Saturday, February 20, 2010

Here's a great switcheroo. Unions representing City of Regina workers are criticizing the City of Regina for needlessly wasting money on a consultant to develop a new symbol. The cost - $320,000 for a little bit of internet design work that would cost about 50 or 60 dollars outside of "Consultantland". Never let it be said that the right wing is right when they try and blame the unions for the waste of public monies. Government is well able to do it on its own, thank you very much. especially when it involves doling out money to corporate friends. The consulting industry is, of course, one of the greatest scams ever developed, and they are always on the lookout for a willing victim. I mean it-5o to 60 dollars. Any kid in the basement could have done as much in 20 minutes. In this case the unions stand as the guardian of the public purse.Here's the story from the Regina Leader Post.
Local unions concerned about Regina's 'Infinite Horizons' strategy:
By Joe Couture, Leader-Post February 19, 2010

REGINA — The heads of three union locals that represent City of Regina workers noted their concerns Friday about the city’s recently introduced “Infinite Horizons” branding strategy.

“I struggle with the need to brand ourselves or create an image, especially with something as obscure as a stylized ‘R’,” said Marvin Meickel, president of CUPE Local 7, which represents inside city workers.

He noted the old logo, which had a rendering of the city skyline, and the logo that came before it, which included a crown, were sufficient to represent the city.

Both Tim Anderson, president of CUPE Local 21, which represents outside city workers, and Mike Ehmann, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 588, which represents transit drivers, said Friday they, too, thought the previous logo was fine.

Meickel said he gives credit to Mayor Pat Fiacco for his efforts to make the city’s image more positive, noting that is important. But he said he doesn’t understand why city needs to keep spending money on its image when the existing image seems to be well-received.

“We seem to be riding a fairly high tide of city growth and province growth,” Meickel continued. “Were we really lacking as far as that particular brand or logo? I would say, ‘No’. Could the money have been spent in other areas? I would say, ‘Absolutely’.

“There’s all sorts of challenges that the city continues to face that would involve a financial commitment, but they’ve decided to take this particular direction.”

The cost is at the centre of the concerns of the other two union leaders, too.

Anderson said he expects the final price tag for the branding initiative will be significantly more than the $320,000 paid to the advertising firm that developed it.

“We have a number of issues facing the city,” he said. “With the provincial government reneging on their promise to share revenue, we’re looking at a mill rate increase, I would assume. I think the timing of the logo could have been postponed until we can afford it. At another time, it wouldn’t have been that bad.”

Anderson said he thinks spending on the brand now shows a lack of fiscal responsibility.

“I think it comes down to wants and needs,” he said.

Ehmann said, “The money could have been spent better elsewhere,” noting the transit department’s recent well-publicized fleet challenges. “They could have bought a bus.”

Meickel questioned whether a public-sector corporation such as the city even needs to have a style of brand like a private-sector company. The new branding appears to be of such a style, he added.

“I think some people, including myself, just don’t quite understand it,” he said. “Maybe time will give me an opportunity to be more comfortable with it.”

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