Positive about Fulton County

JOHNSTOWN – For the first time in its history, Fulton County has a mascot, and his name is “Plus.”

The mascot was born inside the mind of Fulton County Administrator Jon Stead. Stead, who’s position includes duties as Fulton County’s public relations director, said he got the idea for creating a mascot character based in part on his experience working in Washington D.C. He said it was common for cut-out pictures of elected officials to be used by tourists for photo opportunities.

“We thought another way to bring attention to the area, particularly to children and younger people, was to identify and create a mascot to kind of help be an ambassador for the whole [Fulton County POSI+IVE] concept and to draw attention to all of the positive things going on in the community, and that there is still a good future for people here in terms of quality of life and so forth,” Stead said.

In December, the Fulton County Board of Supervisors unveiled its “Fulton County N.Y. POSI+IVE” brand, created by North Star Destination Strategies of Nashville, Tenn at a total cost of $46,000, with National Grid paying $23,000 of the cost. The T in positive is replaced by a plus-sign – on various promotional materials, such as posters and mugs.

“We did a few small recognitional events at local school districts using bike bottles with the mascot on it at the beginning of the summer. In reality, that was the first appearance of Plus, but we didn’t want to unveil him just yet. We had some schools that were adamant about wanting to promote being positive. We didn’t have the standee built yet, so Plus himself only got here a week or so ago,” Stead said. “As public relations director, I have some latitude to come up with some ideas and how to promote things, so we had a budget to work with from the Board of Supervisors to support the POSI+IVE campaign, and I used a portion of that for this.”

Stead said there was no cost for the design of the character.

The Plus standee was taken around to some local businesses Sept. 21 and photos with Plus and business owners were taken and posted on the Fulton Board of Supervisors website.

Studio Herbage owner Jim Dempsey said he likes the design of Plus, although he wishes more input from the community had been used for the POSI+IVE campaign itself.

“It’s a fun logo that I think will help draw people to the area,” Dempsey said. “I really would have liked to have been involved in it, because I just think with more input from the creative side of the community it might have turned out differently.”

Stead said part of his thinking with the creation of Plus is his desire to think outside the box for the county.

“One of the things that we decided early on with the Jump Start Fulton County …. one of the key decisions we made was that we are going to try some things that we’ve never done before, so when you see some of these things, the mascot, the brand, those are things the county has never ever done before,” he said. “So, that’s why you’re seeing this. Some people may say, ‘gee, what was the old mascot’, well there was no old mascot. We aren’t going to divulge all of our plans for the mascot yet, but there are other plans and ideas for him coming up in the future.”