Answers Please: El Mirage Officials Remain Mum on Why They Booted Artist From Gallery

City Manager Spencer Isom isn't answering questions about why El Mirage kicked its artist-in-residence out of a city gallery last week.

Isom was polite enough to return New Times phone call last Monday, when we first wrote about artist Thomas Schultz getting an eviction notice and then being locked out of the gallery before he could actually get to his art and photographs...

But once Isom realized the questions were about Schultz and the gallery, he asked that we submit them in writing.

It didn't make sense, since we already were talking on the phone, we explained, but he would only answer if the questions were e-mailed to him.

So we e-mailed them.

And they were simple ones: Has the City of El Mirage given Thomas Schultz notice to evacuate the art gallery and studio? Why was he given the eviction notice? When was the notice given? When were the locks changed on the building? Why would the city treat someone like this?

And here's what we got back from Isom:

"I will reply on the condition your publication agrees to print my response in its uninterrupted entirety and in the body of the article/blog."

Um, it doesn't work that way, pal.

We wrote back, saying we'd be "happy to get the city's explanation out there" but couldn't possibly agree to print your response in its "entirety."

What if his answers were too long and rambly? What if they didn't actually answer the questions? What if they didn't make sense?

We're not sure why El Mirage is putting another layer of conditions on answering simple, straightforward questions -- and city officials aren't explaining that either.

Must be part of the grand "transparency" plan El Mirage's new leadership pledged when they were running for office.

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