I have always been in favor of both history and art. But the supervisors of this county have made a decision for every individual who lives here. They have determined that the most important focus of this county is art. History is gone.
Although our county was one of the original counties that propelled this state to statehood, we can’t have a county museum. Why is that? Well, let’s look at some behind the scenes activities.
First of all, the museum board was asked to present a plan in front of the supervisors during the first meeting of September. We finally presented in December.
Then the museum board received the Arts Council proposal on Thursday of the week before the supervisors meeting. The art board was sworn to secrecy. The Gibson House will now become an art gallery with very few, if any artifacts remaining.
The upstairs, will now be studios for artists. The artifacts will be??? Had the Museum board been led down the “yellow brick road”? Have we interviewed and hired a director, and lobbied for a full board, written down a “going forward” plan for the next three years for nothing? The disrespect that was shown to the museum board was inexcusable
We always hear the statement, “We need to be ‘fiscally responsible’.” And I applaud that. But, has anyone penciled out the cost to the county? The proposal includes hiring a curator at $200,000. Then there is the cost of the storage of the artifacts in heat-controlled rooms. Also, what is the cost of moving the items? Who is going to pack, unpack and move items? What cost is that to the county?
The supervisors will probably respond the museum board didn’t do much to maintain the building and grounds. I’ve been on the board for six years and in that time the county has done almost nothing to the building and the grounds. David Flory had to beg them to take responsibility to maintain the grounds (even though it was a county park). He brought in the Rotary organizations to fundraise so that we could do minor repairs in the building and the grounds, including caring for the 300 year old oak tree. The herb gardens had volunteers put a drip irrigation system into the gardens. All this was free… no cost to the county.
The decision has been made… the art council will now be in charge of the Gibson House. The county has chosen.
Why have I waited so long to respond? We, the citizens of this county, need our supervisors to be mindful of all the costs before they make decisions that will affect us. We also need them to be caretakers and assume responsibility for county parks and lands and historical places. But, most of all, we need them to be respectful to individuals who give their time and effort to this county to make it a better place for all.
Yolo County Historical Society