Taxpayers facing another property tax increase can hope the new leader of the local economic development outfit will caution city council against this investment handicap. Stephen MacKenzie should know higher taxes will limit his ability to attract new factories and their high paying jobs.
If, for some unknown reason, MacKenzie does not show up as a delegate during budget deliberations, no doubt Hilary Payne will be watching. The Ward 9 councilor helped bring down MacKenzie’s predecessor, Sandra Pupatello.
Payne, a finely-tuned and observant former civil servant, had apparently noticed a severe lack of new factories replete with needed employment during Pupatello’s reign. Apparently, she was averse to fair and due criticism, and so departed.
If he does turn up, MacKenzie should also alert Council to the need for a distinctive brand identity. An Association of Municipalities of Ontario paper presented to the Township of McNab/Braeside councilors, on November 17, 2015, shows how far Windsor has diverted itself from identity competency.
“The challenge,” of a city brand, reads the paper, “is engaging the community, stakeholders and crafting a clear positioning message that will resonate with external audiences yet capture the municipality’s diverse and unique attributes.”
All Windsor has is a less than inspiring logo.
Its use of two Ws is arcane, if not tyronic. The result is a missed opportunity to create the impression of a city on the move; one able to sweat the details.
Municipal identities, says the AMO, can be a, “spark for community leaders, businesses and citizens to be welcomed in the ‘right circles,’ gaining membership in the ‘right’ committees, attracting awards and grants, winning bids, hosting events, and attracting conferences and meetings.”
Windsor’s approach of trying to buy its way to fame with expensive sports tourism is half-baked without a proper and professional identity.
Presenting itself well, as AMO suggests, can make, “it easier for a municipality to be selected in any competitive setting because a community-built brand clearly portrays the qualities and benefits unique to the place. A strong and unified brand will result in economic benefits and instill pride for your community.”
Some Ontario communities put in the effort to create proper identities to effectively personify what it is that makes their municipalities unique.
Because of its lackadaisical approach, Windsor suffers a considerable handicap when it competes with other communities for industrial investors and even sporting events.
Windsor can, and should, do better.