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Council leery of spending $20k for Ripon TV spot

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POSTED February 20, 2013 1:57 a.m.

For elected leaders, the City of Ripon featured on a television series is nothing more than an intriguing thought.

They were left Tuesday with too many questions and not enough time to make a decision for the Communities of Distinction’s “Hidden gems to live, work, play, and visit” segment.

The Ripon City Council decided to hold off for now until more information is known about this TV show that, according to the website, “searches for the perfect location to raise a family, grow a business, enjoy retirement, or perhaps just visit” in North America.

Communities of Distinction is relatively new and feature NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw as its host. The show is aired on FOX and ABC broadcast stations, ION Media Networks Inc., Business News Network, and Regional New Networks.

Mayor Dean Uecker indicated that he and Deputy Administrator / City Engineer Kevin Werner were approached recently by producers of the show about the possibility of featuring Ripon.

The sticking point for Council was the $20,000 upfront scheduling fee, if selected.

 Vice Mayor Chuck Winn had some concerns.

“Does that mean those not selected (and pay the scheduling fee with no return) are helping to subsidize the program?” he asked.

Winn added: “I can think of other ways to spend $20,000 with more of a return on our investment.”

His colleague, Leo Zuber, had yet to the see the Communities of Distinction website. He, too, was weary of the short turnaround in making any decision on this matter.

“Do we have enough (information) to know what $20,000 will buy us or would there be more to the cost?” Zuber said.

Councilman Elden ‘Red’ Nutt did view the website but was left with more questions.

“I’d like to know more about it,” he said. “What we’re told is that the total cost is unknown.”

After the meeting with producers, Werner noted that one of his follow-up questions, for example, included the ‘what happens if the segment (involving Ripon) didn’t air.’

“We received no response, thus far,” he said.

Werner and Uecker will again meet with producers of the show, with hopes of getting answers to their many questions.

“What I’d like to do is extend this for a couple of weeks,” Uecker said. “But I’m adamant that it’s still too early to make a decision.”

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