Marketing gone wrong or something more underhanded?

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Every year Keller, Texas has a festival or two celebrating something or other. Good for them, I support that.  Lately they have been posting a sign announcing at least one of these festivals about a half mile from my house, in the median of the road.  It is a very high traffic area, as my part town has been on of the fastest growing areas in the region, state and country for several years.  Who wouldn’t want to target the motorists and residents around my neighborhood? I have a few issues with this sign.  Some noticeable and some not so noticeable.

First, let’s start with the obvious. It is really poorly installed.  Come on, One would think that a chamber of commerce representing the 7th best place to live in America would know how to plant a sign. Now I am sure I will hear it could be several issues as to why this occurred from, the increased winds we have experienced this weekend, the ground was too hard, to we hired documented Americans who have less experience. To this, I would argue, here in north Texas the wind blows this time of year, the hard clay hasn’t changed from last year, and thank you for hiring an American.

Second, we have a bandit sign ordinance in this part of the world. Again, I would hope that the Keller Chamber of Commerce knows that in order to post temporary signs they must obtain a permit.

Third, and probably my biggest issue with this here sign is the motto on the sign.  I know you can’t read it, but if you search Kellerfest in your favorite web search engine, you will find that it is “Our Hometown Celebration”. That’s really pretty cool, and who wouldn’t want to celebrate our hometown.  I know I would.  So, what’s my grief?  Keller is NOT my hometown.  The city limits between Keller and my hometown of Fort Worth is about 8,000 ( about 1.5 miles) as the crow flies east of where this sign is installed.  Yes, this sign is in the city limits of Ft. Worth.  To the chambers defense, most of the people they are marketing to don’t know what city they live in either.  Ft. Worth council member for this district has been working hard over the past several years to fix this, but it is a really long fight. (I wonder who keeps taking down the City of Ft Worth signs at the shared boundary with Keller.)

Apparently the City of Keller doesn’t appreciate fielding calls from non-residents, as seen posted by one of their city council members in February of this year. Doug Miller, Keller city council member place 6, had blogged on Beyond Right Field: “…Fort Worth brought the problem on themselves by allowing developers to build subdivisions without ever having a plan on how they were going to provide city services to them and I feel that they also made out well by letting their own citizens feel they live in Keller or Haslet. Those citizens then demand services from the city where they think they live, rather than calling Sal Espino’s office every day.”

Now, with respect Councilman Miller, I hope you can see that there are many reasons why the busy residents of Ft Worth have an identity crisis about where they live, from the paper that they receive on their doorstep every week, “The Keller Citizen; the school district in which they live, Keller ISD; busineses with Keller in their name; ie. Little Tykes of Keller and Mama’s Pizza Keller just to name two.  You see, your marketing arm is perpetuating the issue.

Bad mistake or underhanded marketing to increase the perception of Keller.  You decide for yourself, but I don’t think the Chamber of Commerce for the City of Keller is that ignorant, rather resourceful in the absence of a city, and their chamber, when it comes to promoting themselves to their residents.  

I would hope that the City of Keller would kindly have their marketing arm keep their signs on their property and that my city would find a way to engage it’s citizenry in a way to promote Ft Worth and increase the pride we should have in OUR HOMETOWN.

 

 

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4 Responses to Marketing gone wrong or something more underhanded?

  1. Doug Miller says:

    Bob,

    Non Residents do not pay a premium to play at the Keller Sports park. It is something we are looking into, but have not implemented yet. The leagues there are run by volunteers, not city employees, and trying to come up with a way for them to differentiate residents versus non residents has been an issue

    The biggest concern is that we are running out of room to host teams there. There is not any money in our budget to expand those facilities, nor would I ask our citizens to pay for expansion when in fact our residents make up just a fraction of its users.

    On the library, the issue isn’t the books, it’s also the size of the facility. Even after expanding it in the last couple of years (at a multi million dollar cost to the taxpayers), our facility is still busting at the seams. We do enjoy in inter local agreement with multiple regional libraries, but none that I am aware have a non resident usage anywhere close to ours.

    As for the Chamber, that relationship isn’t as cozy as you portend.

