Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


December 14, 2012

Team Blue Bluefield seeks citizen support

There is little doubt that if the city of Bluefield is to attract and retain urgently needed new jobs, it will need the support of its residents. Getting everyone to agree with city hall won’t be easy, but there is no harm in actively seeking citizen support.

And that’s what City Manager Jim Ferguson is hoping to do with his new public relations campaign. The city of Bluefield has a current population of 10,500 people, and Ferguson is looking for more than 10,000 of those citizens to deputize as part of a well-intended push aimed at unifying the city’s population in a combined effort to make positive change in Bluefield.

Ferguson is placing the physical manifestation of this public relations effort on the face of a blue badge that includes a stylized mountain ridge line with a sun rising into a partly cloudy sky with the slogan: “Team Blue Let’s Make it Ours! The city of Bluefield, WV.”

He isn’t asking for a lot from those citizens who are willing to participate in the effort. Ferguson would simply like them to wear the badge, and to have a positive outlook regarding the city’s future.

“The city of Bluefield is actively seeking those individuals who love the city and want to make a difference,” Ferguson said last week. “We have a population of roughly 10,500 people right now. We would like to draw on the combined power of all those citizens to make a difference in our city.”

Another part of the slogan included on the blue badges reads “Team Blue begins with you,” followed by the phrase, “Let’s make it ours.” Ferguson has been working with Becky Russell, a graphic artist who graduated from Bluefield High School, but now lives in Charlotte, N.C., and Corey Frazier of the Cole Automotive marketing department, to develop the badges.

Ferguson says when he sees someone doing something positive that will help the city, regardless of whether it is a big or small act, he plans to walk up to them and ask them if he can deputize them as a member of Team Blue.

“If you wear the badge on your chest, that means that you are a person who takes pride in your city,” he says. “I want people to wear them, and when they are asked what it means, I hope they will explain what they were doing when they received their badge.”

Ferguson says there are many ways citizens can help their city, including shopping locally, helping to maintain their property and expressing an interest in local government. It is Ferguson’s hope that those who wear the blue badges will also take renewed pride in their city.

The public relations campaign being launched by Ferguson is a good idea. It is our hope that many citizens in the greater Bluefield area will participate.

While everyone may not agree with city hall, we can all agree that the city of Bluefield is facing challenges. New economic development and growth is needed. And citizens who are unified in support of their city can help in attracting and retaining such jobs.

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