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Dan Hoyt
Special to Gardner News
After months of work and delays, the city of Gardner administration was finally able to unveil their new city logo called “The Power G” during Monday’s meeting.
Cheryl Harrison-Lee, city administrator, and several council members were proudly sporting polo shirts emblazoned with the logo as they discussed the importance of the re-branding effort done in collaboration with the KC Area Development Council. The hope of the city administration is that the new look will encourage business investment in the community.
“It is a new day in Gardner,” said Harrison-Lee. “We are business-friendly, and we are ready for growth.”
Several of the residents who spoke at the meeting said the logo reminded them of flags used in NASCAR. The similarities may have been intentional as the new logo was meant to convey an emphasis on transportation and technology. The new city logo will also be associated with a new slogan, “Blazing New Trails.”
Johnathan Knecht, vice president and creative director of the KC Area Development Council said the combination of the logo and the slogan should pay homage to the history of the town and convey a sense of progress at the same time. The council is a nonprofit organized to promote the Kansas City region in both Kansas and Missouri, and because the City of Gardner worked in collaboration with them the logo redesign was free.
Once the logo was unveiled the council was confronted with the decision of whether to approve it. Much of the discussion revolved around whether it was appropriate to publicly unveil the logo and approve it in the same meeting. Kristy Harrison, councilmember, approved of the design, but was concerned that this decision just like any other decision from the council should only be made after giving the public an opportunity to comment.
“I think we just get into a slippery slope when we start making decisions,” she said.
At one point, the council considered deferring the decision for two weeks after Steve Shute, councilmember, suggested it as a time for the people of Gardner to see the logo prior to its adoption. Chris Morrow, mayor, pointed to the opportunity the public has had to be involved in the process and also the delays the project has had and that delaying it even further would disrupt the implementation process. The administration had budgeted twenty thousand dollars for implementing the new logo throughout the city, and the first phase was scheduled to begin with a city website redesign in January.
After discussion and an invitation for public comment, the board voted to approve the logo and begin implementation in January.
Gardner’s logo had last been updated about 18 years ago.
Because there are so many items that carry the current city logo, not all products will be transitioned to the new logo at once, according to the agenda. The conversion process will take place over a series of three budget years. The total cost of replacing promotional/work related items was not included on the agenda.
Members of the logo committee included: Rich Melton and Lee Moore, council members; Cheryl Harrison-Lee, city administrator; Daneeka Marshall-Oquendo, city communications manager; and Steve Hale, TradeNet Publishing.