The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

October 30, 2010

Brand captures what makes Oneonta special

Dick Miller
Guest Columnist

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I am impressed with and buoyed by the passion of the criticism, controversy and feelings expressed by so many about the "City of the Hills" and "Life Enjoyed."

The fact that so many comments have come from distant locations (Morris, New Berlin, Cooperstown, Davenport, Connecticut, etc.) only supports the fact that Oneonta is the center of a broadly defined community.

As I have said publicly, Oneonta is, always has been, and always will be known as the City of the Hills. "Life Enjoyed" and "City of the Hills" can easily coexist as phrases by which our community is known.

"City of the Hills" has never been formally adopted by any entity as an official brand of the community. Neither has "Life Enjoyed." It is hard to stand anywhere in Oneonta or drive through it and not see part of the hills that surround us.

Personally, I am most comfortable surrounded by hills and mountains, and have always loved the phrase from the Bible "lift up your eyes unto the hills from which shall come your strength."

But when trying to encourage people to visit, hills are not a uniquely distinguishing characteristic. There are plenty of places to go with hills and mountains, more spectacular than Oneonta.

The distinguishing characteristic of this community that the Glenn Group brought into focus is how much we all love it.

I have felt that magic since the first months here in the summer of 2003 and have articulated it to those who inquire about Oneonta. I believe that "Life Enjoyed" not only expresses what the community feels, but can also bring people here to work, study and recreate.

The organizations that selected the Glenn Group and paid for the brand have, as part of their objectives, a critical need to bring employees, physicians, faculty, students and investors here. The reason to come is the quality of the life we enjoy. The fact that that life takes place in the ambiance of the "City of the Hills" is frosting on the cake.

I will continue to use both terms and will encourage those who spend money to bring outside people and their resources to this community to use "Life Enjoyed."

I will celebrate the visual enjoyment I feel from our surrounding hills while enthusiastically and sincerely telling people unfamiliar with Oneonta about the wonderful community of people and activities here.

And, by the way, the Glenn Group did a terrific job identifying the uniqueness of Oneonta and proposing "Life Enjoyed" at a cost for such creative services that was very reasonable and competitive. The term is indeed grammatically correct and no tax dollars were used to fund the project.

I encourage everyone to appreciate the "City of the Hills" and communicate "Life Enjoyed" to all those who want to know why we love Oneonta.

Dick Miller is mayor of the city of Oneonta.