In a twist to the drama of the new Wangaratta Council logo, councillors have gone against the recommendation of staff and voted to spend another six months working on a different design to please everyone.
Council staff had proposed to solve the public backlash by taking the middle ground and using two logos: the old cormorant for official purposes and the newly-designed modern "W" for promotion.
But at Tuesday night's council meeting, Cr Ken Clarke had a different idea.
He proposed spending another six months looking into a different logo altogether, consulting with the "custodians of the land" on a way to both keep the cormorant as a symbol of Aboriginal significance and attract people to the city.
The overall brand strategy - aimed at making Wangaratta more attractive to businesses, residents and visitors - will still begin straight away using the old logo.
The new idea passed 4-3, with support from mayor Dean Rees, Harvey Benton and Harry Bussell.
"I personally do not see the logo as a deterrent to a marketing campaign," Cr Clarke said.
"Let the grass grow a little more before we act like a bull in a china shop and drown our beloved cormorant."
Cr Clarke had visible facial injuries after falling onto the concrete footpath a couple of weeks ago, but assured the council he had not "lost his marbles" and was still alive and fighting for my constituents".
He said business had not chosen to pass on coming to Wangaratta because of the logo, but because previous council officer "did not have out the welcome mat", but that had changed.
Cr Harvey Benton said it was most important for Wangaratta Council to be about to sell itself with improved branding.
"We've been treading water for far too long. We cannot exist as a municipality with a growth of 0.57 per cent - we're going to go backwards," he said.
"I'm disappointed that this marketing and branding strategy has been bogged down over a logo.
"All my constituents that I've come across have said 'I couldn't give a damn about the logo, but for God's sake get on and do the branding and the marketing'."
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Deputy mayor Mark Currie, who wanted to push ahead with the new logo along with Ashlee Fitzpatrick and David Fuller, said the criticism of the logo only came from a minority.
"If we change direction here, the community should rightly call us out for wasting money. I certainly will not have this on my conscience," he said.
"We listen to the comments of those that will yell the loudest. This is certainly not the decision-making I signed up to be a part of."
He said councillors had been given a chance to speak up over the past two months and, referring to Cr Clarke, said he had only heard one councillor saying the old logo should stay.
"It's disappointing that at the very first stage of delivering our plan to the community, we start backing away because it gets hard," Cr Currie said.
"It makes me question what other challenges we will shy away from next."
None of the seven councillors said they supported the idea from council officers for two logos.
Cr Ashlee Fitzpatrick was against keeping the cormorant on the logo, saying a lot of young people thought the bird was a swan.
"I do not think we should be bullied by a minority because of the cormorant," she said.
"We must listen to the next generation of our community and make sure that we are building a community they want to be a part of.
"I think the modern "W" - this fresh, modern approach - is what will drive them here."
Mayor's choice to listen to the people
It was the many comments from the Wangaratta public that convinced mayor Dean Rees that the proposed "W" logo for council was not the right decision.
Despite being the face of the new logo and marketing campaign over the past couple of months, he chose to not vote for the logo at last night's meeting.
"I still want change, (but) listen to the people, the people are the ones who pay the bills," he told The Border Mail.
"We went against the recommendation (from council officers) for two logos because we probably don't think it's the best way forward.
"We certainly believe one logo is the best way forward, whether that's the old logo or a blend of the old and the new to make it modern."
Cr Rees said the cormorant, featured in Wangaratta's current logo, would remain part of any new design and could still help bring more people and businesses to the city.
"I feel that we can modernise our cormorant ... That might be a blend with the 'W', we'll come up with some ideas," he said.
"Unless we have people coming in from abroad, outside of Wangaratta, there won't be a Wangaratta.
"We need still to attract that, but why can't we work with both?"
The marketing campaign promoting the city's attractions such as "the rural city of..." great adventures or great food was supported by all the councillors.
Cr Ken Clarke called out council officers during last night's meeting for originally suggesting a period of "communication", when the proposed logo was first unveiled in June, rather than proper consultation, which only occurred after being put forward by councillors.
Cr Rees said councillors ensured the community did have they say, but agreed it could have been done differently.
"Could we have changed things and maybe gone out a little bit earlier and got the community involved? Yes, 100 per cent," he said.