Livingston

Livingston leaders plan to pick new city seal later this month

Livingston’s City Council got a look at seven versions of the next city seal in September. Leaders then asked for input from local schoolchildren, who submitted hundreds of designs.
Livingston’s City Council got a look at seven versions of the next city seal in September. Leaders then asked for input from local schoolchildren, who submitted hundreds of designs. Submitted art

Livingston’s leaders expect to adopt a new city seal at their next meeting later this month, an attempt to rebrand the city and appeal to tourists.

The council decided Tuesday to hold off on its final decision until the March 21 meeting, according to Councilman Gurpal Samra. The city will pick from at least 311 options, according to city records.

The council decided in September 2015 to part ways with the old city motto “The Last Stop,” a reference to a long-ago traffic signal that once stopped motorists on Highway 99. The motto change also will usher in a new seal, which will carry the new slogan “The Sweet Potato Capital.”

We need to be moving on with it and move forward with our decision.

Councilman Gurpal Samra

About a year after that decision, the city unveiled seven options drawn up by a professional artist. Then the council asked for input from local schoolchildren, who submitted hundreds of designs drawn in crayon, marker and pencil.

The city has been pushing its Sweet Potato Festival the past five years in an attempt to attract tourists, and the rebrand is part of that effort.

“We need to be moving on with it and move forward with our decision,” Samra said Friday.

Many of the drawings came from schools and local events, such as the Cinco de Mayo festival, records show.

Councilman Alex McCabe said he asked to hold off until the next meeting because he was presented another idea by local high school artists. He said it’s important that the city include other crops such as wine and poultry along with the sweet potato imagery.

If we’re going to do something that looks the same, why did we do it?

Councilman Alex McCabe

The seal should also be inclusive of Livingston’s diversity, he said. “There’s not that many places that have the ethnic demographics that we have,” he said, pointing to the city’s diverse population, made up of people from Punjabi, Japanese, Filipino and other cultures.

To truly rebrand the city, he said, leaders should be willing to adopt a seal that sets itself apart from the others that dot Highway 99.

“If we’re going to do something that looks the same, why did we do it?” he asked.

Thaddeus Miller: 209-385-2453, @thaddeusmiller

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