By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,543)
Some people in Portland are interested in redesigning the City’s flag Caitlin Cameron, a planner with the City, told members of the Public Art Committee yesterday afternoon at its monthly meeting. “It could be a fun thing to do,” she told the Committee, although there is no promise it will happen. It could be a competition among school students. Chair Lin Lisberger confirmed that the Public Art Committee would want to be involved should the City decide to redesign the flag.
Last year Roman Mars, a radio host and flag fan in California, identified the worst designed city flags in the country, on-line at City Flag Design. Portland’s flag made that uncoveted list. Photographer Corey Templeton, a Committee member said: “I think it would be worth doing since we are such a creative city”
Reproducing a new flag for all city facilities could be an expensive project for the City to undertake. Maybe our Figurehead Mayor Ethan Strimling would withdraw his job order for a special assistant to make it happen – do you think? Or to earmark that $75,000 for another project for the city too long overlooked. That is to finance the backup security program for city hall employees that the City Manager Jon Jennings promised this blogger last summer would happen “ASAP”. Repeated inquiries as to the status of that program have gone unanswered. The list is long of needs in Portland – Trumping that of our Figurehead Mayor. (See prior post herein dated 1/12/16, post # 2,534, on the Strimling job order for a special assistant.)
On another matter, In December of 2015, the City issued two separate Requests for Qualifications involving the redesign of the Congress Square Park and a major piece of art work to be installed there under the auspices of the Public Art Committee. The most recent figures indicated that 245 had filed their RFQ with the city. Many of them are from overseas with only 10 artists from Maine filing papers. Some actual proposals for art work have already been received by the city.
Seventy-seven firms have filed their credentials with the city’s purchasing department, to redesign Congress Square Park itself with more of them from the Greater Portland area that the artists’ group. (Please refer to Post # 2,523, dated December 31, 2015 for more background on this.)
The deadline for filing these RFQs remains Thursday, January 28, 2015 by 3:00 pm at the purchasing department of city hall, Portland.