Florence council member desires mayor to pause $75,000 web site contract, examine course of | Information

A Florence Metropolis Council member instructed WAAY 31 in an unique interview Monday he was blindsided and is now demanding to know what actually went down contained in the mayor’s workplace main as much as the now notorious Florence rebranding and emblem reveal final week.



Past the questionable emblem selection that the mayor admitted he helped choose from 4 choices offered by Tatum Design — the Birmingham-based firm that created the emblem — there’s severe questions in regards to the metropolis’s personal statements about how that agency was chosen.


District 6 Councilmember Jimmy Oliver stated he raised considerations early on about why town wasn’t trying regionally for an choice to deal with this mission, however he admitted he simply took the mayor’s workplace at their phrase and didn’t observe up on these purple flags. 


Whereas we look ahead to town to reply and supply paperwork to WAAY 31’s open data request, sources deep inside Florence Metropolis Corridor leaked an e-mail dated July 29, 2021, that appears to go in opposition to a timeline offered by town. 


“The brand itself is the least of my considerations proper now, although I’m involved about that,” Oliver stated throughout an interview with WAAY 31 on Monday. “The method that was concerned in how we received right here is extra regarding to me.”


Oliver will ask the complete council and mayor to place the present contract for a yet-to-be-built new web site with Tatum Design on maintain till he has some solutions as to how that agency was picked for the contracts to do that work. He already emailed his fellow board members prematurely of the work session and council assembly Tuesday afternoon.


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Town stated they tried to get native firms to reply to a request for proposals, however nobody responded. Primarily based on that, Oliver stated, the council permitted the $25,000 and $75,000 contracts with Tatum final 12 months for the emblem and web site, respectively. 


“I believe if we had finished our due diligence tougher, we may’ve received some locals concerned,” Oliver stated. “I’ve not heard a single agency that knew about it. That’s the place I received some inaccurate info and primarily based my determination on going ahead with this Birmingham firm.”


WAAY 31 has requested town present a duplicate of the unique RFP they declare they created for this mission and that was allegedly posted for public evaluate. To date, our request for these paperwork has not been answered, and WAAY was instructed Friday that town’s authorized division is reviewing.


The e-mail


Oliver confirmed he despatched and acquired an e-mail in July, earlier than the contract was awarded, wherein Oliver questioned why town was not attempting to buy native. WAAY 31 obtained and verified this e-mail Monday.


The mayor’s govt assistant responded to Oliver:


“For greater than a decade and over three administrations, the Metropolis of Florence has made a number of makes an attempt to create a contemporary emblem for use for mainstream advertising efforts throughout town. The Metropolis of Florence Seal, the picture we at the moment use as a emblem, is timeless and historic; nevertheless, this official picture doesn’t really seize the spirit of Florence in a progressive method. I’m asking the Council to provide me the chance to steer a branding and advertising marketing campaign that displays the trendy day really feel of our lovely city, and encourages residents, companies, and guests to come back and see what Florence has to supply.

I might be presenting this agenda merchandise at Tuesday’s assembly proposing that the Metropolis of Florence contract with Tatum Design to accomplice on this mission.


It’s time for Florence to face out and set the tempo for the Shoals space, and I look ahead to organizing and main this mission to completion by October 2021.


There are a number of the explanation why I don’t really feel this mission ought to be employed regionally:


1. Though my particular person proclivity is to buy native, I’m adamant (and, I do know we agree) that this mission is just too giant and essential to just accept something lower than traditional, skilled perfection. Most significantly, I’m involved that utilizing any native agency would possibly skew the purpose of the mission fully which is to seize the essence of Florence as spoken by the stakeholders and residents. Muddying the waters by hiring a neighborhood agency might trigger the mission to be directed by the pursuits of a small group of native residents versus an impartial, unbiased third celebration.


2. By way of my analysis of our native graphic designers (which is usually what we now have right here), I didn’t really feel that any of our wonderful native companies would be capable to ship a product that may meet the excessive requirements I’ve set for this marketing campaign and aren’t outfitted to deal with a branding and advertising marketing campaign of this magnitude.


3. Tatum Design has partnered with plenty of cities and companies throughout the nation to do that very factor, they’ve unimaginable expertise. Most significantly, Tatum goes to have the ability to conduct a 4 month course of and ship a last product to us in solely a brief 10 weeks.


It’s time for Florence to face out and set the tempo for the Shoals space, and I look ahead to organizing and main this mission to completion by October 2021.”


Oliver stated with that response, and counting on the “specialists” who had been managing the mission, he didn’t query it additional till final week, when town unveiled the brand new emblem.


“I believe there are numerous unanswered questions, and I can’t stress sufficient I’m embarrassed that I didn’t ask extra questions and be extra of a hound canine,” Oliver stated.


The Florence Metropolis Council meets Tuesday afternoon with a piece session anticipated to start at 4 p.m., adopted by the repeatedly scheduled assembly. The brand subject was added to the work session agenda late Monday after a number of council members objected to the subject not being included. The subject can also be anticipated to be be mentioned throughout public remark on the finish of the assembly.


WAAY 31’s Matt Kroschel and a crew might be there with our questions which have but to be answered in regards to the RFP and the choice course of.


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Picture from town of Florence