Tina Hill was kind enough to remind me Sunday that her Management Services Committee would be considering candidates for McHenry County Seal yesterday morning.
I made it in time and was asked to sit in the empty press session, where visitors usually sit, Hill told me.
When public comment time came, I got up and made my pitch for Dick Tracy for County Seal.
Apparently, the contest didn’t make it on the General Election ballot. All that campaigning for nothing.
Being a fictional character, Dick Tracy couldn’t even sign up to be a write-in candidate.
Gone are the days of votes for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck that Mike Royko used to report after every election.
The Chicago and Springfield pols got tired of the ridicule and required people vote for real people who wanted to be voted for.
So, all those write-ins a week ago were wasted, folks.
As in, not counted.
Admitting that the current county seal, based on the state seal is “boring,” I plunged ahead.
I told the all-female attending committee members that I had been trying to think of something that would represent McHenry County for McHenry County Blog, but couldn’t come up with anything better that Dick Tracy. I pointed out that Crystal Lake blogger Alan Showalter of Heck of a Guy blog had come up with the idea.
I pointed out that the State of Illinois Tourism folks had paid $2,000.
I suggested that international publicity would result from putting Dick Tracy on the county seal. It could be the centerpiece of a tourism campaign.
The Illinois Department of Tourism paid $2,000 to get the rights to use Dick Tracy’s image in a poster saying,
I suggested that $2,000 a year might end up being a good tourism expenditure, considering I’d heard the county gives the McHenry County Convention and Visitors Bureau $150,000 a year.
And, by selling the county seal and related Dick Tracy merchandise, county government could probably recoup the cost of licensing.
Why the county could even open a web store.
But, the state tourism poster was advertising a now-closed museum in Woodstock and, as committee member Mary Lou Zierer put it,
“I connect Dick Tracy with Woodstock. If we’re going to have a county seal that designates a certain town in the county, I like the old courthouse. I think a combination of the new and old would be good to have.”
During my pitch, I pointed out that Chester Gould had told me (or maybe I didn’t mention my source) that his inspiration for Gravel Gertie and B.O. Plenty came when he was driving past the old Crystal Lake Dump on Virginia Street Road. It’s now covered with gravel trucks and a row of storage units.
And as soon as I saw former Supervisor of Assessments Stanley Cornue after I was elected county treasurer I thought he looked like Pruneface. (Don’t you wonder what kind of a fight led Gould to make him a villain in his cartoon strip?)
In any event, the committee was shown all the entries from the public.
Dick Tracy was shown first because Alan Showalter sent it in first.