The art world is buzzing, albeit quietly, about a prospective, voluntary sale of some Detroit Institute of Arts works — including an 1886 Van Gogh still life.
In the hubbub of Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy, the prospect of selling off the DIA’s collection was a key controversy. Selling even one painting to satisfy creditors or fund operations, DIA officials said then, could destroy the DIA’s standing in the museum world.
The DIA triumphed when the so-called “grand bargain” ensured the museum would remain intact last year. Instead of selling any art, the museum pledged $100 million to help the city pay down debt.
The other is if it’s one who is in the big spending Democratic Party calling for tax hikes and bogus *transportation* funding, AG Schuette will fake having a pair in the name of rah-rah go Team R nonsense. However, if it’s AG Schuette’s teammates who call for a $2,000,000,000 constitutional amendment tax hike and bogus *transportation* funding? Nope. Not so much as a peep. I know, old story. Constitution schmonstitution. It’s all just doubleplusgood speak.
“I will not tolerate companies that seek to take advantage of Michigan citizens and get rich on the backs of hard-working entrepreneurs through trickery and deception,” Schuette said in a statement.
Money quote? “Murray [a JournoList-esque hack] replied that he could not respond by this report’s deadline. Calley’s office has yet to respond.”
allah Shazam! Don’t hold your breath, Mr. Spencer, as Lt. Lapdog appears preoccupied with a family *matter*. And, as J-man, in comments, points out another issue surrounding the Republican Party’s big spending, nanny statist, corporate Nerd, well, with regard to Ruth Johnson, any future political aspirations she may have had are toast.
MDOT is a gift that keeps on giving fodder against a 16.7% sales tax hike scheme.
The State of Michigan is paying $1.1 million a year to lease 23 passenger rail cars it can’t use — and likely won’t use for at least another two years — as the taxpayer tab for the troubled project approaches $12 million and counting.
The 1950s and ’60s-era double-decker cars are sitting in a rail yard in Owosso, where they are expected to remain for the indefinite future.
The Michigan Department of Transportation started leasing the cars in 2010 for two commuter rail passenger services proposed between Detroit and Ann Arbor, and Howell and Ann Arbor.
Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, said he doesn’t want to say much until he has more information on the contract. The deal was signed during the administration of former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, but amended four times during the administration of Snyder, a Republican — each time to increase the contract’s maximum cost.
In the letter, which Gingell read to The News, Gargaro said he wants to work on connecting the three art authorities — which are contracted with the DIA and collect tax money on behalf of the county — with compensation decisions by meeting with them three or four times a year.
“So the county art authorities have opportunity for input, so that’s a good measure,” Gingell said. “They would review the DIA audited financial statements and discuss it in an open forum with the art authorities. It’s definitely more outreach, more transparency, more practical steps to address compensation.”
Reached by The News Wednesday afternoon, Gargaro declined to discuss the specifics of the letter or what it was offering. “I haven’t had a chance to speak with the commissioners about it yet,” Gargaro said.
In other words, Eugene Gargaro hasn’t read the official script yet.
Gargaro is expected to meet with commissioners during their caucus Thursday morning, Gingell said. That will take place just before the start of the regular board meeting, at which commissioner Dave Woodward, D-Royal Oak, had planned to offer a resolution to dissolve the Oakland County Art Authority, which sends $11 million a year to the DIA.
Gingell said once all 21 members of the board read the letter and speak with Gargaro, “my personal opinion is things will move on” and the issue of dissolving the art authority will be over.
“We sincerely regret that we did not anticipate the way in which our promotion and compensation decisions in late 2011 and early 2012 would be perceived in late 2014 in light of the conditions that developed for the city and the region as the DIA millage was approved in late 2012 and as the City of Detroit entered bankruptcy in 2013,” Gargaro said.
“We are happy to welcome these prominent community members to our board,” said Eugene A. Gargaro, DIA chairman of the board. “Their dedication to the arts and array of experience and expertise will help us continue to provide great art and educational programs to the community.”
Re-elected members include Jeffrey Antaya, chief marketing officer, Plante & Moran, PLLC; Eleanor Ford, philanthropist; Thomas Sidlik, retired from Chrysler; Ronald Weiser, retired ambassador to Slovakia; and Janis Wetsman, art collector and philanthropist. Marc Schwartz, managing partner in SM/ART Editions, was re-elected to the board after a two-year hiatus.