On June 4, 2007 the city council had a controversial item before them. (Video: FF:Â 9:00 – Public Input, Actual item #54 FF: 2:50Â ) Whether or not to place a plaque on to the entry of Phillips to the Falls. It was controversial for a few reasons. First off, as the story goes, the plaque was purchased by several private developers and friends of Dave Munson, they wanted to honor him for getting Phillips to the Falls finished (it only took another 7 years to get something actually built on it, an ugly faceless apartment building with virtually no front footage). The plaque actually hung out in Dave’s office for awhile, then after pressure from his friends, he had it placed without any fanfare. That didn’t sit well with the media, myself, and some councilors and they asked for a review by the Visual Arts Commission. They were to determine whether it was considered ‘art’ because if it was, they would first have to approve the placement. Ultimately, the battle came down to quite a few different scenarios. First off, Dave didn’t get permission from anyone to put up the plaque, he just had it done by theÂ parks department. Others were concerned that not others were honored. Councilor Brown pointed out that many city officials were involved in getting the project done. And who can forget Dave breaking city ordinance by not getting council approval for the 100% cost overrun.
To tell you the truth, I look back on it now, and am glad his face is the only one to the entrance, he concocted this stupid street that is finally seeing development, to the cost of taxpayers in TIF handouts. I started thinking about this incident because of the recent Ethics commission approval of Huether putting his name on the tennis facility, a facility that has received $500K in public funds. Instead ofÂ going through a process with a naming rights committee and the city council, the very board that was appointed by Huether said “It’s okay, go for it.”
Wow, a lot of things have changed in 7 years, and a lot remains the same.