Yes, I just said that.
This is one time where I will say you can go ahead and stop reading. The headline says it all.
The city of Ashland didn’t purchase the three statues sitting at the Port of Ashland and, aside from an estimated $1,000 for electric conduit and another $10 a month for a data card that controls the rotation of base Genesis sits on, the city hasn’t spent a dime on the statues. I felt, as the city reporter who has spent countless hours reporting on the the three bronze sculptures, I needed to clarify this fact.
When I first came to Ashland and started working for The Daily Independent, I didn’t understand why people were upset over the statues, but now I think I get it. There is misinformation out there, not because I have reported incorrectly, but because some people are uninformed about the subject.
This came to my attention over the weekend, when I went out to lunch with a few of my girlfriends. They came to visit from out of town, so I was showing them around the city. While getting my drink, I overheard a conversation from three older ladies.
“The statues are up at the riverfront,” one said.
“We need our roads fixed,” another said.
I had the inclination to speak up and educate these women because they were wrong. I don’t doubt their roads needed repairs, but it had nothing to do with the statues going up. I stayed quiet and just walked away, but walking away hasn’t sat right with me. It is still bothering me that people are being told lies, and I want to make it right.
So here are the facts.
The three structures at the riverfront were donated to the city by an anonymous donor who is a former resident of Ashland. He has paid for everything. He had the Venus, Vulcan and Genesis sculpted and shipped. He has paid for the engineering, installation and more. The city hasn’t had to foot any of the cost, and in the future they will pay for two things: the utility bill to have the sculptures lit and to maintain the upkeep of the Port of Ashland.
They will keep up the park by cutting grass and removing garbage from the area like they do with other parks like Central Park.
The city graciously accepted a gift from a former resident which could bring in people across the state. My guests commented on how nice the structures are. I think they are beautiful pieces of art that really enhance our riverfront.
Please, hear me out. I’m not just saying this because I love the city. I do love this city. I couldn’t be happier living here and calling Ashland my home, but if the city does something wrong then, by all means, call it out. I would report on it the same as I report on the positive things the city does. Tell your friends and family, but if you are going to do that, make sure you are shouting the facts not misinformation. The city didn’t use our tax dollars to purchase these statues instead of fixing our roads. They were gifted three beautiful pieces of art they are proudly displaying at our riverfront.
Reach TEMECKA EVANS at (606) 326-2651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.