GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - Feathers are ruffled in Goose Creek after the mayor and a council member entered a heated debate over possible changes to the city's logo.
Mayor Michael Heitzler and Councilman Greg Habib went back and forth Tuesday during an interview about some of the city's decisions over the last few years about the future of Goose Creek.
In 2013 city council approved a motion for a consulting company, Arnett Muldrow Associates, to conduct a study on the city and offer ways of improvement.
The Arnett Muldrow Strategic Economic Development Plan was completed in 2015 and presented to the council.
"What it showed us was there was $19-$20 million per year worth of potential spending that was leaving the city," Habib said. "There was also another several hundred million dollars a year of potential spending that was leaving Berkeley County as a whole."
"It didn't tell us anything we didn't already know," Heitzler said.
On May 10 City Council voted unanimously to hire Cyberwoven, Columbia, South Carolina, to conduct a rebranding exercise and create a new website, at the suggestion of the Economic Development Advisory Committee.
"[Economic development is important] because residential development has so far outpaced economic development in Goose Creek that there's an imbalance," Habib said.
Habib further questioned Heitzler about the cost for these studies, to which the Mayor responded they spent "too much money" on them.
The results from Cyberwoven were given at a workshop a few weeks ago, and gave the council some recommendations on how to improve economic development in the city.
"A small part of that is a new logo," Habib said. "What I want to see in our logo is something that reflects what we are now. Which is a modern city, highly educated, upper middle class, diverse."
The idea of changing the logo has now traveled to social media platforms, bringing a range of opinions with it.
"Can you enlighten me on how changing the logo is going to move the city forward? What is the return on investment in this?" wrote one man.
"Some reaction is positive, some reaction is obviously negative," Habib said. "A lot of the reaction was 'oh I didn't realize that'."
Habib would like to change all the logos immediately, saying they serve as a marketing tool; Heitzler disagrees.
"It's a good idea that city council sit down and examine, like we do every year in strategic planning, examine what we're doing, but it doesn't mean you have to rip the logo out," he said.
Furthermore, Heitzler feels changes to the logo should be voted on.
"If we do anything drastic like sweeping away our logo that we've had since 1980, I think people deserve a choice," Heitzler said.
"Do I need to turn around and ask the people on every issue that we work on?" Habib asked. "No, I don't think we do that. We don't do that on every issue, so why would we do this?"
Former Goose Creek councilman, Jerry Tekac, weighed-in on the issue. He agreed with Habib about council members being elected to lead the city, and make decisions.
As for the logo itself, he said because he's not a marketing consultant he's not sure if the logo should change.
"I don't personally have a problem with the logo as it is," Tekac said.
Some reaction over possible changes have included the elimination of the goose from the Goose Creek logo.
"No one ever said there would not be a goose incorporated in the new logo," Habib said. "No one has ever said there would be, but we never said there wouldn't be."
Neither the Mayor or Habib gave a time line as to when this issue would be resolved. If a new logo was created, police and public service cars, some street signs, and even the water towers would get revamped.
Habib said it wouldn't cost too much to swap out the logos. The mayor, on the other hand, said it could cost $100,000; Money that could be spent elsewhere.
Habib also challenged the Heitzler on other decisions made by the council in the past, including adding the word "historic" to Goose Creek signs on I-26.
Tekac said those signs are shared with the Naval Weapons station, and the city spent roughly $30,000 to revamp the signs. He added there was no referendum for citizens to vote on that change.