Lehigh Valley

Easton residents invited to vote on city slogan

EASTON, Pa. - People of Easton, it’s time to vote on a slogan for your city.

City Council Wednesday night introduced its final choices for a tagline that will be used on Easton’s marketing and promotional materials — “Independent at Heart” and “A Revolution in the Making.”

Over the next two weeks, residents can provide feedback on the slogans by emailing Dawn Hart, director of the city’s Department of Community and Economic Development, at dhart@easton-pa.gov.

She will forward responses to council, which will make its decision at its July 12 meeting by voting on two separate resolutions for the taglines.

Council in 2015 voted to support the development of a new marketing strategy for the city, which includes a logo, brand identity and a tagline. The effort is about three months behind schedule, so council, while not overly enthusiastic with the final choices, moved forward with introducing the final two slogans.

At Tuesday night’s economic development committee meeting, council members and Mayor Sal Panto Jr. discussed the taglines, culled down over four meetings from an original batch of 15. Some felt the word revolution conjured up negativity and might invite cynical comments on social media.

Panto recalled how Pennsylvania’s “America Starts Here” slogan brought about ridicule from New Jersey and other Atlantic coastal states. For purposes of transparency and the fact that residents would have to live with and ultimately sell the slogan, he pushed for public feedback on the proposed taglines.

In other business, council approved an ordinance to close Bushkill Drive to traffic between North Third Street and Sullivan Drive. The measure was aimed at making it safer for people who walk and bike along the Karl Stirner Arts Trail. Signage will alert motorists to the closed section of narrow roadway; the remainder of the road will become a two-way street to keep it accessible. The ordinance goes into effect in 30 days.

Council also approved a 29-year lease with Billy’s Downtown Diner, which will operate on the ground floor of City Hall. Councilman Peter Melan, the lone dissenter, said the agreement gives too much away with four months free rent.

Panto, however, noted that the four months will be used for making about $400,000 in improvements, which will add value to the city’s property and will stay with it even if restaurant owner Billy Kounoupis breaks the lease.

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