Sonoma’s Ting Memorial is on hold until city decides ‘donor bricks’ issue

“There are two conversations the council desires to have,” Capriola instructed the Index-Tribune, referring to the Aug. 19 council assembly. “One is the query of recognition bricks within the ting; the opposite is a broader coverage query about recognition of particular person names on public property.”

David Katz, a member of the Penglai committee, instructed the Metropolis Council at its Aug. 5 assembly that the five-year effort to see the ting come to fruition at Depot Park had been “a labor of affection.”

“We have to go ahead if we’re going to place up the ting,” stated Katz, including that “bricks have all the time been a part of this undertaking.” He stated in March of 2017, the town planning division requested for data on the donor bricks. Two years later, nevertheless, he stated he was instructed it was “a political challenge” they usually might not be allowed to have donor bricks with out particular metropolis council approval.

Each Mayor Amy Harrington and Capriola careworn on the Aug. 5 assembly that the query over the donor bricks was not a political challenge, however a coverage one.

Harrington summarized it as a query of “will we wish to dump public areas to personal people that taxpayers have paid for?”

Specifically she expressed distaste for the thought of lining the bike path with “recognition benches,” though there are such benches roughly each 30 yards alongside the trail already.

The bricks, or pavers, have been overtly a part of the committee’s fundraising for years, stated Phelan. She stated that at a celebration in 2017, the bricks had been publically offered, and then-Councilmember Gary Edwards purchased one.

Phelan submitted a letter to Harrington in April itemizing 26 donors of $1,000 or extra who anticipate a Four-inch by Eight-inch inscribed brick paver; a bigger Eight-square-inch paver has been offered to 10 donors of $2,500 or extra. That quantity – a minimum of $51,000 – would exceed the $25,000 price projected in 2014, though the value tag for the ting and its ongoing upkeep, in accordance with a undertaking replace revealed within the Index-Tribune in 2018, moved the fundraising purpose to $125,000. (Phelan stated a remaining price was not accessible till the architect knew for sure the place recognition bricks can be allowed, if in any respect.)

From the town employees’s standpoint, the Penglai committee by no means obtained approval for putting in the bricks, both inside or outdoors the ting itself. Whether or not or not the committee is allowed to put in recognition bricks on the Memorial Ting, each employees and council suppose it’s excessive time to determine metropolis coverage on such donor recognition on public property.

“Whereas it’s been finished earlier than it’s perhaps not the perfect coverage, and I feel we must always ask that query,” stated Councilmember Logan Harvey on the Aug. 5 assembly.

The Sonoma-Penglai Committee is notably annoyed over this late roadblock to its already-long-delayed recognition of Chinese language contribution to the native economic system and Sonoma’s historical past.

Mentioned Phelan, “Making use of a non-existent coverage retroactively is not only an obstacle to our undertaking, it’s unjust.”

The Metropolis Council will meet to debate this and different points on Monday, Aug. 19, at 6 p.m. in Metropolis Council Chambers, 177 First St. W., Sonoma.

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