The City of Parksville could have more than a collection of nice pens to market it brand, thanks to a vote to include memorabilia in its 2018 budget deliberations. — J.R. Rardon photo

Parksville looks to upgrade city’s swag

Council requests memorabilia for 2018 budget consideration

Having had enough of their mayor being overshadowed by his counterparts in the local police and fire departments, Parksville’s city council decided last week it’s time to look into a better class of swag.

Council unanimously approved a motion by Coun. Kirk Oates to include Parksville memorabilia as part of its 2018 budget package, and to have city staff report back on some types of items that might be placed under consideration for the budget.

“I’ve attended certain events where you feel like the poor cousin, when we have nothing to give,” said Oates. “I find we are sorely lacking in swag, for lack of a better term. Something a little higher-end to pass around. And options — besides a pen we could have maybe, I don’t know, a pencil?”

Earlier in the meeting, Mayor Marc Lefebvre had joked that he could never compete in joint appearances before area elementary school students when he was joined by the Oceanside RCMP detachment commander, because “he had a gun and gave out certificates for ice cream at Dairy Queen.”

Fellow councillors were quick to embrace the idea — and agreed Parksville has been left wanting when it comes to leaving an impression.

“I was thinking about this recently when I attended a 100th birthday celebration,” Coun. Mary Beil said while throwing her support to the motion. “It happened to be in a neighbouring community, and the guest of honour received very nice teacup with a card. I thought, how lovely, I wasn’t sure if we had anything we could bestow upon somebody on this kind of occasion.”

Coun. Leanne Salter reminded the mayor of their recent attendance at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference in Ottawa, for which Salter grabbed a bunch of Parksville’s logo pens and shared them with Lefebvre to distribute.

“It would be nice to have, yes, some swag that we could take with us,” said Salter. “I was on the bus going back to the convention centre and everyone… had great stuff they were giving out. It would be really nice for us to have something they could keep and recognize Parksville.”

While Oates’ introductory remarks were delivered tongue-in-cheek, he noted Parksville has an opportunity to brand itself, and cited the city’s sand dollar logo as a recognizable symbol that is “very marketable.”

“I think we should be looking at some memorabilia, so when the mayor goes and visits with those school kids he’s able to perhaps leave something as a token of council’s appreciation.”

Before calling the question, the mayor weighed in with his own approval.

“I think that’s a very good idea, and maybe I could win some of the kids’ votes from the police chief with his Dairy Queen certificates,” Lefebvre quipped.

For story tips: jr.rardon@pqbnews.com