    My hope is that Ft Worth finally brings a branch library and builds some sports fields in the area. If they don’t, with the reality of our budget being what it is, you might see limitations put on usage of our facilities by non residents in the future.

    • Civic Bob says:

      Thanks for your clarifications, Councilman Miller.

      I fight everyday for services for residents in North Fort Worth, so thank you for being on my side there.

      If I was a taxpayer paying for a ball field that did not sustain itself and was being used by non-citizens, I would ask for it to be cut from the budget and the land sold. When my daughter played on those fields, she had to pay a league membership. So, I would assume that Keller recovered usage fees from these leagues for sustainability. I am not saying the park should make money, but it shouldn’t cost the average tax payer either.

      My understanding is you were talking about the availability of materials and not the size of the facility. I don’t know who all comes and goes in that facility, but as nice as it is, I am sure there are more than just Keller and Ft Worth residents using it. I remember watching the debate in the Citizen. I go to the FT Worth library, but I am glad you are part of the inter local agreement so that all residents can have access to their materials.

  2. Doug Miller says:

    Bob,

    The Greater Keller Chamber is a private entity seperate from the City of Keller….and as stated in their name, they are not a Keller only Chamber, but in fact have a great deal of their members from outside the City Limits. The city has no control of what or where the Chamber Members put their signs for their festival.

    And Bob, I have nothing against Ft. Worth, my place of business is located within their City limits (only because of the extensive annexation the City has undertaken in the last decade).

    The issue as I see it, at what point do the tax paying citizens of Keller quit subsidizing amenities for Ft. Worth residents? Just two expamples:

    65% of the children that play at the Keller owned and maintianed sports parks do not live within the City of Keller

    50% of the material checked out of the Keller Library are from non residents.

    Do you think that is fair to the taxpayers of Keller, the people I represent?

    You are correct in that the problem arises from the name of KISD, and everyone being told when they bought their house they were moving to Keller. This was not a myth brought on by the City itself, or the Chamber. My boss who is a Keller High grad from the early 80’s, and long time “district” resident still insists he lives in Keller; even though he knows he lives in Ft. Worth.

    I’m sure if the people sitting on City Council in Keller 30 years ago had to do it all over again, they would have annexed the property west of town before Ft. Worth beat them to it.

    The story goes, the administration at the time didn’t want to annex the land because they would have been responsible for fixing Golden Triangle (yes, it was horrible then too) They didn’t know at the time that it would take another 30 years before anything would ever be done with the road.

    Funny how things turn out.

    Doug Miller
    Keller City Council Place 6

    .

    • Civic Bob says:

      Councilman Miller, I am honored that you would take the time to respond; sincerely.

      While the Keller Chamber of Commerce is a local, private, nonprofit, there could be an argument that there is a fuzzy connection between them and the city Economic Development Board. A kind of fuzzy connection where one works in concert with another. A connection, where albeit not direct, there is a definite sphere of influence of the group you lead with.

      As for the parks and the library. I don’t see your argument. Non residents pay to play at your facilities. From what I am told, I don’t have documentation to support this, I am told they pay a premium, like non-residents at The Pointe.

      As for the library argument, I am glad we are a literally group. The library has entered into a regional agreement that allows other library card holders to use the facilities. As such, Keller library users can, and may, use the Ft Worth library system. Thanks for being a good neighbor. This is not unheard of and I have seen this in rural counties here in Texas to the big metro areas back east.

      While I am sure that the folks in the area that pay for and use these facilities, either in premium rates, or local taxes so your residents can get the benefit of our library, I am sure if you didn’t like the arrangement, you are in a lot better position to change this than I, sir.

      Is it fair to your taxpaying citizens that they have access to millions more books than your approved budget allows? I don’t think you meant to ask me that question, but that is how I read your question with the facts I use.

      Do I think it is fair to your taxpaying citizens that non-residents pay more in usage fees of the Keller recreational areas, where fees are applied? More than fair, sir. If they aren’t paying fees that cover their portion of the usage, I recommend you address this issue immediately because you are not looking out for our constituents best interests.

      Again,I really do appreciate the communication and I look forward to further respectable communication.

      CivicBob

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