The proposed gateway monument along I-30 drew a packed house at the East Regional Library on Wednesday, and Mayor Pro Tem Danny Scarth wasted no time trashing a certain alternative weekly for its advance story.
I wasn’t at the library but several people described Scarth kicking off the meeting by saying that if all anybody knew about the project was what they read in a certain alt weekly, then they didn’t know much.
Our story is factual and Scarth presented no evidence to the contrary. And if he didn’t think the story was complete, well, he had his chance to get in his two cents. Scarth is a public servant and the head of the gateway monument committee, but he didn’t respond to an interview request while the story was being written.
Anyhoo, a vote was taken at the meeting: How many people opposed having the monument placed near one-tree hill and Tandy Hills Natural Area?
Raised hands showed that the vast majority opposed that location. (Of about 80 people in attendance, the vote, according to witnesses, was 79 against, and one in favor. However, it turns out the sole vote in favor of the original location was cast by a gentleman who is hard of hearing and misunderstood the question. )
The city is now eying an area near Loop 820 for a monument. But people aren’t exactly embracing that location either. Most seem to want it farther east near the city limits and Eastchase Parkway. Some want the monument idea scratched altogether. They prefer the $265,000 landscaping grant to be used for planting things that grow rather than constructing monuments of concrete and steel.
The city has already spent about $15,000 for artist renderings of the monument. Here’s one that was done with the one-tree hill site in mind:
After the meeting, a reader sent Blotch his own proposal for a monument. He said it cost nothing to design and only took 15 minutes to create on the computer: