Belding City Council adopts social media policy

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 11:14 am on Friday, June 21, 2013

BELDING — With new technology comes new rules and responsibilities, and members of Belding City Council are taking action to be proactive in dealing with the city’s venture into social media.

After the recent creation of an official city of Belding Facebook page, council members voted 5-0 at Tuesday’s meeting to adopt a social media policy for city officials.

City Manager Meg Mullendore said there have been no problems with employees and social media; rather, the policy is a measure to be proactive rather than reactive further down the road.

“Since we now have a city of Belding Facebook page it’s really important that we have a policy in place,” she said. “I don’t want to be in a situation where we don’t have this in place and somebody does something with no repercussions to follow. This is pretty prevalent in most communities nowadays.”

According to Mullendore, the new policy addresses what is and is not permissible for city staff, council members and appointed board members.

“Oftentimes, the lines between private and professional get blurred with social media and this definitely spells out what can and cannot be done both to protect the individual as well as the organization,” she said.

According to the policy, comments on the city of Belding Facebook page “are the opinion of the poster only, and publication of a comment does not imply endorsement or agreement by the city of Belding. The city reserves the right to block or remove any comments that violate this policy, or are illegal, threatening, or contain defamatory comments.”

Mullendore will be designated as moderator of all comments and posts to the city’s Facebook page.

Belding’s new Facebook page can be found by searching “City of Belding” on Facebook. The page has a total of 90 “likes” so far.


In Other Matters …

Also at Tuesday’s Belding City Council meeting:

• Councilman Tom Jones requested an update on the status of the Electrolux property.

Mayor Ron Gunderson said now that all of the buildings are gone, “the hard part begins.”Gunderson said the Michigan Department of Environmental Qualities (MDEQ) is active in working with Electrolux in the beginning stages of searching for contamination.  Once samples are taken and levels of contamination are registered on site, Electrolux will remediate the property and provide fresh topsoil of between two to three feet to be covered over the site.

Mullendore said she is currently working with Electrolux to see if a portion of the site could be used for a future roller rink and ice rink area.

• Council members voted 5-0 to approve a request for Mullendore to attend the Michigan Local Government Management Association Annual Summer Conference.

• Council members voted 5-0 to approve a request for Mullendore to attend the International City/County Management Association Annual Conference.

• Council members voted 5-0 to increase financial contribution to the Belding Labor Day Festival by an additional $2,000 (total contribution would be $5,000).

• Council members voted 5-0 to adopt a revised Freedom of Information Act Ppolicy for the city of Belding including required forms.

• Council members voted 5-0 to accept a resolution authorizing the approval of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources development project agreement for the Silk City Nature Trail extension.

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