Friday, January 21, 2011
Governor Brewer is trying to break a promise to Arizona
Governor Brewer has begun undermining her own credibility. When she presented the Arizona Centennial Museum in February (her birthday gift to Arizona), she promised that it would be built, maintained, and operated entirely with private funds.
Specifically, her February 12, 2010 press release (Governor Announces Centennial Birthday Present) stated:
The Governor also explained that no public funds will be used to build this museum. The Arizona Centennial Commission, the Arizona Centennial 2010 Foundation, the Arizona Historical Society, and representatives of the “Five Cs” are working collaboratively to collect the necessary private sector funds and renovate and maintain the museum.
However, now that the centennial museum fundraising effort has failed, there is tremendous temptation to make grabs for public money. As previously reported on the Jan 18th post, the Governors FY 2012 budget proposal includes the following:
Pursuant to an FY 2011 initiative, the Mines and Minerals Museum is to be enhanced by making it a part of the new Centennial Museum, which will open in early FY 2013. --- As part of that initiative, a portion of the funding necessary to operate the Centennial Museum was transferred to AHS from the DMMR to fund a museum curator position and pay for rent expenses.
For FY 2012, the Executive recommends transferring from DMMR the balance of $120,000 to operate the Centennial Museum.
The attempt to transfer $120,000 of public funds to the Governors centennial museum was specifically brought to the attention of a Senate budget subcommittee this morning. The senators were asked to please help Governor Brewer keep the promise she made to the people of Arizona in her February press release.
Note: The use of the word “enhanced” in the Governors proposal is curious. Preliminary design illustrations for the centennial museum, as used by the Centennial Commission and the AHS, have consistently shown total obliteration of the existing mineral museum. Such very illustrations were presented to the Fountain Hills City council just last week. Will there be another broken promise?