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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Easton, On the edge of Ethics

Since the second Visioning Meeting, I have been involved with the Main Street Program. Working on the Marketing and Promotions Committee, I volunteered two hours a week for several months. The majority of our effort was focused on identifying what Easton is – essentially, in marketing speak, our Brand. This process was led by Peter Stevenson, the committee chair.

While many people were anxious to start developing logo and tagline ideas, we were told by our chair that we had to be patient, there was a specific process that had to be followed. Once the research phase was completed, nothing else was mentioned about the branding project except that it was to be a line item in the Main Street budget. We were not aware that our chair, in conjunction with the city, was going to seek a grant for his company alone to do this work, and profit.

Last fall, an email was sent out stating that the Stevenson Group had been awarded this contract. I was confused and concerned. When I began asking questions about what was happening with the project, I was repeatedly told that the logo must be for the city [gov’t], but had nothing to do with Main Street. Meanwhile, the Stevenson Group remained involved with the committee.

From day one, the Marketing and Promotions Committee believed that we would be involved in the process. That minimally we would be involved in hiring anyone who would be hired and in reviewing their work. After months of silence, some, but not all of the committee members were invited to the presentation. At this presentation two weeks ago, as was done here tonight, Peter Stevenson admitted to having used the research done by the committee. In essence, we had been volunteering for him. To not include the committee at all is an insult, and brings into question the role committees are playing in the Main St. Program. The committee I was on had no knowledge of the development of this logo.

In good faith, I volunteered my time. In order for initiatives like the Main St. Program to succeed, volunteers need to feel empowered, not disenfranchised.
I don’t understand how or why this process happened the way it did. I respectfully ask you, council, to seek the answers to these questions:
1. Why was the Main Street Marketing Committee excluded completely from this process?
2. Why didn’t this grant go through the Main St. Program, but instead through the city?
It is my understanding that the Main St. Program is to be led by volunteers, not the city, not the employees of the program, and not a select few. It only seems right, that at this point, the process be opened up. The future identity of our city should not be decided by a select few, especially when it’s important to so many.

In closing, I just wanted to share a creative idea of my own. Since a grant awarded to the city paid for something that’s probably still in the Main St. budget, why not take the same amount of money from the Main St. Program and donate it to something that would benefit the people of Easton – like the pools.

Laini Abraham

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just a few thoughts on your rant about the 'logogate'

In case no one told you, this is 2006 and you live in a small town called Easton, this is NOT old town Chicago where crime boss controled the city and local politicians palms are greased. I mean, please! Grow up.

Though I am no geat fan of Mayor Mitman, it is no secret that council has a history of opposing ANYTHING any Mayor proposes, no matter what it is. If Mayor Mitman came in to Council and said Christmas was Dec 25th, Council wold argue the point just to be partisan. The ONLY reason Council did not accept the logo was because the Mayor backed it, plain and simple.

It is those spinless members of council, fueled by emotional vamipres like you (I am miserable - so I want EVERYONE to be miserable to), that will always keep Easton in it's 1980' recession mentality. That was the Easton you knew, not the Easton new people know. Go wallow in your own hate and let us move forward to make something cool of our home.

Get a life and stop looking for conspiracies and negatives where there are none.

Though I do not know the in and outs of advertising per se', from what I have read in the papers and other blogs, your only complaint is that someone else knew how to get the job done and did it in a positive manner, did it WITHOUT using city funds (through a grant), but most of all, DID it instead of being a whiner like you who just sits around drinking in cheap bars wishing someone would just obviously recognize you deserve it without asking you to go through the grunt work.

If you spent half the energy you use moaning and complaining to try and do something constructive instead of negative, maybe you would find life a little more rewarding.

You have my sympathy and pity. If all you ever look for in life are negatives, that is al you will ever find, and that seems to sum up this groups of bloggers lives.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster above:

One year later, I just read your comment to Laini's address to City Council.

I also sat on that committee. The only thing I would like to say to you is that you obviously do not know Laini, and you have no idea what you're talking about.

It seems to me that you're the one spewing the poisonous, hurtful venom.