Arts

City Budget Proposes “Temporary” De-Funding of Fullerton Museum Center

At the Tuesday, June 2 meeting, Fullerton City Council will be voting on adoption of next year’s budget. Included in this item is a proposed “temporary” defunding of the Fullerton Museum Center—a cut of $588,000 in a “budget balancing” measure to offset a loss in city revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the proposed de-funding is stated to be “temporary” there is no indication in the budget resolution posted online of how long that means.

The Fullerton Museum Center, housed in a historic WPA building in downtown Fullerton, is home to the Leo Fender Gallery, and has provided the City of Fullerton with decades of art exhibits, children’s art programs, as well as being the hub for the popular Fullerton Market, Art Walk, and many community events.

According to City Manager Ken Domer: “The goal is not to close it permanently.  At this time, it is not open as it not under Stage 2 of the Governor’s plan…our revenues were significantly reduced by the health crisis,  [and] my proposal is to work with the Museum Association and staff to re-work the relationship between the City and the Museum Association.  As it is now, the City subsidizes the museum operations by about $540,000 a year.  Due to our financial situation, I cannot recommend that we continue to subsidize it to that level.  I have met with members of the Museum Association to discuss a plan going forward (still in formation) and met with the three City museum staff today (June 1).  All three will be retained during what I term a transition time as we review how to position the museum to be more financially independent and sound going forward…My goal is to make sure that it is an integral part of our community and can stand on its own, or through more increased partnerships with other cultural and art entities so that we can grow the city as a cultural and arts destination.”

Meanwhile, in the proposed budget, police and fire will receive “Negotiated Salary Increases” of $420,000. Here’s a breakdown of the proposed budget:

This June 2 Council will be held live and in person again in the City Council Chambers at 6:30pm. Social distancing and face covering requirements are in effect for members of the public. The Library Conference Room will be set up for overflow. In-person public comments are allowed but e-comments and emailed comments are highly encouraged. Contact the City Clerk’s Office at cityclerksoffice@cityoffullerton.com or (714)-738-6355 with any questions.

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  1. In a budget crisis, negotiated raises should not be honored and unions should understand that. Why should anybody get raises, police and fire, while others lose jobs and resources…all part-timers were fired and all Fullerton …and surrounding community members and children lose art and cultural events during one of the most deteriorating time in history. This is a time when cultural events are needed to bring communities together. Is this city Council not watching the news? Their police officers need to spend time at the museum for cultural training and community interaction events, in fact.

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