Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Possibly too much fun?

Today, I went in to work for three--I just don't know how to make this any clearer to you: THREE--meetings. For the love of everything holy.

But before that, I woke up and felt sick. Sick from driving across I-80 forth and back, one day after another? Sick from looking at too much beauty in the mountains? Sick from holding a baby and playing with children and laughing with my kids? Sick from watching an owl over a meadow?

In my tiny kingdom of what is fair and what is right, being sick in the summer is not fair or right. I will also add that going to meetings is a gross abuse of governmental power, or something. But then I'm the dummy who said yes.

SIGH.

The good news is, when I came home from my meetings, the sick said to me TAKE A NAP RIGHT NOW. And so I did. This nap was epic and dramatic, because there was a great rain shower, preceded by a consternation of wind, and I woke up just enough to register that it was happening. And then went back to sleep.

Now, the sick is telling me I HAVE A HEADACHE and GO THE HELL TO BED. Which I will, once I report to you that

(a) there are some amazing murals, including portraits of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, in my neighborhood, on the outside walls of Taqueria Azteca de Oro, which
(b) some people, apparently, have complained about to
(c) the city, which has told the restaurant that it needs to take the murals down, or face a $100 a day fine. (You can read more about it here.) However:
(d) at the City Council tonight, when the restaurant owner and the artist spoke, the Council agreed to
(e) hold off on the fines for a month while they work on a better resolution. Meanwhile,
(f) I wrote to my city councilman:
Dear City Councilman [Name]:
I recently heard that the city of West Jordan has received complaints about murals on a local restaurant, Taqueria Azteca de Oro, and that there was an order to the restaurant owner to take them down.
I live just around the corner from this restaurant. These murals are beautiful works of art, and honor American heroes that we should all be proud of. Moreover, they are a meaningful recognition of one of the growing demographics of our community, the many people who live, work, and contribute to our city, our state and our country. 
West Jordan should rethink its approach here. I understand that at the City Council meeting tonight, there was an agreement to slow down and explore possible compromises. This is a step in the right direction. 
I wanted you to hear from me, one of your constituents in your district: I love these murals. They are a great improvement over the derelict and grubby appearance of the business in the past, and made me feel hopeful that the business would thrive. Please do everything you can to make sure that we treat these murals as works of public art, honoring our collective cultural heritage.  
Thanks very much,
htms

He wrote back to me licketysplit:
Dear htms: 
I completely agree with everything you said. I grew up here and have seen the efforts the owner has made to improve the property. I think it's crazy that we have made it this far without code that allows for murals (since they aren't specifically called out the are misclassified in such a way they fall under the sign ordinance that doesn't allow for more than 15% coverage on a wall. The code needs to be revised. 
Staff has given him a 30 day extension right out of the gate and I've already started to work with Council to find ways to retain the mural. I spoke with Miguel (owner) earlier tonight and will keep working with him and staff to find a good resolution. We already have two solid approaches that have been given to Legal to research. I'm hoping for a speedy resolution (speedy by government standards).  
Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts. 
Regards,
Your City Councilman.
The people! This makes me hopeful! I will be walking to the restaurant tomorrow for a vigil, and hoping for a solution that preserves this remarkable work of art.






3 comments:

Nik said...

Ahhh. What a great letter to and what a great letter from and that is how a democracy should be run and bravo, would-be mural-saver. I hope they save the mural forever or as long as the paint can last.

Stephanie said...

Beautiful letters all around. Tacos and murals for everyone!

Ann said...

Way to go, you. And feel better, okay?

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