I see the city is again flogging a dying horse, the horse called re-branding.
The city has racked up a lot of money on this very sick creature and now must attempt to keep the sucker pulling on the plow even if it requires giving re-branding mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Reading the city’s Step-Ahead advertising, Mayor Kerry Cook is explaining that the city is competing against other similar communities for the so called 30-something people that might be looking for a great, small town.
Williams Lake’s real western heritage is the reason many currently live here, and the reason many consider Williams Lake a great little town.
It’s the overall community personality that counts, not face-lifts, it’s time to quit insulting the existing populace.
Rebranding is only a face-lift, astute people recognize that a face-lift may make things look and sound different.
However, behind the rebranded façade Williams Lake is still the same former entity.
Come on, let’s get real, if we want to attract 30-something aged people to come and live in Williams Lake, we have to be talking employment opportunities.
Borrowing the words of former President George H.W. Bush, “Read my Lips” that’s employment opportunities.
The city would be far better off spending money attracting industry, in conjunction with our local university.
Why are we not studying how to get more value from our natural occurring forest products, high quality lumber and plywood comes from high quality raw material, what are we doing to improve this quality, can more be done?
Could we not as well, be studying how to improve our grasslands, where reducing the amount of water required, could save ranchers hundreds of thousands of dollars in watering costs, and infrastructure?
A little further out, both east and west there are available large un-capitalized deciduous forests.
Williams Lake’s central location might possibly support an Oriented Strand Board, OSB, factory. A few years back Williams Lake was considered for a Medium Density Board factory. Tourism is another local industry that could use developmental research.
An investment, and support of university research, rather than rebranding could lead to a much greater reward for Williams Lake.
Developing good research projects at our university will attract 30-something aged people but, as well, will help keep our young people living in Williams Lake and could lead to whole new industries, forget re-branding.