Santa Fe Style
The area around Fountainhead Rock on the corner of Water and Don Gaspar was purposefully blighted by the City of Santa Fe. Local government not only allowed hard drug dealers to openly sell and publicly use drugs, but I think the City actually encouraged and promoted this neighborhood destroying behavior in that location by turning a blind eye to the violence, aggressive panhandling, verbal assaults on women and tourists and having a childish permissive attitude toward phony buskers, dogs, and anyone with a backpack.
Located on the perimeter of the Water Street Parking lot, The “Rock” as it is known on the street is the small area around the fountain which is graced with 5 ashtrays and garbage cans. It was a $50,000 public art project. A 2300 lb. stone that is the most RADIOACTIVE rock in Santa Fe caps the actual fountain. The rock was obtained from a volcanic site in Arizona and fittingly now rest right across the street from the Atomic Grill. Last year while volunteering to clean up the fountain I found and photographed a used needle in that public fountain that never seems to have water in it ... only garbage.
In 2010 under the guise of repairing Fountainhead Rock, the City allowed the misuse of public funds to construct a “Stonemasons’ Monument” hundreds of feet away from the fountain. Without drawings or a survey, neither without permits nor with a Historic Design Review or even Art Commission approval, the City Administration allowed someone to put up a “monument” on downtown City property.
This in-your-face monument is a large marble cube placed on a constructed stone pedestal right next to Keshi on Don Gaspar. Again, ignoring their own rule the City let someone build a 10 foot high structure without set-backs; let them illegally remove a city wall; build non-conforming unpermitted dangerous stairs without handicap access on City property and the entire fraud paid for with tax dollars.
I use to say, “Don’t ask government anything unless you want to hear the word NO.” Now, I say, “Don’t ask government anything unless you want to hear complete silence.” My attempts to get information about the rockwork were (excuse the pun) stonewalled. My attempts to get the City to do something about the problems around the “Rock” were … well, like as if I were a terrorist.
The neighborhood wants the City to rename the area “Cerletti Park” after the late Mike Cerletti. The idea was to supplant the negative energy with positive energy or at least apply ‘park’ rules to this neglected City property. The City says it won’t even do that. They just say, ”We don’t have to.”