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NEWS

April 17th, 2013

Committee will explore how Village can effectively use online resources

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acebook, Twitter and the like have become a part of everyday life for many people, and now a committee will discuss how that new reality can benefit the Village in terms of getting residents involved in civic live.
Mayor Frank Caplan appointed members to the Social Media Committee at a Tuesday, February 25, Village Council meeting. The group will include Karina Besprosvan, Matt Bramson, Paula Carreiro, Carolyn Koslen and Monique Nunez.
The group met last night for the first time.
The Council decided to appoint the committee late last year following a discussion about how the community can best use social media as a public outreach tool.
Council member Theo Holloway, who will serve as the committee’s Council liaison, last December proposed creating policies to let members of the public comment on the Village’s Facebook page. Currently, residents can only “like” the Village to get news updates.
Holloway’s proposal sparked concerns about how to monitor content in the anything goes world of the internet, but also a realization that social media is a valuable tool if used well.
As Holloway noted last year, “I think it’s a responsibility of government to keep their citizens engaged and informed,” and in today’s society, social media is the way people communicate.
Caplan agreed, noting, “Wherever they are, however we’ve got to reach them, I think it is a goal of government.”
That led to the committee’s formation, and local leaders suggested there are numerous topics the group can review.
Holloway said he wants to look at best practices from other communities – he noted the Florida League of Cities has a wealth of information on the topic, and he feels the Village can learn about its options by seeing what other municipalities do.
Along with that, the group will review Holloway’s proposed criteria to edit or remove content posted by the public on Village-sponsored social media sites, all based on the goal of creating a moderated, appropriate public discourse.
Board members will also consider policies for Village employees’ use of social media, such as who staff members can friend, what they can post on private social media accounts, what activity they can use Village computers for, etc. They might also look into urging local media and other entities to also get involved in the conversation on social media.

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