millions of dollars per year.
And what was the trade in (your Lincoln)? Why that is the top rated and internationally recognized Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum that you already have and have had for over a century and which is a vital part of K-12 earth science education in Arizona. The Governor is putting her “gift” in the very same building. The preliminary plans for the Arizona Centennial Museum that the Governor presented on February 12 show no remaining features of the existing mineral museum.
This “gift” has such a bad odor that thousands of students signed petitions stating: “Governor, please take this gift back”.
Unfortunately, the legislature brushed aside the students’ petitions and accepted the payment book by passing House Bill 2251.
Note: The nine million dollars to be given to the sole source contractor for the interior centennial museum displays will supposedly be paid for with corporate and federal grants. However, as explained in the July 21 post, providing for the facility and administration is going to cost Arizona taxpayers much more than that.
Comment: Apparently centennial museum fund raising efforts have been completely unsuccessful thus far, so there will be great temptation to “borrow” some public funds to finish the “gift” in time for the centennial. Taxpayers need to watch their money closely.