By Tim Eberly
Out of his own pocket, Mayor-elect Bob Rice will dispense $100 to the Havre resident who creates the best logo for the city.
The logo contest, an idea brought up by Rice about a month ago, is open to people of all ages and can be drawn by hand, be computer-generated or even painted just as long as it is a "reflection of the pride we have in our community," he said today. No restrictions, such as a word limit or logo size, have been set.
The winner will be chosen in late January, and will receive a $100 gift certificate from the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce courtesy of Rice.
Rice attended the weekly meeting of Havre's department heads Monday morning, and pitched the idea to, among others, Mayor Phyllis Leonard and Police Chief Kevin Olson. Rice will be sworn in as mayor in January.
"I've been thinking about this for quite a while," Rice said today. "I just wanted to get permission from current department heads to go through with it."
And what was the consensus? "They said they liked it," Rice said. "They're on board. Phyllis is on board. They said, We used to have one, but it fell by the wayside.' "
Dave Peterson, the director of public works, supports the idea. "I like it," he said. "We're looking for a new logo to put on our letterhead."
While driving around town a month ago, Rice spotted what was left of the old Havre logo, which had a railroad, wheat fields, a cow, a teepee and the phrase "City of Havre" enclosed in a circle, on the back of some city vehicles.
"It was kind of deteriorated and peeled off," Rice said. "It really didn't generate the pride that I have in Havre. It hasn't been utilized in a long time, and I want to generate some interest."
Potential logos should be submitted to the mayor's office. "It's something that we're going to implement," Rice said. "We'll adopt it as our Havre logo."
After the logo is chosen by a committee of city workers and residents, T-shirts and hats boasting the logo will be created, and stickers will be available for vehicles and other uses. Rice might hold a fund-raiser to pay for the items or may offer them for sale so the effort is self-supporting.
"I want (the logo) to reflect Havre, the community, the pride we have in it and what Havre represents," Rice said.
Soon, Rice will print contest fliers and distribute them to locals schools, including Montana State University-Northern.
"A high school student has as much chance to win as an artist and maybe even a grade school student," Rice said. "I really don't have a preference but I think a lot of younger people have a lot of good ideas."
Currently most resembling a city logo is the phrase "Havre, It's The People," a slogan launched by the Chamber of Commerce a year and a half ago.
Debbie Vandeberg, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, fully supports Rice's mission. "I think it's a wonderful idea," she said. "There's no conflict between what the Chamber's doing and the city. The city needs a logo. I think it'll create some enthusiasm."
About a decade ago, artist and former Havre resident Kim Reinmuth designed the previous logo. Reinmuth, who also designed art for the Denver Broncos and the Roy Rogers restaurant chain, has since moved to Great Falls.
Discarded because of it was "too busy" and "outdated," according to Peterson, the old logo was replaced by a temporary logo about five years ago. The temporary logo consists of an outline of the state of Montana and has a star drawn on it to represent Havre.
Several years ago, the department heads asked city employees to create a new logo for Havre, to be judged by the Havre Art Association. But, Peterson said, employees were scared off because the work would be judged by artists.
"It's something that we've talked about in the past," Peterson said of acquiring a new logo, "and when (Rice) brought it up on Monday, we were all in favor of it."