Call them late to the party, but Abington Township will consider creating its own Facebook account.
The consensus of the public affairs committee on Wednesday night was to pass the idea along to the full board; this isn’t the first time the township has mulled the idea of using the free social media website.
In spring 2011, then-assistant township manager Matt Lahaza gave a Facebook presentation, saying that having a Facebook account would “increase transparency in government.”
On Wednesday, assistant township manager Tara Wehmeyer gave a brief presentation on the subject. Wehmeyer said Facebook is now commonplace in the business community and added that people check their Facebook accounts several times a day. She suggested posting things like: meeting notices, public hearings, job openings, potholes and insect spraying times.
“It would be just for informational purposes only,” Wehmeyer said, adding that comments would be disabled on the page due to the “unpredictable nature of having an open forum.” Though the comments would be disabled, residents would still have the opportunity to send private messages to the administrator of the page.
A proposed township Facebook page would be run in-house and Wehmeyer would likely be one of the account’s administrators; township officials would still have to mete out the details on what’s post-worthy.
The township would still maintain its webpage, www.abington.org.
Board of Commissioners President Peggy Myers said that she proposed the idea two years ago with then-president Carol DiJoseph.
“I’m delighted to hear this,” Myers said. “[We] proposed this in 2011 and it wasn’t very well received … and now it seems we’re two years behind."
Would you visit the township's Facebook page? Do you think it's necessary to have a webpage and a Facebook page?