As if spending nearly $78,000 on a website wasn’t bad enough, according to the 7/8/2010 meeting agenda, the Apple Valley City Council is ready to spend between $12,000 and $15,000 on a promotional video which, according to the background information on the video, is intended to, “attract new development and retain and expand existing business.”
I have several huge problems with this:
1. Apple Valley is not in any position to be attracting anyone. Why? Because we’re in a recession and possibly heading for Depression II. We have plenty of other things we need to concern ourselves with than creating cute little promotional videos no one is going to watch. Why bother coming to Apple Valley when all you have to offer is a video, a mayor obsessed with “green” nonsense, and plenty of other communities with far better locations, populations, and business opportunities. This video isn’t going to set Apple Valley apart from the rest…I promise.
2. The city partnered with the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce. This in itself was the right move. In fact it’s one I fully support. Unfortunately the city is on the wrong end of the check writing. It’s the Chamber that should be footing the majority of the bill for this ridiculousness, not the taxpayers. The city should be shelling out $2,000 and the Chamber should be forking over the other $10,000 to $13,000.
3. We’re already spending ~$78,000 on the city’s website. Use that as your goto place to disseminate information about the city. Let’s get away from the nonsensical idea that emergent “special media” attracting new businesses is delivered by cheesy promotional videos about a commuter community with a bunch of big box stores, an overzealous mayor who wants to continually raise taxes to fund 10 year old buzzwords about the environment, and a “downtown” which still has signs promoting restaurants which closed more than three years ago.
My suggestion is instead to trash this lame idea and use that $15,000 to provide five to ten business grants, much like the City of Farmington did, to small business owners. This will attract people to fill in your empty downtown (please take down the damn signs which promote Two Guys From Italy and Jan’s Brown Bag Deli, they’re embarrassing, ok?) and bring in the kinds of businesses which need to exist in order to actually attract residents. You are not Bloomington or Burnsville and you never will be. You don’t have the location for it. Get over your unbelievably ridiculous belief that you are somehow going to get bigger tax base businesses such as healthcare facilities and some sort of industrial park just because you are working with Uponor and that you will bend over backwards to bring them in and squeeze your taxpayers for more unnecessary green liquor stores (which continue to suck money) while you do so.
The fact that this is on the Consent Agenda bothers me greatly. I seriously hope that it comes off of there and goes to a vote where it should be shot down and tabled until the Chamber of Commerce can come up with a respectable amount of money to cover the majority of this endeavor. The City of Apple Valley should not be in the business of marketing until they can get their act together and handle what is important–saving money and lowering taxes.
What do you think about a $15,000 promotional video paid for by the taxpayers of Apple Valley? Do you agree that this is something that the Chamber of Commerce should handle or should we really trust the city to be able to come up with something which will actually bring in businesses during one of the worst economic disasters of our country’s history? Perhaps you have some suggestions on slogans which they can use (“We’re here for the beer cave.”) when they do end up going through with this ridiculousness? Whatever you have to say about Apple Valley’s decision to spend a load of money on something that is completely unnecessary go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.