Social media is replacing traditional media outlets in the dissemination of information, and the Brookfield Comprehensive Plan recommends the township jump on the band wagon by creating “a responsive social media program on Facebook and Twitter that provides information on township events, meetings and community news.”
But, there are no immediate plans to do so.
Trustee Dan Suttles said in April that he wanted the township to start a Twitter account, and Trustee Ron Haun said he supported it “as long as it doesn’t become gossip.” But Haun’s thinking has changed and Trustee Gary Lees also is not in favor of the township joining the social media revolution.
Suttles said social media would be a way to “help us communicate with the public better.”
He envisioned using the account to alert residents to road closings in the case of fires or other emergency situations; post township meetings; and announce township and community activities and promote them as they are going on.
He said he favors Twitter over the much more popular Facebook, because it is more informational and “not a gossip thing.”
A social media presence would complement the information available on the township web site, Suttles said, adding that the web site needs updated.
Haun said his biggest concern with social media is opening up the township to liability, especially in an instance where someone posts a cry for help and no one
from the township sees it; therefore, no one responds. Somebody would have to monitor the township’s accounts 24 hours a day, and the township doesn’t have the money to pay someone to do it, he said.
“If they want to have the facts, they are more than happy to contact me, and I will be more than happy to talk to them and get them as much information as they would like,” Haun said.
Lees declined to express publicly his thoughts on social media.
In response to his colleagues’ reluctance to open a social media account, Suttles created a Twitter account called @TrusteeSuttles to pass on township information. It is separate from his personal Twitter account.