Hope is to reach more residents
The Twisp Town Council has endorsed a social media policy that is intended to help the town improve its connections with the community.
The town currently has a website with information about town departments, activities, policies and meetings. It also includes links to other information sources.
Mayor Soo Ing-Moody, council members and staff hope that a more-visible social media presence will reach a wider audience and help make information more accessible.
The policy, adopted by the council at its meeting last week, was developed by the town’s Public Safety Committee, which includes council member Hannah Cordes. She told the council that committee members reviewed social media policies from other cities to come up with a comprehensive document while “trying to keep it simple.” Town Attorney Scott DeTro has reviewed the policy.
Ing-Moody said all materials for social media postings will be reviewed by at least two town officials including herself.
Councilmember Aaron Studen noted that the social media strategy is meant to be “an objective way to disseminate information” that’s available on the town’s website and elsewhere.
Some highlights of the policy:
• Communication will be one-way. The town’s social media platforms are “not intended as a public forum.”
• Other social media platforms will link back to the town’s official website.
• All social media sites are subject to provisions of the state’s Open Public Meetings Act and the state Public Records Act.
• Staff and elected officials will not be allowed to post personal opinions on any of the social media platforms. Postings will not contain comments related to political campaigns, candidates or ballot measures.
• Prohibited are postings that promote any kind of discrimination.
• Town employees are not prohibited from having their own personal social media platforms — with the provision that “town employees are required to comply with all town policies and rules that might apply to the use of social media, both on- and off-duty.”
In other business, the council approved the issuance of a $280,000 municipal bond to support a major water system improvement project that includes replacement of the town’s water meters.
North Cascades Bank will purchase the bond, which is essentially borrowed money that will be paid back to the bank on a schedule, at an annual interest rate of 2.4%. Municipal bonds are tax-exempt for the purchasers.
Public Works Director Andrew Denham reported that bids for the Canyon Street Crossing project came in favorably. The project will include a new bus stop, improved pedestrian crosswalks, bicycle lanes and two landscaped “refuge islands” in the middle of Highway 20. Denham said it’s too late in the construction season to begin the work this year. The council will review the bids at its next meeting.
Also, the council agreed to a memo of understanding with the Methow Arts Alliance that will allow the arts organization to apply for an Arts WA grant for projects in the town’s Creative Arts District, including improved signage. The $24,500 grant would require a local match of $18,375, which the Arts Alliance will provide with a combination of cash and in-kind contributions, Ing-Moody said.