City staff worked on creating a new city seal for nearly a year. Behind is the black-and-white version.

The fate of Maricopa’s public image was set Tuesday after the city council voted to approve a new city seal they hope will help rebrand the city.

The seal had come before the council several times over the year as councilmembers changed its design. The unanimous decision in favor of the new design came after a member of the council made one last consideration about an overlooked design previously used on the city planning webpage.

Councilmember Nancy Smith brought up the idea of using the older design due to concerns she had with the intricacy of the new design and how it would look when reproduced in a smaller size. Using an example printed in the Maricopa Monitor, Smith expressed concern that the new design may be illegible.

The older design, she said, succeeded in encompassing the characteristics of the city while also keeping it simple enough to look good in multiple forms.

“It has fewer things happening, but the same concept,” Smith said. “It incorporates the City, it incorporates agriculture, it incorporates the hand which to me kind of says ‘come along, come to Maricopa’.”

Some members of the council responded with indifference to Smith’s concerns, while others expressed eagerness to put the eight-month process behind them.

Councilmember Henry Wade suggested newsprint was probably not the best material on which to judge the new design, and said he was ready to approve the new design as is.

Nancy Smith suggested a seal similar to that used in the Planning Department.

“That last time we had this conversation I was comfortable with moving forward the way that [the new design] was,” Wade said. “I’m still comfortable with moving forward.”

Though not present during much of the early conversation, Councilmember Julie Gusse did voice her support for the new design, which she considered meaningful.

“You have the cotton fields, you have the train,” Gusse said. “That’s two things the other [older/existing] design doesn’t have.”

She also voiced admiration for the incorporation of family silhouettes and a pecan tree that has historical importance to Maricopa.

None of the councilmembers supported Smith’s alternative design, or expressed objections against the new design.

In the end, Smith reversed her stance and voted with her colleagues to approve the new seal.

The design approval means the city will likely be able to carry a flag baring the new seal to the August meeting of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.

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