Oak Creek hires firm to help it find, market consistent image

City to pay $111,000 for consultant

Oct. 17, 2012

Oak Creek - The Common Council on Tuesday approved a $111,000 contract with Savage Solutions, a marketing agency, to remodel the city's image.

The council's reasoning for re-branding the city is strictly financial. With tax levies for Wisconsin cities effectively frozen under the State Budget Repair Bill of 2011, one of the only ways to increase revenue is to attract businesses.

Savage Solutions will do an assessment of the way Oak Creek presents itself from its website to its letterhead. The goal will be to unify the way the city presents itself.

The funding for the re-branding comes exclusively from hotel taxes, which are traditionally used by cities to attract tourism revenue.

There was council discussion as to the nature of the selection of Savage Solutions. The city did not undergo a bidding process before their selection of Savage Solutions, citing the firm's past partnership with the city in its website redesign. In August, the city went forward to negotiate exclusively with the firm.

Alderman Tom Michalski was the sole opponent of the approved contract, citing a need for the city to go through a vetting process before proceeding with the contract.

The nature of the contract also was a key issue in the council's decision. The item was tabled at the Oct. 2 Common Council meeting so the city could see if a not-to-exceed contract would be more logical than the flat-fee contract that was passed. The flat-fee contract was offered at a discounted rate, whereas Savage Solutions projected that a not-to-exceed contract could cost the city $184,000.

Savage solutions has prior experience in the Milwaukee suburban area; they are the strategic marketing consulting firm for the Gateway to Milwaukee project and the Aerotropolis project.

"My vision of the city is that we're going to be a big thing," Mayor Stephen Scaffidi said. "I think we're going to be a big player in the Southern Milwaukee area. I think Cory (Savage, president of Savage Solutions) gets that, and that's why he has my support."

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