They couldn't muster much enthusiasm for their choices, so members of the city council have decided to allow competing designs to appear on city stationery.

The most visible city emblem features a bird flying in front of the sun as it rises over a snow-capped mountain. It appears on almost everything associated with Sandy, from the sign in front of City Hall to the sides of city vehicles.That emblem does not, however, decorate stationery used by the city's mayor or public works department.

Mayor Steve Newton's alternative is a stark graphic, a rounded square with a series of wavy lines flowing through it. Unlike the oranges, browns and greens used on the scenic emblem, the design on the mayor's stationery is printed in shades of blue-green.

Council Chairman Bruce Steadman said the mayor's decision to replace the city's emblem on his stationery about 1 1/2-years ago was overlooked until the wavy design was adopted recently by the public works department.

When city employees began questioning just what the city's official emblem was, the council decided it was time to take a stand, Steadman said.

The showdown between the two designs came at this week's council's meeting. The mayor's position: Let him keep his emblem and he would also put the scenic version on his stationery when it was time to restock his supply.

The council agreed, acknowledging that the city's police and fire department's have always used badges and other emblems on their stationery. But first, both emblems were subjected to criticism.

"It kind of looks like Barnum and Bailey Ringling Brothers-type stuff," said Phil Glenn, the council's executive assistant, of the scenic emblem, an apparent reference to the fancy lettering used for the city's name.

The mayor's alternative didn't win much praise either. Councilman Bryant Anderson suggested it would be more appropriate for a municipal water district, since it seemed to symbolize water.

Councilman Dennis Tenney proposed a contest to design a new emblem that everyone could agree to use but talked himself out of it when he began listing the many emblems that would have to be replaced throughout the city.

Councilmen John Winder and Dick Adair, perhaps reflecting the fiscal mood of a council also faced with the more serious task of determining next year's city budget, repeatedly pointed out their choice.

It is the current emblem, frugally printed in only one color, that appears on the cover of the mayor's proposed budget.