CONTRIBUTION · 11th November 2011
Backing up my expressed concerns regarding TEDA's $40,000 website (paid for by you) here are some direct quotes from their new website on how we are marketing the City of Terrace:
"I fly regularly to visit Vancouver and Victoria, since driving takes time (about sixteen hours). However, a lot of people here don’t like going into the city, and enjoy the isolation Terrace offers, off the grid: others, like me, like taking a trip on a fairly regular basis."
"Quality of life, which goes right back to outdoor lifestyle. Living in Terrace almost forces you to live outdoors, because there’s not as much other stuff going on. I never really skied before moving to Terrace, so I owe that whole sport to moving here."
Start collecting Air Miles so that you're not breaking the bank every time you need to go to the city.
TEDA and the City need to be accountable about how we are going to market our city. If elected to council this will be one of my top priorities.
Comment by Steve S. on 15th November 2011
It's unfortunate they chose a design firm out of Vancouver and paid about $30,000 more than they should have. They could have had a better web site for a much lower price by chosing Spark Design Co from Smithers and support a company that is a little closer to home.
Listen to this, straight from the TEDA board March 16, 2010
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 13th November 2011
The TEDA Board wrote to the City and asked them to write a letter in support of Pristine Power, a stock exchange trading company intending to burn wood to create electricity, a "Biomass Energy Generation Plant". Again promoting jobs, which we all know we need.
The obvious problem with this initially is writing a letter of support will provide the stock exchange trading company an opportunity to use it in a news release to increase their stock value. Being a dupe for any company, without even any investment is embarrasing.
But not as embarrasing as this line contained within the letter prepared by Pristine Power for the City to sign for their promotional venture. Under the heading, "...a summary of benefits TEDA expects from this project:"
Contribution to improvments in our air quality.
Now, just how would burning their estimated 450,000 cubic metres of wood, in Terrace, improve our air quality?
This is a major problem as I referred to the "connect" in a previous writing. When I asked about this I was told they didn't really study the letter they were given to sign.
Is anyone minding the store and using their reasoning faculties, or is everyone just playing some game?
You can find the details in the minutes recorded from the March 22nd, 2010 Council meeting. And yes, our elected council and current Mayor just happily went along with the game.
It is almost as if anyone who shows up and whispers the word "Jobs" and they act like crack heads itching for a fix. Taking time to consider issues is our job, not just to say yes to everything the Chamber, Administration or the Provincial Government asks.
I am really looking forward to the new slate of Councillors. It is a big job but I think we are ready.
Remember to tell all your friends to tell all their friends to vote Merv for Mayor.
Thanks for all the feedback...
Comment by Dave Pernarowski on 13th November 2011
I agree with the comments I’m reading about this website. It needs to be cleaned up. I’ve had a chance to speak with the Rob Dykman, the Chair of the Terrace Economic Development Authority, about this concern. He also recognizes that there are problems with the new web site and has promised to work with the web design company to make the necessary changes.
In regards to the decision to select a web design company outside of Terrace, I also had that conversation with Mr. Dykman. I agree with TEDA’s rationale. Here’s the response I received from the TEDA Chair:
“As with any large tender, TEDA sent out requests for proposals to solicit interested parties to submit bids to rebuild the website.
The board reviewed the final three contenders and decided to pick the winning candidate, Smash Labs, out of Vancouver.
The main reason they were chosen over anyone else was due to their approach and the deliverables they promised.
Smash Labs is not merely providing TEDA with a website. They are providing an overall marketing, branding and positioning analysis and solution designed to differentiate Terrace in the minds of potential investors. They are spending large amounts of time to understand our market, our competition, and our relationship with the City and First Nations and then develop a website that encompasses all of the above that will attract investment in Terrace.
They are investigating other communities, both locally and throughout BC, to find out the challenges and opportunities and how to make Terrace shine above all the rest as a place to do business.
In the past, TEDA has spent thousands of dollars advertising in magazines and unfortunately, many of these advertisements were really not money well spent. The board decided it was best to redirect these dollars into a web based marketing strategy that will be an investment for now and the future.”
I’m confident that the necessary changes are going to be made to the new website that will meet the above expectations and address the concerns expressed by James Cordeiro and others.
