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Firm Wants to 'Tell Story of Oak Creek'

The Oak Creek Common Council has approved a $111,000 contract with Savage Solutions, which aims to better market and brand the city.

With high-profile development projects at the former Delphi site and lakefront still in the beginning stages, Oak Creek officials felt now is the time to bring a firm on board to market and brand the city.

The Oak Creek Common Council on Tuesday approved a $111,000 contract with Savage Solutions, a marketing consulting firm that has worked with many local and national clients.

Company President Cory Savage said he has met numerous times with Oak Creek staff to exchange ideas and talk about ways to promote the city.

"We have a very strong plan on telling the story of Oak Creek through the people of Oak Creek," he said. "We have some ideas on how to get Oak Creek onto the national scope of things, especially from the business development standpoint."

The contract, which goes through September 2013, is a flat fee paid for through hotel-motel room taxes, which are designed to be used for marketing-type activities.

Mayor Steve Scaffidi said it was a good use of those dollars, even if the contract is in the six figures.

"I understand that there's a concern about spending $111,000, but at some point we have to make a decision on what kind of city we want to be," he said. "We want to be a leader and that sometimes requires investments. We do it in roads, we do it in new interchanges, we do it in a lot of different ways. This is one of those ways."

City officials met Savage through Gateway to Milwaukee, an organization that promotes development near Mitchell International Airport. They were so impressed that the council authorized them in August to negotiate exclusively with Savage to provide marketing and branding services for Oak Creek.

Alderman Tom Michalski, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said the city should have bid out the contract. While it didn't violate the law, Michalski said he would have felt better looking at more than one vendor.

"It sends a message to the community that for a $100,000+ item, we're not even going to go out and get a bid," Michalski said. "More people should have been given the opportunity to bid on this."

Others said Savage Solutions was vetted heavily and met 1-on-1 with city staff as much as any company has.

"We're not buying carpet. We're buying creativity," Scaffidi said.

Dominic Joseph Radanovich October 18, 2012 at 08:06 PM
What a blatant waste of taxpayers money. The Republicans are always squawking about wasting money and want to cut back on everything, and here you go (I assume that most of Oak Creeks Council are Republicans) wasting more money on such utter nonsense. Whose pockets are being lined with this stupid move? Sounds fishy to me. And even if this was private money, it could feed a lot of hungry people. Oak Creek you should be ashamed of yourselves!
Mark B October 18, 2012 at 08:24 PM
"I assume that most of Oak Creeks Council are Republicans" Dominic, why would you assume that?
Be Logical October 18, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Dan, Since you seem to have the answer for everything, how about you run for office and show everyone how it's supposed to work? The next time you have anything positive to say will be the first time. The reason you have to market a city is because we can't keep doing things the way they used to be done. With no increase in revenue-either from taxes or the state-the only way to keep balancing the budget is to develop the city by recruiting businesses, which brings in revenue. Might not be popular, but that's reality. Its not the 1950's anymore...
vocal local 1 December 29, 2012 at 06:42 AM
Methinks spending on outside consulting firms is the way some of the Aldermen and Mayor are making money under the table. How come we haven't gotten any feed back on what the council, mayor and Doug Seymour learned at their Las Vegas business convention attendance last spring? How do you market a city that houses the metropolitan sewer district of a first class city and the 6th largest coal plant in the USA that makes it the dirtest air community in SE WI? Like it or not our city approach signs should be in the shape of a toilet as we are Milwaukee's BATHROOM community. Post Bolendar et al the voice of the residents has been silenced, they spend and acquire millions in debt, you pay. The residents are uneducated blue collar that won't say boo. This year they couldn't even find a resident of the year, we now have "PERSON" and that person is not even a resident. NO ONE WANTS TO DEAL WITH OC's POWER ELITE AND I DON"T BLAME THEM.
vocal local 1 December 29, 2012 at 06:56 AM
Actually Mark, the mayor and Michalski are democrats. I don't think the rest know. Rietz sure acts like a republican the rest probably want to bees. Dominic, Yes, the bid should have been open but the mayor closed it to one firm: SAVAGE. 111,000 thousand dollars? I'd suspect a few are getting ten grand free and clear. Was there any mention of Savage getting any federal grant money in addition? I can't remember the specifics and I was at that meeting. It hit the floor, very little discussion. La Savage attended in his plus size stretch jeans, five ayes, one nay vote. DONE AND OVER.

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