noun 1 an independent party with whom money or counters wagered are deposited. 2 a person with an interest or concern in something.
Except in Alameda where stakeholder appears to mean a fairly small, hand-selected group of people. We saw hints of this around the Civic Center Vision plan where “stakeholders” were selected to be involved in the Visioning process, but the community at large was left out. Now, apparently the City’s “identity” is not sufficiently marketable so the Interim City Manager has contracted with a consultant to the tune of $74,800 to create a new identity package for the City of Alameda.
As an aside what is notable about the amount of $74,800 is that it is under the $75,000 trigger that would require City Council approval for any contract. More about the consultant package in another post though.
Anyway, here is the email that was sent to stakeholders in the community about this process. Just a note, I did not receive a copy of the survey, but was tipped off by a reader about it last week.
In today’s economic development environment, it has never been more important for cities to create their own unique identity which marks them competitively in both business attraction and retention.
Since the 80’s – a decade marked with several minor recessions – California cities adopted a tactic from the private sector – creating a logo which brands – in one icon or image – the collective identity of that community. This identity was initially labeled a logo, but has evolved in the past decades to become not only a graphic image of a community, but also its message characterizing cities’ attributes and characteristics. Many of these city logos have evolved to include a tagline or motto which reflects its values or guiding principles.
Toward that end, the City has undertaken a project to develop a logo and tagline as one of many tools to assist in presenting the characteristics of Alameda in its economic development efforts. This logo is not a replacement of the City’s corporate seal. This seal will remain the official corporate identity of the City. Rather, it is an icon and motto of sorts which can link the tradition of the seal within a visual iconic ‘picture’ of the city today. Think of the Nike ‘swoosh’ – that certainly captures in graphic the immediate identity of Nike, but it is not its corporate seal.
Because community input has always been a foundation of life in Alameda, a brief stakeholder survey has been prepared to solicit your responses to key questions which can assist our marketing and graphic consultants in developing a Nike ‘swoosh’ for Alameda. This iconic image and perhaps tagline will be used on marketing and public educational materials to ensure a citywide consistent theme, color and identity.
Please take five minutes to answer the brief questions in the attached survey. A response by Tuesday, May 18, 2010 [Tuesday May 11] would be most appreciated. The survey has been designed to be both quick and fun!
We have contracted with QuestionPro, an independent research firm, to field your confidential survey responses. Please click on this link to complete the survey: Start Survey
Thank you for your assistance in this effort. Staff will be pleased to report back on the results – you may find them quite interesting!
Ann Marie Gallant
Interim City Manager
I actually received two different copies with two different due dates. The survey link is here if you consider yourself a stakeholder to Alameda’s identity and would like to fill out the survey. Given how limited the distribution for this survey was, I actually found this line highly ironic:
Because community input has always been a foundation of life in Alameda, a brief stakeholder survey has been prepared to solicit your responses to key questions which can assist our marketing and graphic consultants in developing a Nike ‘swoosh’ for Alameda.
“Community input” is the “foundation of life in Alameda” as long as the input is given by pre-selected individuals and/or groups.
If you aren’t interested in going through the motions but would like to know what is on the survey, you are in luck! Because I took the survey and made screen shots of the pages. Believe you me, it was not as easy as it is made to sound because when they ask for three selections, you have to make three selections or else you can’t move on. And sometimes the selections are simply out there.
For this slide I really only had two answers that I was comfortable, but it forced me to choose three. There really should have been a “no answer” selection or the ability to choose less than three.
This was one a toughie as well, I wasn’t sure if this was a question about how I envisioned Alameda in the future or if how I thought Alameda would turn out.
Okay this is the slide that caused me to send out my first WTF message to the first available person on my chat list. I didn’t know “Homogenous demographics” was something that we were (a) proud of (b) wanting to advertise as a selling point for Alameda and/or (c) actually true. I’m actually a bit offended when coupled with the “Desire to be in the Bay Area but separate from” option as well. How about “Proximity to job centers” as an option? Or “Good Schools”? Or a myriad of other reasons that don’t smack of xenophobia.
Of course, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised since the City was using the term “Negroid” as late as 2008.
This one was fairly easy. I could have added more if they would have let me.
This one was one I wanted to only check two.
I checked all the cities and selected Other and added “every other city in the Bay Area” but then I was kicked an error message saying I could only select 11.
Seriously, I just laughed and laughed when I read “Streamlined development process” and then thought, I guess they don’t consider “Proximity to Oakland” as a reason to relocate.
This particular slide was weird. It’s pointless.
Here’s where the survey takes a really weird turn. Colors? What? What color is Alameda? Do I look like I care what color my City is? How about green and black? As in green for having money and not spending it on stupid surveys and branding attempts and black for being in the black by not spending our green money on the creation of an “identity package.”
Last slide, no better than the one before.
Here’s the really annoying thing about this whole identity process for the City of Alameda. There are a lot of super talented people in the City of Alameda that would probably be up for the challenge of creating an identity for Alameda in some sort of contest. Much like was done for the Alameda flag. Was this really something that we needed to spend nearly $75K to do?