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Salt Lake City Officials Propose $35K Budget For Mayoral Portrait

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — It is a tradition for every mayor leaving office: getting a formal portrait painted which is displayed at city hall. As Mayor Jackie Biskupski transitions out of office, city officials said they are looking to budget $35,000 for her painting.

“This is really about preserving a piece of history, preserving a little bit of that story of Salt Lake City,” said city spokesperson Matthew Rojas.

The amount is just a portion of the transition funding being proposed. Rojas said the amount is slightly higher than past mayor’s portraits due to inflation.

“For the last three mayors, there has been a proportionate increase depending on their time in office,” he said. “That just relates to inflation — things are getting a little costlier.”

Past records show Mayor Ralph Becker’s portrait cost $30,000. Mayor Rocky Anderson’s cost $20,000 and former Mayor Deedee Corradini’s painting cost $15,000. Funds Rojas said are important to spend to help memorialize the history of the city’s past leaders.

“Kids who come to this hall can look at these mayors as they learn about the people who’ve helped build the city and actually see a visual representation of them,” Rojas said. “I think that that is really important.”

Biskupski has not picked her artist for the portrait yet.

The $35,000 proposed has yet to be approved by the city council. It will be discussed at Tuesday’s city council meeting. City officials said if the cost of the portrait comes in under the proposed amount, the remainder will be returned to the city’s general fund.

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