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Cerritos Council Approves Purchase of New Sculpture for $275K

By Jerry Bernstein

In a 3-2 vote the Cerritos City Council approved the purchase of a $275,000 lighted sculpture by landscape architect Cliff Garten that will be placed in the city’s Sculpture Garden at its July 9 meeting.
The sculpture consists of three stainless steel rods that will be illuminated with LEDs and programmed to change color. They will be located on a mound across from the garden’s entrance from the civic center.
City Councilmembers Carol Chen and Joseph Cho voted no with Councilmembers Mark Pulido, Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Barrows and Mayor Jim Edwards voting yes.
Chen said she felt very strongly that with the economic downturn, this was not the time to be spending that kind of money “The timing is wrong. I don’t think this is the time to be spending $275,000 for an art piece, even though the money is in a special trust fund that was established for that specific purpose,” she said.
Assistant City Manager Kathleen Jung Matsumoto explained the trust fund receives its funding from one percent of building permits valuation on new projects and major renovation valued at $250,000 or more. The money can only be used to purchase permanent or lease temporary sculptures. She said in this year’s budget the city carried over $50,000 from the previous budget for maintenance and cleaning of the existing sculptures. In addition the council stipulated that 10 percent of new contributions to the Trust Fund would be set aside for maintenance of the sculptures.
Councilman Joseph Cho voted against the expenditure because he felt this particular art piece should be located outside the garden where it would act like a beacon for residents to the sculpture garden.
In other business the council awarded a bid in the amount of $29,693.70 for the printing of programs for the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts to Diversified Printers in La Mirada.
The council also approved an increase of $1 across the board in fees for the Ironwood Nine Golf Course. Recreation Services Superintendent Sherre Titus said a survey of area golf courses showed that Ironwood Nine fees were lower than other golf courses in the area. She said eight golf courses were used in comparison surveys.
The Council approved a contract with Waukesha Pearce Industries for repairs, replacement and rehabilitation of the natural gas engines at four city water facilities. Vince Brar, Senior Assistant City Manager said the four existing engines were initially installed by Waukesha in 1970. Brar said the company warrants all parts and services and performs the service work. He said Valley Power System, Inc. had been the licensed Waukesha representative for California. The work to be provided includes repair, replacement and rehabilitation of the Waukesha engines. He said Waukesha is the only service provider in California authorized to do such work.