Who says suburban municipal government can’t be interesting?
The first few days of June have featured quite the drama in Edmond, my hometown. First, an idea popular with the public — the proposed Uncommon Ground Sculpture Park — fell apart. Then, four former Edmond mayors sent a letter to the current mayor and City Council criticizing the “recent decisions and attitudes” of the current city manager.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a big project proposed for Edmond biting the dust. Sometimes, it requires a vote of the people to make that happen, but this time it’s the developer of the proposed park backing out of the deal.
The Edmond City Council had already approved Uncommon Ground Sculpture Park to be built on the northwest corner of 2nd Street and ColtraneRoad, but the project (for now?) has been cancelled owing to reported disagreements between city of Edmond staff and developer Hal French, hard details of which are sparse at this time.
What’s clear is that the two sides ironically — or perhaps fittingly — couldn’t find common ground on funding for the park and associated improvements. Was the “Uncommon Ground” proposal a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Jokes aside, I think the project’s implosion is a shame for the citizens of the city, as public art in a park is a fantastic amenity. Will cooler heads prevail and find common ground to breathe new life into the project at this point? I don’t know, but pressure from the former Edmond mayors could provide a glimmer of hope or at least an interesting City Council meeting on Monday.
Meanwhile, I’m still holding onto hope for a pop-punk band statue. To me, it’s Edmond’s heritage.
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