So Mount Pleasant spent $100,000 to learn that some people consider the town "expensive," "arrogant," "congested" and "white."
Well, that was a bargain.
Those are just a few of the gems buried deep in the town's new strategic marketing initiative report. The only thing this report apparently missed was "wasteful with tax dollars" -- because the town didn't need to spend money to hear all that.
People around here have been saying it for years. And for free.
Still, Town Council has approved this marketing strategy, revolving around a plan to lure as many people between the ages of 25 and 49 as possible with its new slogan inviting even more folks to "Come On Over."
The only problem is, they don't make it clear if they want us to "come on over" before or after they build a couple of more high schools and a whole lot of new roads.
Make no mistake, Mount Pleasant is aptly named -- except for that whole "Mount" part.
Some people who live east of the Cooper call it "The Promised Land," which makes you wonder why it ever occurred to them to commission a study. How does one improve on perfection?
But the study went out and polled business types, real estate agents (commercial and residential) and a sampling of folks at the Taste of Charleston and the Farmers' Market. Man, that's the very definition of diversity (which the study says is one of the town's goals).
Based on what those people said, Mount Pleasant is a great place save for a few problems: "Summerville is cheaper," "gnats" and the contradictory "Uppity, nice" were just a few impressions recorded in this six-figure document. But mainly they griped about traffic, sprawl, the lack of a downtown and houses that cost too darn much.
Again, nothing we needed Sherlock Holmes to clue us in on.
Last year, when folks were writing in to the newspaper suggesting slogans, one of the funnier ones was "Mount Pleasant: Yankees Welcome (obviously)."
Well, guess what? One prevailing perception of Mount Pleasant, based on said survey, is that the town is "Full of Ohioans."
It isn't easy being green
To be sure, the marketing study was about more than a simple slogan. It says the town's objectives should be, in part, to keep taxes low, provide outstanding services, support businesses and employment, and enhance quality of life.
Which was a relief. You'd hate to spend good money on a study that recommended raising taxes, slacking off on services and flushing quality of life down the drain.
The study says they need to build the perception that Mount Pleasant is a small town (which it isn't), that it's green (kind of) and that it is "bikeable."
The point is, everyone pretty much has the skinny on Mount Pleasant. Instead of spending money to market the town to unsuspecting souls, perhaps they should just improve on the things locals criticize and let word of mouth spread.
You know, fix it and they will come -- gnats and all.