Northwest NEWS

January 18, 1999

Front Page

Bothell says new slogan a high priority

Leaders: involve entire community

by Andrew Walgamott, staff reporter

   BOTHELL--The life of Bothell's slogan--"For a day or for a lifetime"--may be up.

   Last week, during preliminary discussion of economic development goals, a number of Bothell City Councilmembers said they believed it was a priority to update or look for a new motto.

   "Bothell isn't the same community it was 20 years ago. It isn't the same as it was 10 years ago," noted Councilwoman Wendy Brady.

   Where once the catchphrase hearkened people to shop awhile, or live out their days, the fact now is that Bothell offers much more.

   It wasn't immediately clear how long the slogan has been around, but area residents can recall a board on the east side of Bothell welcoming motorists to town since at least the early 1950s. Then, farming was the main industry in the North Creek Valley, a small road connected Bothell to Woodinville, and there was no spaghetti-type intersection between the neighbors to points north and south. Bothell High was the Northshore School District's only senior high, and Bothell was also Northshore's only city.

   Something that hasn't changed too much is Main Street. It's still a cozy collection of hardware stores, offices, and banks.

   "People's image of Bothell is the downtown," says Bill Wiselogle, chief long-range planner. "But we're bigger than that. We're a major employer, and we're in Snohomish County."

   Now, the city is twice the size it was going into the decade, thanks to the annexation of Canyon Park. A new college and a branch campus are under construction where SR-522 and I-405 intersect. Apartment complexes line the hillsides and shopping malls have been built at major crossroads.

   The North Creek Valley is loaded with buildings surely bigger than any barn that was ever there, and the only beef or carrots you'll find now are in employees' lunches at places like the Seattle Times production building, Eddie Bauer call center, or the ATL facility, which are among Bothell's major employers.

   "It's probably a good time to meld the hometown and high-tech aspects of Bothell," Wiselogle said.

   Talk of changing the slogan first came about while an economic consultant was wrapping up a year-long analysis of development potential. Property Counselor's final report suggested it would be useful to establish a theme for marketing if the city were to pursue a comprehensive development plan.

   The consultants suggested incorporating elements such as the best of the past and the future, education, technology, environment and the "hometown feel."

   Still, Councilwoman Sandra Guinn separated the economic report from the city's identity. She saw finding a new motto as a way to bring the community together as a whole. "It's a way of making it feel more like a hometown," she said.

   Brady saw it as a way to attract new businesses and retain old. But Councilman Mike Noblet, admitting his response may seem curmudgeonish, said businesses don't locate in town because it's Bothell, but because of the available land and access to port facilities. He was wary about spending the estimated 100 hours of staff time on any slogan project.

   How a new motto is arrived at, if the council pursues it, is the next question. Proposed in a staff report were newspaper contests; however, that idea appeared to be out of favor. With so many different players--longtime residents, transient apartment dwellers, high-tech industry, Main Street, and the school district--Wiselogle said if it's done, it should be a community effort.

   "The exercise of involving the community could be as beneficial, or more, than the slogan itself," he said. Wiselogle said he didn't have any suggestions for a motto.

   The city of Renton recently unveiled its new slogan which is "Renton, ahead of the curve."