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BOLIVIA—County commissioners combined the health and social services departments into a single agency to improve their image, but a logo for the new department has been a tough sell.
The county board voted in September to combine the departments. After they were consolidated, a team of staff members from the health and social services departments selected a new name and image to promote the joint services the new department provides.
Assistant county manager Steve Stone presented the board with recommendations for a new name and logo at the Dec. 17 county commissioners meeting.
“The management team is considering a new working title and ‘The Consolidated Human Services Agency’ is not a very friendly name,” Stone said.
Stone said the management team recommended Brunswick County Health and Human Services as the new department name.
A mock-up of a proposed logo was presented to board members along with the new name.
The design shows a pair of open hands holding a string of paper dolls, which is intended to represent the department supporting county residents.
Stone said the design work was being done in-house to keep it low or no cost.
But commissioner Marty Cooke, who said he appreciated the no-cost approach to creating a logo, was concerned the logo didn’t make a connection to the county.
“It does not draw me to (health and human services) as a county agency. It looks like it’s a relief organization,” Cooke said.
Cooke also said once a new logo is added to letterhead, business cards, signs and other agency materials, the cost would eventually become significant.
“As an owner of a company, I know you can spend $20,000 on that type of (materials) for a business,” Cooke said. “Go back to the county seal (as a logo). We have it and we don’t have to spend (any) money.”
Stone said the county handles printing letterhead, business cards and other items in-house.
Commissioner Frank Williams asked how many county agencies have their own logo?
Stone said three.
Williams said a distinct logo would distinguish health and human services from other agencies.
Commissioner Pat Sykes agreed with Cooke.
“I don’t like the logo. Use the seal and adopt the name,” Sykes said.
Commissioners decided to split the issue.
Cooke made a motion to approve the new agency title—Brunswick County Health and Human Services.
Board members approved the name unanimously.
Then Cooke made a motion not to accept the proposed logo and instead use the county seal.
“The county seal does not represent anything about what the agency is about, other than it is part of the county,” Stone said.
Stone said the team looked at dozens of logos from other health and human services agencies to ensure it identified the department as a service provider.
“The logo says we provide assistance to people of all walks of life,” Stone said.
Cooke said the logo doesn’t provide the pattern recognition he learned about in graduate school.
“With pattern recognition, even if a child can’t read, they can identify an item from its logo,” he said. “This logo does not (identify) anything about the county.”
Cooke couldn’t convince any more commissioners though.
His motion to use the county seal as the agency logo was denied 3-2. Williams, Scott Phillips and chairman Phil Norris voted against the seal. Sykes voted for it.
Williams then called for a vote to accept the recommended logo, which was approved 3-2 with Williams, Norris and Phillips deciding the vote.
Brian Slattery is a staff writer for The Brunswick Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or email@example.com.