Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Should the Arizona Historical Society be applauded?

In her May 30 Arizona Republic editorial, Governor Mofford stated:

I, for one, support and applaud Dr. Anne Woosley and each member of the Historical Society for the contributions they have made in the past and for the actions they are taking now to preserve our history for the future citizens of the great state of Arizona.

Is Rose Mofford’s applause appropriate?

In the past the AHS spent $30 million taxpayer dollars building the Marley Center Museum in Tempe. Anyone who thinks that is a contribution meriting applause should look at it, its notorious history as documented by the news media, its current state budget, and its visitor’s log. Even the AHS appears embarrassed by this underperforming museum. It is currently attempting to rebrand it as the History Museum at Papago Park.

Now the AHS is destroying one of Arizona’s top rated and top performing museums, the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum. Using political connections rather than community support, they gained control of this museum and are erasing a centerpiece of Arizona’s mining heritage.  Perhaps they just wanted the building, or perhaps they wanted to eliminate the embarrassment of being outclassed by the efficiency and dedication of the volunteers and self-supported employees at the mineral museum. The AHS has never operated a museum that efficiently, and has never produced a top rated museum in spite of very generous state funding.

Hold the applause.

Mofford: Thanks to many, memorabilia to go to Globe, Miami
Rose Mofford
Opinions (My Turn) – Arizona Republic, May. 30, 2011

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