December 28, 2016

Commission debates social media use

By Daniel Arens

Tensions continue to rise within the county commission. This time, the use of social media became the primary topic of contention.
Specifically, concerns were raised about Commissioner Dwight Berger’s practice of filming the meetings and then posting the videos on Facebook. While Berger argued that this allows greater access of information to the public, the other commissioners maintained that the action violates the county’s social media policy.
Commissioner Wes Gunsch passed out the “715 Social Media Policy,” drawing attention to specific issues he saw with the videos Berger has posted on Facebook.
One point in the policy says that, “The County logo or other organizational images may not be used on personal social media sites without permission from the County Commission....” The title of Berger’s Facebook page is “Mercer County Commission Meetings and Information,” and the other commissioner felt the use of the county’s name in the title qualified under the policy prohibition.
Another issue raised was the fact that Berger is continuing to post these videos following his election to the commission. Gunsch noted the policy’s words: “Do not post confidential or proprietary information about the organization, our staff members, elected officials, clients or business partners.”

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