By Lisa Soule
Killeen Daily Herald
An arbitrary decision by Killeens mayor has dumbfounded some council members.
Weeks before the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport opens for business, Mayor Maureen Jouett authorized a newspaper ad sporting a new airport logo, which depicts a plane flying into a letter K.
The ad, which ran in the Killeen Daily Herald, the Temple Daily Telegram and the William-son County Sun in George-town, depicted a suit-clad man frolicking barefoot along a pristine beach. The new logo is featured at the bottom of the promotion, which touts the features of the new airport.
For the past few years, the Killeen airport has been marketed by a Flying K logo, a play on the citys distinctive K topped with a jet.
Jouett took full responsibility for the decision to run the ad when she was questioned Thursday by council members during an Airport Expansion Committee meeting.
Councilmen Fred Latham and Scott Cosper sit on the committee chaired by the mayor.
Jouett downplayed the new logos use, saying it was intended for VIP invitations and that the traditional logo was representative of the old airport, not the new one.
Jouett said it had not been decided as a group whether the city would continue to use the old logo once the new airport opens.
Would you let the group participate in the discussion instead of being this micromanager and changing it by yourself? Councilman Fred Latham asked the mayor.
Yeah, this is short-term, Jouett responded, referring to the new design as an interim logo.
Well, its in the ad in three cities so its much more than your saying, Latham said to the mayor. I think if we have put this inside our terminal building and weve tried to brand this over two years just to arbitrarily change it on your own, mayor, I think is a misstep.
Jouett said she was trying to be progressive and was concerned that the old logo didnt signify the new airport.
Im sympathetic and understanding of your position, Jouett said to Latham. So I apologize if I made you upset or anything.
Councilman Scott Cosper said he received several calls about the new logo after it ran in last Sundays newspaper.
Some people thought that was a mixed message, Cosper said, noting the Airport Expansion Committee had decided in March, with the mayors direction, to use the traditional logo in a granite waterfall in the new terminal.
Mayor Jouett expressed the need of having the city of Killeen logo with the flying plane ... anywhere else the logo would be located, said the minutes from the March 4 meeting.
Besides its use both inside and outside the new terminal, Cosper noted the flying K logo has been used on signs and printed on airport brochures.
That represents the future of this airport, Cosper said of the flying K.
Thats why we put it on the granite waterfall and on the sign out front. Weve handed it out in Washington and lots of other places, Cosper said. I support that logo.
Jouett said she was not certain that the old logo was exclusive and that the city needed to move beyond Fly Killeen, part of a Fly Killeen, Why Killeen, Buy Killeen, catch phrase the mayor has touted for years to keep tax revenue from leaving the city.
I really think that we need to look at our new airport as new, Jouett said. Its not just fly Killeen, its fly Central Texas. I think were capturing more than the Killeen market.
Jouett noted that the new logo did not cost the city any money. She said a local ad agency, Artworks, had designed it for free. Fly Killeen campaign funds paid for the $2,012 full-color ad to run in the Killeen Daily Herald. The campaign also paid for the ad to run in Temple and Georgetown.
Councilman Dick Young told the Herald he didnt know until it ran in the newspaper that a new logo had been developed.
I didnt do it. I didnt know it was being done, but it doesnt bother me, Young said. Its crisp and I think it looks OK, Young said of the new logo.
But that wasnt his first impression.
I didnt like it at first, so I asked a few people, Young said.
The councilman said the city didnt need to tear anything down in the new airport.
We have several different variations of every logo in the city of Killeen, Young said. I think it shows progress.
Before Thursdays meeting, Latham told the Herald he had received several calls about the new logo. Some, he said, had expressed concern that the plane flying into the letter K resembled an airliner crashing into a building, reminiscent of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
We ought to be at least sensitive, Latham said.
Jouett said she had also received several calls about the logo.
I got positive calls, Jouett told the Herald. Not any negative.
Killeen Daily Herald Vice President and General Manager Terry E. Gandy said the paper also received calls after the ad ran on Sunday. He said initially the callers were upset because the ad contained misspelled words. But Gandy said the paper received the fully designed piece from Artworks late Friday with instructions that no changes were to be made.
Then we started getting calls from people who were concerned the logo could be construed as a plane crashing into a building, Gandy said. Plus, they were concerned about where this beach was located. One woman, bless her heart, wanted to know if the man was standing in Stillhouse Hollow lake.
Jouett said she initially used the logo she designed on invitations to her VIP airport reception.
The mayor planned the reception and has sent nearly 3,000 invitations after expressing concerns that a dinner being held by the Fly Killeen Committee was too limited.
Fly Killeen representative Phyllis Gogue of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce said the planned formal dinner, paid for by contractors Constructors and Associates and Carter and Burgess, was limited to 350 people.
That dinner is to say thank you to all who helped make the airport a reality, Gogue said, noting that Federal Aviation Administration officials were on the guest list, along with elected officials and those who helped raise money or contributed time and efforts to the project.
Gogue said the mayors reception will allow for more attendees because it is not a sit-down affair.
It is a way to thank all of the people who got us there and will bring the airport forward, Gogue said.
Jouett said she has raised $14,000 in sponsorships to pay for the event.
Contact Lisa Soule at firstname.lastname@example.org