The City of Oakley has opened up voting on their “pin contest” where 22-pins can be voted on as the city wants to better brand Oakley to the public in order to create an identity. The pin was to include Oakley’s leaf while also incorporating “wine and water”. The contest results will help inform the city council on a decision in the near future with the winner apparently receiving up to $300. Ultimately, this contest leaves a lot to be desired.
While this idea is a noble one, its a complete waste of time at this point in time for Oakley’s history as the focus was supposed to be for the “Agricultural Conservation and Viticulture Program”–the Council (Carol Rios) took it another direction where we have this contest.
For starters, “water” is not the appropriate word, I’d much prefer they use the word “Delta” which is a better word and is already branded by many cities along the Delta–we could take advantage of that if done properly and join the mix. But keep in mind, our water access is very limited which I can think of no better example than the fishing contest Oakley hosts which are actually launched out of Bethel Island. Next we have wine which again is a good idea, but we need a few wineries prior to committing to becoming a city known for wine. Do we really want to compete with Napa, Brentwood, Livermore, etc? Yes, we have vineyards and grow, but without a major winery on the map, it’s going to be difficult to compete. Oakley is ahead of itself on this plan because its hard to brand the city using things it doesn’t have.
Rather than focusing on being a City known for “water” and “wine”, the City should focus on other things such as securing the power plant, finishing Main Street and further improving its outreach to residents and business. That would be a better use of staff time. It probably would have made more sense spending the $300 (which is a low and inaccurate estimate of staff time) developing/revising a citywide marketing plan to draw business to the area instead of a pin. In fact, $300 in printing cost would be more beneficial in marketing material than a pin contest.
So while there are 22 designs to chose from for a pin, nothing jumps out that is worthy of being produced for city usage as shown below.
While it is unclear of how long voting will last or if people can vote multiple times, you can vote online for your favorite pin: Click here
By Michael Burkholder