Polk approves new social media policy

Published 10:00 pm Monday, May 26, 2014

Polk County government should soon have a presence on social media, including Facebook and Twitter as commissioners approved a new policy.
Commissioners met Monday, May 19 and approved a social media policy by a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Ray Gasperson voted against the policy, saying he doesn’t feel employees should have to monitor and keep up with this site.
“It’s just another way we’re growing county government,” Gasperson said.
Commissioner vice chair Michael Gage asked Gasperson if it isn’t a good idea to hear what citizens think.
Gage said this is a way residents can interact with county staff, saying some people look at government as being something bigger that it really is and it may be easier to post comments on a website.
Commissioner chair Ted Owens said he thinks it’s another way of trying to keep people informed, but also a way for residents to keep the county informed.
“I think it’s a good thing,” Owens said. “It wasn’t anybody sitting up here’s idea. It was a citizen. He’s the one that made the recommendation and we followed up on it and so far I think we like it.”
Commissioner Tom Pack added that the county needs to stay in touch with young people.
Gasperson said his only concern is county staff’s time and the growth of government.
Pack said the policy does not say departments have to do social media; it just says if they do, this is the policy to follow.
Owens said he recently visited a Polk high school civics class and was asked by a young lady why she should vote for him. Owens said the student told him Owens isn’t on Facebook and she doesn’t know anything about him.
“This is just another way for this board to be transparent,” Owens said. “At least we know that people are being informed.”

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