NORTH OGDEN -- City employees have been using Facebook and Twitter to reach the public, so the city council has passed a social media policy to try to establish standards for its official use.
City Attorney Dave Carlson has been working on the policy in part because employees have created Facebook pages without city approval, yet the public may think they are official city pages. City Recorder and Human Resources Director Annette Spendlove wants to see a city policy so residents will know what is the proper source to turn to.
Carlson said under the policy, an employee will monitor the sites and keep track of comments and posts so there won't be any confusion and so concerns from residents can be addressed. That's City Councilman Wade Bigler's biggest concern.
"I don't want people putting things on there and thinking I am going to see it, when I won't," he said. He likes that residents can communicate with him through e-mail, and he doesn't want to miss any resident concerns.
Carlson said a notice could be put on the various social media sites saying that any direct correspondence must be done through the city's website, www.northogdencity.com.
City Manager Ed Dickie said that was the idea anyway.
"Everything will be directed back to the city's website," Dickie said.
Dickie has noticed other cities using social media and believes North Ogden should, too. He said leading people back to the website will the best way to communicate.
"Certain city departments are using them right now, and this just creates standards for what kind of content can be on there," Dickie said.
Carlson said all departments, including the city council, can create their own Facebook pages or Twitter accounts under the new policy.
"Each department could decide how they want to monitor it," Carlson said. Bigler was also wary of that idea, thinking there would be too many places to check. Spendlove said she plans to monitor activity and that it would work out.
Spendlove said with the policy, employees wouldn't be able to start any social networking site for the city without approval, and that's the main reason for adopting the policy now, to give employees guidelines.
"This is a working document. We just need something official right now," Spendlove said.
Council members wondered then if the city would even create any social networking pages. Both Dickie and Carlson said it is a possibility and will probably happen, but the policy is needed before that so things don't get out of hand with employees. Dickie said he would like to see the creation of sites.