By James Beaty
McALESTER — McAlester now has an official new logo — but not all of the council is happy about it, as evidenced by a split 5-2 vote to adopt the measure.
McAlester city councilors took the action during their regular Tuesday night meeting held in the council chambers at City Hall.
The logo includes what appears to be a waving banner with the words, “ McAlester, the Great American Experience.”
It’s a creation of the Mississippi-based company called Marketing Alliance, which created the logo as part of an $18,500 contract with the city, which also includes a new marketing plan. City councilors hired Marketing Alliance for the project based on the recommendation of Shari Cooper, executive director of MPower Economic Development.
Voting to accept the new logo were City Councilors Travis Read, Ward 3; Robert Karr, Ward 4; Buddy Garvin, Ward 5; Sam Mason, Ward 6, and Mayor Steve Harrison.
Councilmen voting against accepting the new logo were Ward 1 Councilor Weldon Smith and Ward 2 Councilor John Titsworth.
Smith began the debate with criticism of “the Great American Experience.”
“It sounds like a motto for a beer company,” Smith said.
“I can tell you there was a lot of effort made to develop this logo,” Mason said.
Smith asked what the logo means, and Cooper answered him.
“It came from the Choctaw Nation and immigrants,” she said. “We’re an example of the great American melting pot.”
“I’m sorry you feel so disappointed,” she said to Smith. During the discussion, Smith was told that several logos had been placed on the city’ website asking for input.
“Everyone got to vote,” Copper said.
“Everyone didn’t,” Smith replied.
When Cooper offered to come up with a list of respondents who did vote and those who didn’t, Smith said “I’m probably one of them.”
When Karr wondered whether the new seal would be placed on items such as the city’s stationary, he was told it would.
Before the debate ended, councilors ended up taking two votes related to the measure. The first one, to table it, failed. That led to the ultimate vote to accept the new logo, ending in it passing by the 5-2 measure.
City councilors acted only on the logo during their meeting. Whether the council decides to accept the marketing plan from Alliance Marketing is expected to follow a special meeting planned in February.
Contact James Beaty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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