Council to review social media policy

Maple Ridge ‘tragically behind’ other B.C. municipalities: Coun. Bell

  • Sep. 6, 2013 7:00 a.m.

Maple Ridge council has agreed to review communications policy, including the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Council supported Coun. Corisa Bell’s move to do the review at its Aug. 27 meeting.

Bell said what prompted her to ask for the review was when the district was printing up business cards for councillors and she wanted to put on her Facebook, Twitter accounts and website address on her cards, but was told she could only put an e-mail, phone and fax number on the cards.

Bell said she collected cards from other councillors at a prior Union of B.C. Municipalities convention and said many councillors had their social media addresses on their card.

She said in Port Coquitlam, the front desk clerk handles social media, based on feedback on the front desk from the public.

Bell said Maple Ridge isn’t engaging the public enough, saying there’s software such as that provided by Vision Critical to create a City Speaks online community that allows neighbours to register and tell the district what they want to see in their area, as well as inform the district about repairs needed.

That could save the district staff time if neighourhoods were monitoring their own areas, she added.

“There’s so much technology that’s being utilized in other communities and we’re so far behind. And these are the things that I learn about when I go to these conferences and come home and you can’t apply anything,” Bell said. “Maple Ridge is tragically behind in technology compared to other … communities. We just need to catch up so we don’t need to be spending a year doing research on this.”