Sometimes it’s nice to stand apart from a crowd and be lauded for your individuality.
But not all the time.
The City of Greenfield continues to miss out on a terrific branding opportunity and chance to strengthen community identity by failing to address its “naked” water tower.
It’s been two years this month since the Common Council was last asked by Mayor Michael Neitzke to approve funding to put the city’s name on the water tower near 92nd and Howard Avenue.
Back in 2011, Neitzke suggested to the alderpersons the city use $7,000 from the city’s hotel/motel tax tourism account to paint “Greenfield” on the tower, which is operated by Milwaukee Water Works.
Alderperson Shirley Saryan moved to approve the spending, but the motion died for lack of a second.
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So now Greenfield stands out, while its water tower does not.
Neighboring Greendale, West Allis and New Berlin all have the municipality’s name on their towers. Heck, Greendale even has a logo.
Nearby Oak Creek? Name on both of its towers. Franklin? Name. Waukesha and Wauwatosa? Name on all of their towers.
How about some other Patch communities: Brookfield, Muskego, Sturtevant, Sussex, Menomonee Falls? You got it - name, name, name, name and name. And just last year, Whitefish Bay paid $10,000 to update its water tower with the village’s name.
In fact, the results of an unofficial survey of Patch editors revealed the only nameless water tower in the area other than Greenfield’s is in Mount Pleasant.
In tough economic times, $7,000 is no drop in the bucket. But when we're talking about a bucket as big as a water tower seen by hundreds, maybe thousands, of daily commuters and travelers, it’s a price worth paying.