Rybak's office defends artistic drinking fountains


During Gov. Tim Pawlenty's unallotment announcement this week, he made a little jab at Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and the city's plans for "artistic drinking fountains" during a time of budget crisis.

The comment made Rybak's office more than a little miffed, so they've come back to defend these drinking fountains with some budget facts that debunk Pawlenty's insult. They say the funding for the water fountains doesn't even come from the city's general fund and could not be cut due to a decrease in Local Government Aid from Pawlenty.

More from the Mayor's Blog, written by Rybak spokesman Jeremy Hanson:

On several occasions, Governor Pawlenty has made false statements that were critical of Minneapolis and Mayor Rybak's fiscal discipline. At a time when the State budget is again in chaos, Governor Pawlenty should not be giving financial advice, especially when that advice is based on misinformation. Minneapolis' fiscal prudence stands up against the State's any day.

In particular, Gov. Pawlenty has commented on Minneapolis' plan to build public drinking fountains that are designed by artists. I'd like to assert a little bit of truth about these public art drinking fountains.

First of all, the drinking fountains in question are funded with dedicated revenue streams that are completely separate from the City's General Fund and have nothing to do with the amount of local government aid (LGA) the City gets from the State.

Even if the City cut all funding for these drinking fountains and cut all funding for all public art, the LGA cuts the Governor has proposed would have the exact same impact on the city.

The blog post goes into a lot of depth to defend these water fountains and the funding of public art. Read the full post here.