For months now, the City of Northfield’s homepage has had an item on its left sidebar that says:
Community Videos: Moving to our city?
The link currently goes to a Nov. 2007 memo by Al Roder on the website of company called CGI Communications (their ELocalLink division) that explains the program. I can’t find that memo anywhere on the City’s website or anything else about the program.
It’s evidently all part of a partnership with the US Conference of Mayors, explained here on the CGI Com website. However, I can’t find anything about the program on the US Conference of Mayors website.
The Roder memo is actually a canned memo, using language that CGI uses for other communities. For example, see the CGI ‘partnership’ memo for the City of Madisonville, KY.
The City of Hopkins was contacted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in partnership with CGI Communications in 2007 about providing a video stream promotion Hopkins on both www.hopkinsmn.com and thinkhopkins.com. The promotional video stream is free to municipalities; local businesses and organizations are asked by CGI staff to sponsor the program by purchasing ad space. Completion of the video is not contintingent on a minimum amount of ad space sold.
Since entering into an agreement to move forward with the project, City staff has been working with the company to select specific topics to cover in the video. Video categories include education, quality of life, real estate and relocation, dining and shopping, and recreation. Scriptwriting for the project is currently under way and filming is scheduled for June 18 and 19. In the meantime, CGI sales staff is offering ad space to the community.
A local business owner contacted me this morning, wondering:
I received a call this AM from a guy with e-local link wanting to talk with me about producing a video. He started his conversation by heavily promoting the fact that the city administrator and city itself was behind the project, etc. I could sense fishing for money and cut him off rather abruptly.
A few moments later I received a fax outlining the basics of what he was talking about. It didn’t come through real well, but I scanned it and have attached it. Do you know anything about this?
This probably is all legit but it seems like the City should have something about it on its website if Northfield businesses are going to be approached for ad sponsorship dollars. And why doesn’t the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce have something about it on its website?