It’s Official: Get Ready to Twitter in Elkton

News Brief ——

Elkton Town Hall, April 7, 2010  – In recommending Elkton get on board with the popular social networking service Twitter, Kim Kamp, assistant town administrator, remarked that the “Obama Administration is encouraging more open government so there is more open communication” with the public.   “Twitter is a nice way to do that,” she emphasized since “there’s no conversation back and forth.”  The mayor and commissioners approved of the idea of tweets, the short web blasts of information that will let citizens know what’s going on.  As soon as we hear that the town is blasting out these messages on the micro-blog that limits content to 140 characters, we’ll let readers know.

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2 responses to “It’s Official: Get Ready to Twitter in Elkton

  1. This will only be a positive development if the tweets say something other than “meeting went off course” and “closed meeting.” Hurrah for Comm. Givens for standing up for the citizens of Elkton. Thank you to Ms. Kamp for her willingness to take the extra step and to share information with the public.

  2. For sure, if they use it for sharing real info, that’ll be helpful. Problem with the town is that they don’t even do the basics of helping to keep people informed and most of their constitutents/voters aren’t going to getting to get the RSS twitter feeds. Still there’s no cost.

    For about one-half of their meetings (workshops), they don’t publish an agenda ahead of time so an intersted citizen could monitor activities of interest. Also they don’t stream the workshops, which is where the real discussions and decisions are made. All they do at the formal meeting is ratify the straw-vote. Were it not for two commissioners, the public would have little idea about what’s going on because they bring up the issue at the regular monthly meeting. Former Mayor James Crouse made exactly that point as the controversial decision about the fee waiver was made. The public was hearing about it for the first time and they didn’t have the background from the workshop. Yet the public couldn’t comment until it was all over and really had no info, excpet that something had just occurred that they didn’t like.

    They stream the one meeting, but not the other. Someone Noticed is thinking that as a public service we’ll start streaming the other one, since it is a public record and it is recorded.

    The public would find those discussions informative.

    For example, right now, we’re working on two major story pieces from the last workshop, where the agenda wasn’t published and the video isn’t streamed. Right after the election, they’re going to vote for a substantial increase in sewer rates (In the 50% range). There was also a controversial discussion about the cost of the town’s proosed defined benefits plan and the cost it might have.

    But that was done with no public scrutiny and there’s no legacy media coverage of the town. Yet those two items are going to have a real financial impact. The sewer rate is scheduled for a vote in June. We’ll get a story out. Sure wish some other media was helping cover this since there’s more than enough news to go around and it’s important for the delivery of good government.

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