Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Rebranding? What rebranding?


Mayor Jeff Scrima tried to play stupid (granted, it’s typecasting) in this morning’s Waukesha Freeman about using GuitarTown for rebranding the entire city. He even tried to turn the issue around on Alderman Kathleen Cummings:

Scrima said the entrance signs haven’t yet been approved by the New Day Fund, which he established to fulfill his campaign promise of giving back half his mayoral salary, and that the GuitarTown project is a separate issue anyway.

“Gibson GuitarTown is a community arts project, and it sounds as though Alderwoman Cummings is suggesting that we re-brand the city as a GuitarTown,” Scrima said.

Rebranding? What rebranding? Oh, that rebranding.

From: Meghan Sprager
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 10:48 AM
To: Mayor Jeff Scrima, City of Waukesha
Cc: John Ward; {Shawn Reilly}; Jess Martinez; Bill Huelsman; Lynn Gaffey; Jeff Barta; Jim Taylor; Judy Mudlitz; Kerry Mackay; Norm Bruce; Natalie Walters; Roger Patton; Ron Lostetter; Roger Igielski; Steve Kassens; Christine VanderBloemen
Subject: Downtown Signage Inventory

Dear Mayor Scrima,

Per our discussion on Monday afternoon regarding the rebranding and signage opportunity with Waukesha’s designation as a Gibson Guitar Town, attached is a Downtown Sign Inventory and Wish List document, as well as a Sign Inventory Spreadsheet that you requested. I apologize for sending this to you after 10 a.m. this morning as weather presented a challenge in accurately counting the existing signs and the decorative light poles and street lights for which they are connected. I hope you find the information useful. A map depicting this detail will be forwarded to you by Friday, January 20, as well as some best practice examples of how to incorporate community assets, such as the Farmers’ Market, Riverwalk, Shopping District, and Frame Park, into the Gibson Guitar Town signs that Waukesha selects.

Please note that I have copied the full BID Board, Executive Committee Member Shawn Reilly, and John Ward who was integral in helping our agency gather data so quickly for this effort. With the potential for the BID to benefit from the Gibson Guitar Town fundraising proceeds for new downtown signage, I thought it was important for them to see an opportunity for our organization to accomplish two directives in our recently approved Goal 3: new banners/signage and new Christmas decorations. As details become more clear regarding signage costs and the ability to have fundraising dollars pay for them, it is important for the BID Board to consider shifting our 2012 budgeted signage replacement expenditure of approximately $4,000.00 to purchase additional Christmas decorations. I sincerely hope that they find merit in this staff recommendation.


Meghan Sprager
Executive Director
Waukesha Business Improvement District

By the way, the new entrance signs are going to need a lot more than approval by the mayor’s “new day fund” before they’re installed. Hope he hasn’t spent the money yet.

From Rick Congdon’s follow up to GuitarTown Steering Committee meeting on January 20th:

We also want to explore the possibilities of working with the BID to purchase new banners around the downtown. Jeff has already asked and received the BID’s wish list which appeared to be quite costly. However, it was generally agreed that many of these banners would have the guitar logo and therefore consistent with the Guitar Town rebranding effort.

it’s my understanding that the cost of rebranding the city was too much for this project (if it sees any returns), but this “rebranding” was in the works even before GuitarTown.

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