Castlegar city council voted to implement an official Facebook and Twitter page for the city at its regular council meeting Monday night.
“Social media venues are becoming a strong and vibrant means of communication for different organizations including local governments,” John Malcolm, chief administrative officer wrote to council.
He said getting the city involved with social networking falls into the city’s mandate, part of which calls for the city “to create a positive environment which encourages a sense of community pride and provides opportunities for meaningful involvement and participation of all citizens.”
There was general concern among councillors regarding negative postings from community members on the pages.
“It’s a tool to spread information and get it out,” Coun. Russ Hearne said. “It’s not to log complaints. I do think, if we’re going to put ourselves on social media, we should expect feedback.”
He said some feedback, not necessarily all good, would be fine, “as long as it doesn’t become nasty.”
Malcolm told council there is a feedback page on the city’s website where citizens can email directly to get in touch with council.
Currently, the city receives one or two notifications per day through this service.
“On the Facebook page, people with specific concerns are directed to use that,” Malcolm said.
“We’re going to get a whole new demographic of people paying attention to the city,” Coun. Deb McIntosh said.
Once council voted Monday night, the sites were live by Tuesday morning. While the Twitter will be used for announcements, the Facebook page will also feature photos and be more interactive.
City staff will operate the pages and posts will first go through Malcolm.