I recently attended the AGM of our Terrace Economic Development Authority to review financial statements, hear about TEDA’s recent strategic planning session and understand the direction that TEDA is going in the coming years. This direction is exciting.
Since the TEDA organization was changed to have the Economic Development Officer reporting directly to the City’s Chief Administrative Officer, Council have been much more connected to our economic development office while still providing independence to allow the diverse volunteer board of directors to work through policy and bring a variety of backgrounds and skills to the TEDA board table. It should be noted that all board appointments are approved at the Council level and the board selection team from TEDA work to ensure a broad range of interests are sought. Business, legal, education, and other diverse interests are reviewed during any call for new directors.
Here’s some of the work that has been done by TEDA over the past short while:
- A very successful workshop was hosted by TEDA that provided information on creating joint venture agreements with First Nations. From this workshop the First Nations Joint Venture Partnership Toolkit was launched.
- The Terrace Investment Ready Community Profile was created.
- Terrace/Kitimat Industrial Resources Service Directory was produced.
- New TEDA website launched (under construction for design and content improvement).
- TEDA is connecting major project proponents with local businesses.
- TEDA submitted the winning bid for the 2013 Minerals North Conference. This conference will draw mining and other major project interests to Terrace where we can showcase our strategic location, depth of business services, and affordable industrial land and attractive lifestyle.
- TEDA continues to focus on specific marketing activities including direct mail campaigns, attending tradeshows, reaching out to prospects, developing directories and marketing materials, and conducting general media promotions.
- TEDA collaborated with a number of other economic development organizations in the region, along with Northern Development, to create a new website to attract major projects to the northwest. This new website is called “Invest Northwest BC.
Our connection and alignment with TEDA has never been stronger and our need for an agency like this never more important as we get ready for a major change in our economic fortunes...
Comment by Andrew on 12th November 2011
My favorite on the TEDA website is the listing under "invest". Click on properties and check out the second one from the bottom. I believe it is 4613 Park Ave. It was formerly a Veterinarian clinic. It is listed as being in the downtown core of Williams Lake. They should not have just copied and pasted without proofreading.
Comment by NS on 12th November 2011
Yes, these are quotes from the site. At least some are from the resident stories, which attempt to provide balanced views on life and living in Terrace. Anyone who lives here knows that there are good points and bad. Of course, the above article is careful to only provide the quotes which fill the author's agenda and not a balanced set of quotes which would have been far less sensational, but a little more accurate and fair.
I'm not here to defend TEDA, the new site or its contents, but balanced articles and thoughtful discussion is likely to be far more productive. I would imagine that TEDA are far more likely to listen to such discussion and take fair criticism on board. Surely what we all want is for TEDA and the new site to succeed and help Terrace reach better economic times.
Also, while I won't comment on the quality of TEDA's new site, I will point out that to properly develop a website such as theirs requires more than the basic web development skills that most seem to assume would suffice.
Comment by tom on 12th November 2011
David, they are still there, under "stories"
Just looked the site over
Comment by David on 12th November 2011
Not sure where these quotes came from. Perhaps one of the resident blogs on living in Terrace. I didn't see most of these quotes perhaps the interesting info is removed.
I do find the site hard to read though with small text in white with a blackish background isn't very friendly. Good to see TEDA putting the effort in hopefully it gets improved over time.
Comment by David on 12th November 2011
Wow - what more can you say.
WHAT HAPPENED TO TEDA AND WHAT I WILL DO – MERV FOR MAYOR
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 12th November 2011
In 2006, Dave Menzies was the executive director of TEDA. It was Mr. Menzies who made TEDA a respected organization. It was the administrative and political interference in this organization that has led to this uncomfortable position it finds itself in today.
The City of Terrace found great success with Minerals North when Menzies brought that show to Terrace. The event was lauded as the most successful Minerals North gathering ever. Dave Menzies was truly a hero for industrial development and attention being brought to Terrace.
Then the City compromised him by mis representing him when they worked to get rid of Jennifer Lewis as the executive director of the Terrace Tourism Society (TTS). The City Manager stated boldly to the Terrace Councillors on the second sitting in May 2006, that TEDA had a difficult time trying to work with the Terrace Tourism Society. I went and spoke to Dave Menzies about this and he told me this was flat out untrue, that he had a great working relationship with the TTS. The City Manager repeated this untruth almost exactly one year later to the Board room of the Regional District Kitimat Stikine.
