Healdsburg's success in keeping a stable economy, healthy lifestyle and small-town charm and friendliness could become national television fodder if talks with the "Today in America" show continue on track, Healdsburg managers said.
"The show's producers contacted us about two weeks ago," Healdsburg City Manager Marjie Pettus told the Healdsburg City Council last week. "They wanted to talk about why Healdsburg is a success in today's world.
"I told them we think we are a success because we maintain a unique mix and balance between old and new," Pettus said. "We hold on to a lot of traditional values and we stay true to our original agricultural roots."
Pettus asked for and received the unanimous blessing of City Council to continue the talks and proceed toward a possible contract with the show, hosted by football celebrity Terry Bradshaw.
City Council voted unanimously to allocate $19,800 out of Healdsburg's "Community Benefit Fund" for the licensing fees, which would given the city full rights to use the video as it wishes after it airs on TV.
Tentative contract terms call for the Healdsburg segment to be broadcast nationally first, then aired in 19 regional markets. After that, the city would be able to use it as a marketing tool.
"I think this is a great potential economic development opportunity," said Councilman Jim Wood. "It's nice to be approached, and it's nice to be recognized that we have something special."
Vice Mayor Gary Plass said he checked out the "Today in America" website, and was pleased with the spread done on a previous success story -- Fayetteville, Arkansas.
"I really like the idea," Plass said. "Considering that we would get one national exposure and 19 regional exposures, it's pretty cheap advertising."
Mayor Tom Chambers said he appreciated the "business focus" and "the recognition of the hidden gems around us," he said.
"When you look at the benefit of promoting the city, this is an excellent opportunity," Chambers said. "It will be good for a large sement of the community."
Pettus said she would report back on the progress of the talks.