Public kept in the dark on Mission Viejo’s new slogan and logo

The following report is from the Mission Viejo Dispatch. Earlier this morning I spoke to Editor Brad Morton commending him for this coverage and advising him that I was going to post it on the Juice. It’s sad when the selected stakeholders in making this decision were hand picked to almost represent “push polling” to avoid watchdog scrutiny or feedback. Some have even questioned whether or not this was on a regular city council Agenda BEFORE the Contract was issued. Larry

Mission Viejo Dispatch

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Anatomy of Agenda Secret: Public Input Blocked On New Slogan & Logo

December 17, 2007 by

Residents are asking why public discussion was non-existent when the City Council (4-1) quickly adopted a new slogan and logo on behalf of the community. The slogan, “Making Living Your Mission,” is supposed to capture the essence of the city; the logo, a tree trunk with scrollwork replacing foliage, is supposed to symbolize and differentiate Mission Viejo. Following are the Dispatch’s findings regarding the selection process:

The proposed slogan and logo were not disclosed to residents prior to the consultant’s presentation and the council’s vote on December 3, thereby precluding public comments, verbal or written, prior to the vote.

The proposed slogan and logo were not included in the council’s advance study materials.

The slogan and logo were presented to City Staff several days before the meeting, as confirmed by the City’s Director of Public Works, Keith Rattay. The information was not included in the agenda materials available to the council or public, however, and no press release or other disclosure of the slogan and logo was made to the media or residents.

The consultant’s spokeperson, Laurie Shiada, defended the secrecy to the Dispatch because 28 people were interviewed during the consultant’s study process. The Dispatch reviewed the names of the interviewees; all were selected by Staff and were current or former officials, city staffers (most living outside Mission Viejo), business owners/operators, with one associate of a special interest. No independent residents or families, without such conflicting interests, were included. Ms. Shiada confirmed the proposed slogan and logo were never presented during the interviews.

Ms. Shiada also defended secrecy by contending the slogan and logo needed to be accompanied with an immediate verbal presentation to provide an adequate understanding – which seemed to beg the question: If the slogan and logo don’t have obvious appeal and significance without immediate explanation, are they appropriate?

Mr. Rattay defended the secrecy, expressing frustration with public “complaints” which have impeded his vision to make the city more “relevant.” He also asserted the consultant’s need to provide a verbal explanation at the time of disclosure.

During the council’s discussion of the slogan and logo, Councilman Ury warned his council colleagues against allowing public input to inhibit concepts for changing Mission Viejo.

The slogan and logo were agendized for the last meeting prior to Christmas, a tactic referred to as “agenda management” if timing is used as a tool to advance potentially significant or controversial matters while the public is distracted during the holidays.

No council member asked to continue the item to receive public feedback. Only Mayor Reavis voted in opposition to re-branding.

After the vote, each council member received a gift of his or her photo portrait in a frame bearing the just-adopted city slogan.

Posted in Council Votes, Re-Branding & Mixed Use | 1 Comment

One Response to “Anatomy of Agenda Secret: Public Input Blocked On New Slogan & Logo”

on December 17, 2007 at 11:31 am1 Joe Holtzman
This type of stealth action will continue until we have a city council that listens to and respects all of the citizens of our city. The Re-Branding morphed out of the Crown Valley widening project–which by the way is very much behind schedule.

As to Mr. Rattay’s vision of Mission Viejo it is an unacceptable action to send the California Promise to the guillotine. He is not a resident of the city and has taken other very objectionable actions in the city to achieve “his vision. Example: Removal of the signature rocks the Mission Viejo Company placed on key corners in the northern part of the city. The rocks should have never been removed.

A basic tenant of freedom is complete and unfettered access to information. It would appear that unfettered access to information is lacking from both our city council and city administrators.

Joe Holtzman
Mission Viejo -26 years

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