Dave left his job as the Executive Director of TEDA shortly after this episode of the City blatantly misrepresenting him. He will not state firmly this was the sole reason he left but one must consider this as part of his integrity. With being able to do such great things and being so competent to have someone put words in his mouth must have been very uncomfortable.
The City administration then became intimately involved with the independence of this and all City organizations. Sam Harling was chosen to be the next ED and after he was unceremoniously dumped the City passed a new motion in Council to have TEDA and the next ED report directly to the City Manager, who at the time was Ron Poole. Then Evan van Dyk was appointed to take this role having been taught by a Northern Development Trust Initiative apprenticeship program. Evan is beginning to understand his role and see the full perspective of what this new career involves. He is young but he has energy and vitality. He simply is lacking a solid leadership team with a complete and comprehensive plan and direction.
TEDA is a good organization, has very good intentions but is completely hamper and had previously been gutted of independence to do the job it was designed to do. Today, since Ron Poole abandoned Terrace shortly after he encouraged TEDA to report directly to him, the entire City is left with a vacuum of leadership. Even bad leadership was better than no leadership.
The first thing I will do regarding TEDA when I become Mayor of Terrace is convene a meeting of the paid staff of TEDA and determine exactly what their plans and directions are. I will determine exactly what they have set out to accomplish in one, five, ten and twenty years and how they intend to reach these goals. I will then meet with all those who have volunteered and were selected by the City to be one the board of TEDA. I will determine why they volunteered and what they feel about the directions and goals our staff has set for TEDA to meet.
I will then ensure all of your councillors have all the truthful information. The seven of us will then determine if TEDA is able to be successful in returning a cost benefit to Terrace and if so what needs to be done to ensure that happens. If it is found TEDA cannot in the long term provide a cost benefit, I suspect your council will attempt to find a better way to use these monies.
I will say this about the website. TEDA, through whatever process, decided to hire an outside company to design and build this website at exactly the same time as they were initiating their Buy Local campaign. There is something wrong, I do not yet know what, but there is something wrong with their connect. After you elect me as Mayor, I will discover what that is and then we will all know.
Vote Merv for Mayor
What more can we say...
Comment by tom on 12th November 2011
or how about this quote from the site:
''However, Terrace may not appeal to people who do not enjoy outdoor recreation, or those who prefer the larger-city atmosphere (shopping; culture; performing arts; food).''
''Don't judge a book by its cover. Terrace is not an overly visually appealing city. It has numerous landscapes of mills, log sorts, as a resource-dependent town...
TEDA should go the way of Terrace Tourism
Comment by Karen on 12th November 2011
I feel that TEDA is an incompetent organization that needs a major overhaul. They have been promoting and focusing on projects outside the city with no indication as to what we, as a municipality, can expect or do to benefit from these projects. Do we need more training opportunites to take advantage of future jobs? Will the town be required to supply housing for a possible influx of families? Are the organizations responsible for these major projects being contacted to see what we can do to attract business from their needs?
Is TEDA working on anything besides gas pipelines, transmission lines and mines? What about tourism? What happened to the bio-fuel plant planned for the Pourier Log yard or the pellet plant destined for the old TLO yard? Has TEDA thought of any value-added possibilities or how having a ocean port nearby could promote manufacturing in our area?
It seems that we, as taxpayers, are watching our tax dollars going to a group of wanna-be business people who, lacking imagination and initiative, can only rehash other organizations' ideas and are doing very little to promote our city.
This Website should be pulled ASAP
Comment by Chris on 11th November 2011
I just can't understand how such a mess of a website could have been created for $4000.00 let alone $40,000.00? TEDA has a board that has some talented people on it so all I can think of is that none of them actually proofed the site before it went live? It is just a mess. I really think before any more embarrassing things are pointed out the site should just be pulled and a complete review done before it is put back up. I think every member of the board of TEDA should go through this site with a fine tooth comb and make sure it reflects Terrace in the best possible way… and please get rid of the blurry photos of mine sites in Idaho on a website that is supposed to market “TERRACE”!
With friends like this.
Comment by Mr. Peters on 11th November 2011
With friends like this working for us we sure do not need a lot of enemies. Some of TEDA's actions are just mind numbing.
What would be some of your ideas for TEDA if you were to become a councilor?