Although I believe that the renovation of the miner's memorial corner of the Paonia Park is long overdue, I do have three major concerns regarding the committee's ambitious plans.
First, I feel that the town council set a bad precedent by waiving the "request for bid" requirement for the metal arch. This opens the door for blatant cronyism where any trustee can favor their "friend" regardless of cost. The town manager assured me that the proposed cost ($5,000) for the arch was very low. However, I think the town should have requested bids from other artists. Maybe other artists could have come up with a lower bid with an arch plan that would better complement the memorial statue.
Second, I strongly feel that the committee should have hired a landscape architect to form a cohesive plan for the miner's corner. With the help of a volunteer landscape architect, Poulos Park on Grand Avenue went from an ugly patchy lawn to one with tables, trees and a path. The committee does not have an overall cohesive plan and their seat-of-the-pants plan changes with every committee meeting. There is going to be a lot of concrete poured for that memorial corner. Part of that is for a 40-inch-tall wall that is deliberately designed so that people cannot sit on it and enjoy view of the park and the statue. Why not have a lower, less obstructive wall so money is not wasted on more benches?
Third, instead of fixing the granite Melvina Hall Clark Memorial Fountain (1926) so that it works, the committee wants to shove it to one side. Why bother? The location of the planned arch would nicely frame the fountain from both sides.