Letters to the Editor

Why not honor former SLO Mayor Ken Schwartz with statue?

Former San Luis Obispo Mayor Ken Schwartz
Former San Luis Obispo Mayor Ken Schwartz ldickinson@thethribunenews.com

Kudos to ARTS Obispo and whoever came up with the idea of commissioning a bronze sculpture of Teddy Roosevelt to be placed in Mitchell Park in honor of his 1903 visit to San Luis Obispo (“A bronze Theodore Roosevelt could take a seat at SLO park,” June 3). But it got me thinking. It’s great for us to respect the memory of one of our greatest presidents and most legendary historical figures. But why not honor a living legend, former Mayor Kenneth Schwartz, with a bronze of his likeness strategically located in the place he helped create: Mission Plaza?

The city is currently planning to refurbish Mission Plaza. Paula Zima, the chosen sculptor for the prospective Roosevelt bronze, was also the artist who crafted the bear and Chumash girl piece in a beloved water feature in the plaza. Why not add Ken Schwartz to the mix?

Ken recently turned 91 and has had some health challenges this past year. While he is a humble man who is reluctant to accept honors, think about how he would feel if such a sculpture could be completed while he still lives. Nobody deserves it more than Ken Schwartz, the father of our Mission Plaza.

T. Keith Gurnee, San Luis Obispo