Rebranding advances despite lack of support

$20,000 plan gets zero delegate backing

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One component of the Highlands Ranch Community Association’s 2014 budget drew more ire than most at the Nov. 19 meeting: a $30,000 line item in which $20,000 was dedicated to community rebranding.

The rebranding project, a joint effort between the HRCA, Highlands Ranch Metro District and Highlands Ranch Chamber of Commerce, has been underway since the middle of 2013. On the table is the possible development of a new logo that would represent both the HRCA and the Metro District, as well as the creation of a more uniform message that all of the leading organizations would work together to communicate to outsiders, casting Highlands Ranch in the best light possible.

The delegate body made its collective voice heard at the November meeting, however, suggesting that internal communication has been anything but solid on the subject.

“I don’t know what kind of salaries you people make, but I was a teacher for 35 years, $30,000 is a lot of money,” said Susan Mutzebaugh, District 23 delegate. “I think this is a frivolous thing to do and I would like to have our members vote on it.”

Mutzebaugh got her wish by way of a straw poll and not one delegate raised a hand in favor of rebranding.

“I would be OK if the board would be OK with leaving that $20,000 in reserve and listen to us on that issue, because there is not one delegate in this room that is interested in participating in the rebranding,” said D-80 delegate Monica Wasden after the vote. “I understand that this is with Metro and with the Chamber and if they want to do it that is fine. We can go to Metro and have discussions on their budget, but I think the board needs to listen to us on that piece.”

The delegate body did not get their wish, however, as directors refused to remove the item from the budget or place the funds in reserve.

“The board has been very involved in it and we all support it,” said HRCA director Jeff Suntken. “We have made commitments to other organizations, and I think that at this point we would be doing damage to our reputation as a board to renege on those obligations. ... So while I think that at some point we could have negotiated something, I think that time has passed.”

“I agree with the rebranding,” added HRCA director Christina Caputo. “I’m a little leery about it, but I’m not opposed to going through a process to see what is best for our community as a whole. I’m not saying we should change the falcon, that’s not what it is about. It’s about getting together with the other organizations and finding something that works for all of us. These are just the beginning steps.”

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