The Cleveland City Council settled on a branding slogan Monday after a lengthy process that began last summer and included the selection of a community judging panel whose role was to sift through more than 1,800 entries.
The vote was not unanimous. Councilmen Dale Hughes, George Poe, Bill Estes, Vice Mayor Avery Johnson and Richard Banks voted in favor of the new name. Councilmen Charlie McKenzie and David May voted “No.”
Hughes made the motion to choose after noting the considerable amount of discussion spent on the city slogan.
“I know there are varied opinions in the community as well as on the Council,” the 5th District councilman said. “Some people have felt that neither name is acceptable to them.”
Mayor Tom Rowland, who conceived the idea in June 2011 to nickname the city, thanked the people who submitted names and the panel of judges.
“We need to follow the rules,” the mayor said. “We said the Council would pick one of the recommended finalists and you are apparently on the right track to do that today.”
The Cleveland City Council was faced with the decision to select a name at its Jan. 9 meeting, but unanimously decided to table the selection until Jan. 23.
It was placed on Monday’s agenda just as a reminder a decision still had to be made.
Rowland charged a slogan committee last summer to select a concise slogan that would brand the city and simply state what the city and surrounding community means to inhabitants and visitors. Or, the city’s new handle might even create a question that would create conversation. The two final entries submitted to the Council were “The City With Spirit” and “Hometown Feel, Global Appeal.”
Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Vice President of the Convention and Visitors Bureau Melissa Woody, who chaired the committee, said in January the judges reached a consensus that “The City With Spirit” reflected local culture and means several different things.
“We have a wonderful work spirit. We have a welcoming spirit. We have a godly spirit. There are many different things that can represent,” she said. “Those were the exact words of one submission. The second slogan (“Hometown Feel, Global Appeal”) was inspired by another entry. We feel like with our community on the radar of corporations, for visitors and different cultures and nationalities represented in our community, that was also an appropriate selection.”
Woody said 1,827 entries arrived via email, postal mail, on Post-It Notes, corners of papers and paper napkins. Some people turned in 50 entries and one person submitted 100.