Friday, May 6, 2011

Recycled hogwash from the Governor’s office

The April 15th blog post presented a Student Action Committee petition that Arizona students are signing and sending to the Governor’s office protesting the elimination of the top rated and self-supporting Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum. Most input to the Governor about the mineral museum is now being ignored, but the Governor did respond to the students. Unfortunately, what the students got is recycled hog wash.

Effectively the Governors response to the Student Action Committee consists entirely of second hand material from a year ago that has repeatedly been shown to be untrue in prior posts on this blog. The students have been insulted. The letter to the students follows.

Text in italics is from a Feb 24, 2010 email from the Governor’s office to Tim Coleman (England) as posted on message board

Text in bold italics was added in a March 5th response from the Governor’s office to Dick Zimmerman (blog author). He subsequently posted in on the mindat message board as an example of the nonsense coming out of the Governor’s office.

State of Arizona
Janice K. Brewer, Governor
Executive Office
April 27, 2011

Student action committee to save our Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum
425 E. Greenway Drive
Tempe, AZ 85282

Dear committee Members and Supporters:

This is letter serves as a response to the numerous notes and comments received from supporters of the Arizona Mining and Minerals Museum (MMM). On behalf of Governor Brewer, I offer the following information.

As you may know, Governor Brewer is proposing a centennial museum for various reasons.  As you know, like all state agencies, the Mining and Minerals Museum (MMM)) which is under the Department of Mines and Mineral Resources, (DMMR) cannot afford its rent in a rather large facility and still have sufficient staff to a accomplish its mission. The rent on the facility is currently $524,700 per fiscal year.  The state owns the building but rent is still paid by all agencies because the state has debt payments for sales/lease backs build to won, and other borrowing over the years and the legislature has established a means to appropriate rent for each facility and then collect the money back to pay its obligations.  The rent issue is primarily one of the reasons DMMR and the Governor’s office started looking at moving the staff and records off DMMR to less costly facilities and redirecting the mission of the MMM. That’s where the idea of the privately funded centennial museum was brought forward.

There is no single private entity funding the museum, the centennial commission is raising funds from any and all public and private sources to pay for the museum and other centennial projects.  In addition, the Governor has asked the modern day representatives of the original 5Cs to raise the money specific to their museum exhibit.  There also is planned a rotating exhibit which will highlight modern day industries important to Arizona and funds should be collected from them as well.  There will be a nonprofit foundation formed to collect all funds received and pay for the various projects. The mineral collections and all other exhibits will be owned by the state, and the centennial museum will be under the direction of the Arizona Historical Society, The museum is intended to be a permanent museum and as long as the legislature appropriates funds for that purpose it will remain permanent.

The current minerals collection swill be incorporated into the mining related exhibits and the outside equipment will be utilized as well. The museum responsibilities will be transferred to the Arizona Historical Society, which administers many museums collections. The museum will not close unless for remodeling purposes, we will close for short periods over the course of the next two years. The centennial museum will be a permanent museum that that will be highly education al, state of the art, and a big attraction for the public.  We believe visitors will have a wonderful experience visiting the centennial museum which is expected to open time for Arizona’s 100th birthday.

I trust this information further explains the plans with the current museum and the upcoming centennial museum. I also hope you will have an opportunity to visit and enjoy the new museum once it is completed and open to the public. 
Yours truly,
Lupe Lerma
Director, Constituent Services

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