Despite misinformation by some in our community that the Gateway Markers Designs were not meant to be shared and evaluated, with the residents of Johns Creek, we've uncovered the truth through FOIA documents and can affirm what we presented was factually correct.
Below are some of the highlights of the email chain, which began on September 27th, 2019. This confirms that the residents were to begin voting the following Monday. Next, you will find some of the emails from Council Members that stopped this in its tracks. Why there is a need to spin a different story will become quite clear. (Bolding is for emphasis).
Subject: Public Art Gateway Project ‐ Online Voting Preview
Good afternoon Honorable Mayor and City Council,
The JCCVB is excited to continue our community engagement of the Public Art Gateway Project by launching the online voting of three design concepts this coming Monday, September 30th.
Urban Catalyst Lab artist, William Massey, has gathered input from Johns Creek residents from three community engagement meetings, online feedback forms and the Taste of Johns Creek community event in order to develop these three design concepts. JCCVB has partnered with Johns Creek City Staff to develop an online voting platform for residents to weigh in and give feedback on the designs.
We invite you to view a preview of the designs and voting platform here. Voting will officially go live on Monday, September 30th and remain open 7-14 days, depending on the amount of feedback received within the first week. Please feel free to preview the link and designs, but please hold-off on sharing with the public until Monday, September 30th.
Once voting has closed, the final selection will be submitted to Public Art Board for review. Following the Public Art Board application process, JCCVB and the Public Art Board will present the proposed design to City Council at an upcoming Work Session. Please let me know if you have any questions!
Shelby Marzen, TMP Executive Director Johns Creek Convention and Visitors Bureau Phone 404.370.2044 | [email protected] johnscreekcvb.com #visitjohnscreek
The designs we shared were the same designs referenced in the email above.
Ninety-one minutes or so after Mayor Bodker shared the email with the rest of the City Council, Council Member Jay Lin replied with the following email:
I just had an opportunity to review the “Gateway Markers” designs. I am very concerned about these 3 designs to be released to the public on Sep 30th.
I will be the first one to admit that I am not qualified to judge the artistic merit of these designs, and I question the residents of Johns Creek will be reacted to these designs based on their artistic merit. Rather, I believe we are looking for designs that connect to the community and its spirit. And unfortunately, I don’t see a trace of illustrations of our community in those designs.
Very much like “The District” a few years ago, when we released multiple concepts and asked residents to “Choose”, the assumption is: “ These are the options” that have been approved and endorsed by the elected officials. I don’t want to see us struggling with communications after the fact again.
I’d like to express that I believe we should have Gateway Markers, but what’s missing is a symbol of representation and connection.
Council Member Bradberry followed up with the following:
Thanks, Jay. You make very reasonable points. Whether an individual Council member is for the markers or not, these designs will likely be met with widespread derision inside and possibly outside our city. Indeed, if you are for Gateway Markers, these designs probably set that effort back a long way. I do not want to see the CVB, the Staff, the Council, or the community at large embarrassed. I also don’t want the residents to again sense that their city is out of touch with them and that they will need to mount a campaign to fight against one of these options becoming a reality. Chief, speaking as one Council member who will hopefully be joined by others like Jay, please do what you can to get this process redirected on a more constructive path. In my opinion, these designs should not be released to the public on Monday for the good of all involved.
By 4:49 P.M. on Friday, the Gateway Markers Designs and voting WERE PULLED:
Due to feedback we've received from some members of City Council and our JCCVB Board, we will be delaying the public voting of the three Gateway artwork designs. I will let you know as soon as possible an updated launch day. Thank you for being flexible!
Best, Shelby Marzen, TMP
Why the need to spin that the Gateway Marker designs were NOT MEANT to be seen by the Public? We think you know the answer to that question...
Have you been told anything that contradicts what is stated above? We encourage you to go back to the source and ask why?
Lastly, CVB has recommendations for FY2020 on the City Council work session agenda for Monday night Oct, 21. CVB recommends the City Council authorize, $55,000 for a second gateway marker project. "The CVB hopes to continue to work with artist William Massey".
Source: City of Johns Creek