As many of you know, the City of Dayton is facing a 6 million dollar budget shortfall for 2010.  There is talk of raising taxes and further cutting bare bones services – city officials are asking residents to mow the lawns on vacant lots.  In an atmosphere of all this trimming, you might think that the city would be, well, trimming themselves – focusing on essentials.   That is not the case.  We are told that yesterday a City of Dayton representative called one of our favorite Dayton Loving Knitters after hours and told her that someone witnessed her installing knitted art on Fifth Street; since she did not get the correct permits, the City would be removing the yarn and sending her a bill for the removal. Whoa!

Daytonians, is this cool with you!? Your tax dollars at work here, and for what… most likely one neighbor (a sour apple in the Oregon District –sound familiar?) complained to a buddy at the City about the art instillation and gave him this one Knitter’s name and telephone number.  Meanwhile, the City is cutting back on police services and is unable to take care of painting over spray painted foul language, overgrown lots and vacant buildings. The non-permanent knitted art instillation in question, an art form which has been embraced by literally hundreds of communities around the world (including the London Olympics), has received positive response in our own community.   Thriving cites around the world have the sense to appreciate art installations and recognize that art is the very heartbeat of a city.  We should nurture that heartbeat not stamp it in to the ground. You better weigh in here people!  Let your City Government know that you support our public art by contacting Mayor Gary Leitzell, Commissioner Dean Lovelace, Commissioner Joey Williams, Commissioner Matt Joseph and Commissioner Nan Whaley.

Update: We have been informed that the issue has been moved from Public Works to John Gower’s Office -Planning & Community Development (937) 333-3670. They reportedly have received a number of calls today from a variety of people who have requested that the art both be removed and let alone…

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