Sunday, July 01, 2007

Bill S1114 provides more oversight of state memorials and monuments

Retyped without permission from the Arizona Capital Times Vol. 108 Issue 24 of June 15, 2007

By Paul Davenport
The Associated Press

In the wake of controversy over the state's Sept. 11 memorial, the Legislature has approved a bill to tighten the approval process for new state memorials and monuments in the Capital complex and any changes to existing ones.
The House on June 8 approved, 44-12, a bill (S1114) that the Senate OK'd May 24. It was sent to Gov. Janet Napalitano, and would effect immediately if she signs it or lets it become law without her signature.
Under the bill, new or revised inscriptions and other design elements would be subject to approval by the Legislative Governmental Mall Commission. Also, proponents of a memorial must pay for any required alterations.
The Mall Commission is early 2006 previewed a gubernatorial commission's general plans for the Sept. 11 memorial, but the inscriptions and other aspects of the memorial drew criticism after it's dedication on the fifth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Memorial Commission members have said the Mall Commission could have reviewed in detail any aspect of their work, but the review it did came before inscription decisions were made.
The Memorial commission agreed recently to make changes to some of the inscriptions and add some interpretive panels to describe the memorial's design.
Financed through private fundraising by the Memorial Commission, the circular metal-and-concrete memorial itself is in a form of limbo.
Though dedicated last Sept. 11, the state Department of Administration's director has withheld formal acceptance of the memorial as state property, initially citing drainage problems and then because of the possibility of changes.