Snellville's new Christmas ornament has arrived. It features a blue snail in a gold shell sporting a hat, scarf and smile.
Some think it's cute. Others, not so much.
In a work session Monday night, the slug-based bauble came under fire by Councilman Tod Warner. He argued the snail casts Snellville in a negative light and undermines new marketing initiatives meant to shed the city's anti-business, poor quality-of-life image.
Recently, the city rolled out a new logo, formed the Snellville Tourism and Trade Association and helped establish a farmers market.
For 24 years, Snellville's administrative staff has selected, purchased and sold customized holiday ornaments emblazoned with scenes from City Hall, Briscoe Park and Senior Center, among others.
City Clerk Melisa Arnold said although the snail has never appeared on the city's holiday ornament, it has been used in park paraphernalia and local Monopoly boards.
"We think it's adorable," Arnold told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The snail's got a 30-year history here. It's not as prominent as our logo, but it's always been around."
This year, the staff ordered 150 ornaments for about $800. It had planned to sell them for $8 apiece.
On Monday, Warner pushed the city to order new ornaments carrying the farmers market logo. As for the snail ornament, he suggested that staffers in love with it could take one before the city locked away the rest. He was backed by the council.
"I don't think the timing's right," Warner said. "We're really trying to move forward, not backward."
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Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com