VICCO – The small town of Vicco again made national headlines last week after the city commission approved a measure to begin paying Police Chief Tony Vaughn in Bitcoin.
Vaughn, who in November made the request to receive his salary in the virtual currency, said the reaction so far has been positive, as has been the exposure for the town of just over 300 inhabitants.
“So far it’s been mostly positive, the news stories in particular have been real good,” Vaughn said.
The Herald first reported on the commission’s meeting last week, and from there the story made the rounds online as several bloggers and news sites picked it up. Fox News also reported on the story, as did the websites of Russia Today and The Telegraph out of England. Vaughn also noted Forbes contacted him last week.
Vicco has been no stranger to notoriety since January when the commission approved a fairness ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. The city was featured in several national news stories, and also on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” in August.
Vaughn said exposure for the city was one of the main reasons he made the request to be paid in Bitcoin in the first place. Even so, he noted he was somewhat surprised when the Bitcoin story took off like it did, garnering headlines not only nationally but in other countries as well.
“It’s been phenomenal. I couldn’t believe it went around the world that quick,” he said. “The Bitcoin itself, the biggest thing I think everybody’s worried about is the fluctuation on the market, but the thing about it is how much would it have cost to buy that kind of advisement (for Vicco) around the world?”
Vicco was the benefactor of some good fortune following the Colbert piece this past summer, including a set of playground equipment donated for the new park next to City Hall. Vaughn said he hopes the recognition this time around will again pay off for Vicco. He said officials there want to continue to revamp the city with projects such as the playground and revitalizing Main Street.
“If we could do any of that from this it would be fantastic,” he said.
Officials in Vicco are likely to remain in the news ion the next year, as meetings are continuing on a reality television show featuring several local residents, including Vaughn and Mayor Cummings.