Letter: Logo debate gets Austin involved

Published 10:32 am Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sometimes change is difficult.

Especially when you have a logo that you have used for the past twenty-five years that is well liked by a majority of the residents of Austin. Growing together sounded and felt like Austin. It was developed by and for the citizens of Austin and has been well received over the years. John O’Rourke, former mayor of Austin, said we spent less than $100 on it and people seemed to like it.

One year ago a Vision 2020 committee was formed to come up with a new logo to be used for the City of Austin. It was to be modern and show a “new” Austin. They spent a year and approximately $58,000 on the venture. At our prior Council Meeting last month the proposed Logo was introduced to the Council and the public.

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That is when the phone began to ring.

A friend during the past year who was considering running for a council seat inquired as to whether I received many telephone calls during a month. I responded by telling him that if I receive a couple of calls a month it is a busy month. The last two weeks I have received on average half dozen calls a day, numerous emails, several letters and many inquiries at the grocery store, gas station, McDonald’s or the Main Street Coffee House. I even had inquiries from two newspapers including the Minneapolis paper.

This issue has struck a nerve and the majority of people expressing their concern were not happy. One gentleman on the first day of April called and said he loved the blue color on the sardine can logo but was wondering if we could change the wording on the tagline to read, “Something Fishy is happening in Austin.” I am guessing it was an April fool’s joke.

Janet Anderson and Judy Enright are the two council representatives on the committee who spent an entire year working on the project.

Their leadership skills were out front Monday evening when they announced that the logo would not be moving forward. They had heard the same responses loud and clear from the community and would put the proposed logo to bed never to rise again.

It takes excellent leadership skills demonstrated by our two council members to realize when the majority of the community doesn’t support an idea or there is no one following the leader. The community should also be congratulated and praised for voicing their views.

We sometimes forget what an engaged community we have in the citizens of Austin. They care about Austin and as one resident said, “we can do better!” Vision 2020 is assisting the community to do better and we will begin to see significant improvements to the city in the next few years. Over 300 citizens are engaged in ten projects that will provide a brighter future for our children and their children as well. Change can be good.

Roger Boughton

Austin City Council