Home Opinion Dear Editor Letter: Discussion of liquidating artwork is inappropriate

Letter: Discussion of liquidating artwork is inappropriate

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The coronavirus is unrelenting; it takes an economic and social toll on every community. Roswell is no different. The point of this letter is to defend the community’s long-term, social interests. The Roswell City Council Finance committee discussed liquidating artwork from our museum at the May 7 finance committee meeting. The flippant suggestion that selling valuable artwork as a bargain basement liquidation sale is ill-advised for someone tasked with governing our civic interests. I don’t believe they have the authority to do so.

If the Finance Committee indeed does not have the authority to liquidate assets in the RMAC this indicates the chairman offered suggestions with no legal basis and makes his suggestion irresponsible. Citizens should not have to fact-check the committee’s legal authority; trusting council members would not lead the public astray. Instead, offering suggestions outside their mandate strikes at the sacred relationship between citizens and our elected officials. We elected our council members to represent us and execute their responsibilities as outlined by the law, nothing more, nothing less.

Moreover if it does maintain this authority, liquidating the RMAC assets is socially detrimental. Museums serve as places of congregation; they build our community identity and develop our citizenship overall. RMAC is a landmark containing historical treasures unique and important to who we are. The pieces within symbolize our achievements, innovation, resiliency and enhance our sense of belonging. RMAC is one of the few places in Roswell readily available for its citizens to visit and immediately attain a sense of pride and historical relevance.

Liquidating pieces within RMAC is economically short-sighted. If we sell off some well-known pieces, what then? Perhaps it pays the salaries of a few essential city workers, but what happens when the public health crisis subsides?

We’d have temporarily alleviated a financial burden, but are now without precious artwork/artifacts the community holds dear. More importantly, future donors may rethink their gifts if they believe the City Council will opt to sell them in times of financial strain. Depriving the community of any of its assets for a short term gain will erode the tax base several councilman claim to be their goal of propping up. When we lose our stock in the social equity of this community, why would anyone want to come here and join our tax base?

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Sarah McArthur

Roswell

 

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