No arts coordinator for now

Cornwall Coun. Brock Frost during a December 2014 budget meeting. (Cornwall Newswatch/File)

CORNWALL – With a number of councillors citing an uncertain economic future, Cornwall will be follow the recommendation of staff and will not hire an arts and culture coordinator.

But Coun. Brock Frost, who proposed the position, was disappointed with the report.

“How far are going to push this into the future?,” he questioned fellow councillors. “Arts and culture is not just a tab in our binder,” said the rookie councillor.

Frost says councillors should be “ashamed” of not supporting “this basic initiative” to the community by creating the $75,000 position.

Coun. David Murphy said he took exception to being told he should be “ashamed. We can’t jump ahead of ourselves…now is not the time.”

Other councillors suggested the priority should be looking for money to top up the $17,000 set aside for the feasibility study on an arts and culture center.

The $17,000 is about half of what the city needs for a feasibility study, according to the acting CAO Stephen Alexander.

Coun. Bernadette Clement added that the position is not going to be $75,000 one time but an ongoing expense.

But Clement is encouraging about the future of the arts. “We are going to see something good as good as the Benson Center…if not better.”

Coun. Frost was the only council member to vote against the recommendation to not hire an arts and culture coordinator.

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