Congratulations to the Turlock City Council for passing the construction of the Carnegie Arts Center by 5-0 vote Tuesday night. After over 10 years of squabbling and turf battles between the City and the arts community, this council set-up a subcommittee including: Mayor John Lazar and Council member Amy Bublak to develop a Carnegie concept that all members of the council could accept and support. Ms. Bublak took the lead in working with the Arts Foundation to develop an agreement whereby the City would build the facility using RDA funds but not provide operating funds for the facility. The Foundation agreed to annually fund the operating costs without City funds. Council member Bublak also made sure the new facility was more than an arts center, insisting the building had the capability to serve as a youth center. The agreement allowed the more conservative members of the council — Ted Howze and Kurt Spycher — to vote for the project proving if an idea has merit everyone can support it. Kudos to Mayor Lazar, Council member Bublak, Rebecca Phillips Abbott, Patty O’ Donnell, Jean Ferrari, City staff and the other members of the arts community for their hard work getting this project done proving government can work.
— Josh Lewis