Is it time to stop being fair and friendly?

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January 13th, 2020     Featured Opinion

By J. Lynn West

New Albany’s motto is “The Fair and Friendly City.” I don’t know how long we have had that motto; quite possibly close to a century.

There’s really nothing wrong with it.

But it does sound a bit dated.

And more to the point, it doesn’t say a lot to set New Albany apart.

One hopes that most towns are fair and friendly, after all. They certainly should be.

But if we are going to be more competitive for tourism and industry, perhaps we need a motto with more pizzazz.

A suggestion that has been made is to change it to: “New Albany – in the Heart of the Heritage Hills.”

That at least gives one a hint of where we are and that “heritage” is important. A person who Googles New Albany may not know just what the Heritage Hills are, but can guest and now has a clue to use for more specific research.

There may be other potential good mottos. After all, we have a variety of attractions and qualities to advertise, promote or market.

But “In the Heart of the Heritage Hills” sounds pretty good to me.

And that leads to the New Albany Main Street Association.

I have suggested for many years, to no avail, that they reconsider their motto for much the same reason as the city.

“Come See Who We Are” may be decent enough, but it also says nothing about New Albany or what makes our community special. That motto could apply to any place any where.

I don’t have a specific suggestion but consider this: we’re the birthplace of William Faulkner, home of Tanglefoot Trail, birthplace of the manufactured furniture industry, home to several outstanding parks, home (more or less) to a Toyota plant, home to notable blues musicians, a rail crossroads, have well-known food and coffee providers, have a wildlife preserve, and more. We have a wealth of great attributes and features.

Possibly the problem would not so much be coming up with a specific motto as to selecting which good thing to include or exclude.

Of course it may be ultimately up to popular opinion whether to stay with the status quo or try something new. People do tend to stay with that status quo.

But it might not be a bad mental exercise to see what you can come up with as potential promotional mottos for us.

That’s only meant as a fair and friendly suggestion, of course.

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From the Community

Bob Cornelius says:

Fair and friendly is outdated and doesn’t mean anything to anyone. We should have a motto that’s helps sell New Albany. There could be many, a combination or a short one. Ex: Birthplace of William Faulkner it Head of Tanglefoot trail. Or Come see Faulkner, Tanglefoot and The Tallahtachie. Anything to get someone driving by to google New Albany and then have an overwhelming website including video snippets. Got to get people off I22 and into downtown.

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