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Letter to the Editor: Revisiting the mayor’s role in the flower sculpture acquisition

By   /  May 11, 2014  /  3 Comments

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The Metro Independent published a great article about the flower sculpture at the corner of Clay Street and Route 159. It should serve as a reminder of our very unusual weak Mayor form of government that Mayor Miller fails to respect. But for being Liquor Commissioner and chairing meetings he is simply one of five votes.

State law requires that our municipality post an Organizational Chart. Ours shows the City Council (3 votes) controls the City Manager. In turn, the manager controls all operations, including installation of the flower sculpture.

The video of the meeting shows the sculpture was on the agenda but when the chair (Mayor Miller) asked for a motion for approval, the other four Council members remained silent. Then, looking from side-to-side he asked for a motion for the artwork. After more silence the chair then said, “I’ll ask one more time. Is there a motion to approve item L1 for the purchase of the public artwork between the City of Collinsville and U-Studios?”

Frustrated, the mayor then announced the motion failed while then saying there was no motion.

The Metro article stated the item was on the agenda at the request of Karasek, as a “formal handover of work.” Webster indicates that could have been phrased as done in a lawful form to yield control of the work.

I believe the citizens of Collinsville have not given the Mayor the authority to hand over control to a vendor.

The Metro article also stated, “City Manager Scott Williams sent an email to the Council members last week to let them know the artwork they were pondering was installed.” It is reasonable to believe that the manager, having control of all operations, was now the messenger for Mayor Miller who was clearly acting beyond his power.

Probably, the Open Meetings Act was also violated.

Bob DesPain

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  1. Dawn Marston says:

    It seems as if the mayor is more interested in prettying up the city with a few flowers and a sculpture then really fixing the problems that plague this town. I live on the east side of main street, my home is surrounded by rental property that is barely being maintained, I have drug dealers right down the street, from the view where I am the city is going downhill fast, years of out of control landlords have taken their toll, I want to move and I fear that the state of the neighborhood will adversely affect the amount of money that I will get for my house. Many city council members and a few mayors have put us in the situation that we are in, I guess it is easier to try to dress up the problem than to really deal with it.

  2. Ryan says:

    So, if the artwork was never approved, and the installation was never approved, why did it get installed and why is it still there? Also, by the sound of the article, none of the city council members like the artwork, nor does it sound like they want it there. Is there a movement then to have it taken down? Or is there a way to hold the city accountable for the mistake?

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