Monday, politicians are scheduled to advance the city’s new horse head logo and vacuous slogan, “Above all expectations,” and will move toward scuppering the city’s historic sternwheeler moniker.
Politicians might be wise to give this initiative a pause.
People are starting to figure out the ramifications of this switch – now they realize they will lose the old sternwheeler and, worse, will have to pay through the nose to make that happen.
They are starting to rebel.
In six days, Vanessa Brault circulated a petition and collected 845 signatures in support of the old boat. The city spent weeks consulting on its three new logos and only got 681 responses.
Moral: Put the historic paddlewheeler next to the stylized horse head and, well, the boat floats.
But citing process, Mayor Bev Buckway seems determined to bet on the nag.
“I know that no matter what council does, some people will disagree,” she said. “The community took part, it was community driven.
“At what point do we quit redoing it?”
How about now?
See, there are a couple of problems with Buckway’s assessment.
The logo project wasn’t really community driven. The city concocted a project to leverage a $50,000 grant from the Yukon government, chipped in a cool $10,000 of its own and hired an Outside consultant to talk to citizens about changing the city’s brand.
The result was three choices, none of which included the old paddlewheeler.
The scope and cost of this project were not properly laid out for citizens.
And now the reality of this ridiculous project is starting to set in.
As the city’s sole brand, the horse will have to replace the boat, so city workers will have to comb the land rooting out the old image, which, it should be noted, is found on city buildings, buses, websites, business cards, posters, envelopes, letterhead, vehicles and more than 2,000 signs erected on streets and trails throughout the region.
The city estimates it can do all this for $20,000 over two years.
Given a hamburger and fries in town costs about $12.95, do you believe the task can be accomplished for $20 a sign?
Now, remember the city just announced it was raising taxes by four per cent this year, and a similar amount in 2012 and 2013. And it put the kibosh on a business proposal to delay the budget process to review the document in order to find ways to save money.
The process is over, said a majority of city politicians, summarily passing the budget.
Then, just a couple of weeks later, this goofiness surfaces.
That, coupled with all the problems facing the city – the housing shortage being chief among them – people are openly questioning council’s priorities.
The first vote on the logo is scheduled for Monday.
Councillors Ranj Pillai and Doug Graham are openly questioning the whole process and called for the other politicians to slow down and review the idea.
Graham went as far as to say the city “screwed up.”
Like many, Coun. Dave Stockdale still seems befuddled about the scope of the project -“I was under the impression that we were branding things that left the city,” he said. “I thought we’d be leaving these signs.”
Buckway seems obstinate.
Of course, as skipper she can put process ahead of people. Buckway can push hard, get the horse head approved and, possibly, snuff out the growing mutiny among citizens.
But she does so at her peril.
She should remember the captain always goes down with the ship.