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Should city councilors be debating a logo for IC?

BY DI STAFF | DECEMBER 02, 2011 7:20 AM

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No

I don't like magicians. I like magic shows, but magicians always seem to put a little too much emphasis on the stupid trick no one cares about, such as pulling a pair of dirty boxers out of their sleeves. I just want to see the fluffy bunny come out of the hat.

The Iowa City City Council is trying to put on a magic show. It thinks a top priority for this beautiful city is to create a slogan and logo for Iowa City. Are you kidding me?

It's not as if Iowa City still has flood damage from which it needs to recover. It's not as if Iowa City's streets are filled with those who cannot find food to eat, let alone beds in which to sleep. It's not as if there are pertinent issues concerning the students making up 36 percent of the city's population.

Housing, crime, reputation — there are three big issues on which any city can have a strong stance. We need more affordable housing; we need to ensure our entire population, officials and citizens, is safe sand secure in our city; we need to ensure Iowa City's reputation of a melting pot for higher education is sustained. Iowa City needs a clear marketing plan and a logo?

What?

I completely understand transparency of government is extremely important and necessary, but a top-three priority it is not. I can imagine a council session devoted to the background color, people bickering over what they think would be the most calming to citizens. What shape would properly highlight Iowa City's best feature — something like a Homecoming queen going to senior prom deciding what eyeliner to use.

How about we take those tax dollars and make one of the best elementary schools in the nation? Raise teachers' salaries? Raise the level of public debate in this city so maybe, just maybe, it will have a better voter turnout than 14.77 percent. Just because 85.23 percent don't care enough to vote doesn't mean those of us who voted will go quietly into the night.

But here I am, waiting for a white bunny to pop out, when really all I have is a dirty pair of boxers from some politicians' sleeves.

— Benjamin Evans

No

After reviewing the Iowa City City Council's stated goals for the next two years, it becomes painfully obvious that the city has much greater concerns to address than the state of its organizational affairs, including a city logo.

While at first it may seem nitpicky to criticize the City Council for announcing its renewed focus on the city's public affairs, one must recognize the fact that the council neglected to mention any of the much larger issues facing Iowa City and the surrounding area. That affordable housing and predatory renting was omitted is perhaps the most egregious of all subjects to be overlooked.

With rental costs continuing to skyrocket, renters in Iowa City are facing financial concerns previously unparalleled, all in addition to the predatory renting that seems to be running rampant throughout the city. This sentiment is perhaps best exemplified by ongoing litigation against a rental company that seems to carry a less-than-secret business approach in bullying Iowa City tenants out of thousands of dollars each year.

Most importantly, these unfair rental practices and exorbitant costs have proven especially problematic for the students of Iowa City. As tuition consistently increases, Iowa students have been met with increasing debt. Unfortunately, the City Council fails to recognize that not all students are born silver spoon in hand and instead passing over many student-related issues.

Although Iowa City students have shown themselves to be rather apathetic in terms of voting over the past few years, the most recent council election saw a handful of students or former students campaigning for office. Still, rather than recognize the potential upswing in student involvement, the council continues to show its business-as-usual mentality in failing to provide for students.

Some may well argue that affordable housing and fair renting is a subject from which the city should stay away. Given the ever-growing problem of increasing costs from mega-rental property-management companies, however, it's a real issue requiring immediate and careful attention.

— Matt Heinze


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