A public hearing on a proposed ordinance #2018-0086, which would give the King County Council more oversight over 4Culture, is tentatively scheduled for February 21, 9:30 AM, in a “Committee of the Whole” meeting at the King County Courthouse.
In January, King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, was joined by Councilmembers Rod Dembowski, Kathy Lambert, Reagan Dunn, Pete von Reichbauer, and Larry Gossett, in introducing an ordinance that would allow councilmembers:
- To veto the 4Culture budget, which determines funding for arts, heritage, preservation, and public arts;
- To hire and fire the 4Culture Executive Director; and
- To nominate and directly appoint the majority of 4Culture board members without consultation
The move by the Councilmembers caught the local cultural community by surprise and comes after founding 4Culture Director Jim Kelly announced late last year that he plans to retire this spring after 15 years of shaping the cultural services agency that serves King County.
Upthegrove has explained his rationale for spearheading this measure via Facebook – see his argument here.
As a public agency, 4Culture is unable to engage in an advocacy position on this issue, but has laid out the consequences this move would have here.
There is an advocacy group called Advocate4Culture that is organizing opposition to the proposed ordinance – find that website here.
And if you would like to weigh in on this issue, you can find contact information for your County Councilmember here.