Council last night unanimously endorsed a motion supporting the creation of official City of Ryde social media accounts.
Ryde Labor Councillor Jerome Laxale, mover of the motion, was thrilled to have received such overwhelming support for his initiative. "The creation of dedicated City of Ryde Twitter and Facebook accounts will encourage greater community engagement and is a positive step forward for our city."
"This level of direct contact will enable ratepayers and businesses in Ryde to have first hand contact with well trained and knowledgeable council staff. It will also provide a platform for Council to consult with a wider demographic regarding important community decisions, and promote workshops and community events to an audience that may otherwise not have been reached."
“In another possible application, Twitter and Facebook accounts can be used to instantaneously advise sporting teams and mums and dads about last minute weather related sporting field closures”
Social Media has a proven record in engaging younger generations and this was a point that Councillor Laxale stressed during debate last night.
"While printed material and public forums will always have a place, many younger people look to Social Media for news, events and other information. With Ryde's demographics becoming younger and younger, Council must have the right tools in place so that they can properly engage and consult."
"With approximately 50 councils in NSW having a social media presence, now is the right time for City of Ryde to enter the fray" concluded Councillor Laxale.
Councillors will be asked to consider the final operational model at the next council meeting on 26/03/13.
Edit 08/03/13: Council will be choosing an operating model on 12/03/2013