Using social media as Council member gets censure

Using social media as Council member gets censure

Alex Keleman
on Mar 01, 2016

A Council person using social media to inform constituents and offer opinions results in censure for "conduct unbecoming a Member of Council" (Macedonia).  Charge includes she "continually employed astrategyof underminingthe administrationand herfellowmembersof Council through her postings."

Should a Council be permitted to dictate use of social media to a dissenting member? 


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Some pretty crazy City Council actions going on in Macedonia. City Councils conduct business under general laws of the State of Ohio as well as the US Constitution. They, like other legislative bodies, control the conduct of their members through the option of removal, or in less extreme cases, censure. Censure is the public reprimanding of a public official for inappropriate conduct or voting behavior.

Macedonia City Council voted 3-1  on Feb. 26 to censure one of their own members, Sylvia Hanneken. While there were numerous charges listed the one most troubling for al of us using socila media is this  one:

“Conducting unbecoming a Council Member: Various dates in 2014, 2015, & 2016 – Through her Facebook site Macedonia Civics, Ms. Hanneken has continually employed a strategy of undermining the administration and her fellow members of Council through her postings attacking the opinions of her colleagues. Although open discussions and opinions are welcomed and encourage through dialog at all Council meetings, Ms. Hanneken’s postings, prior to any dialog, only leads to public misconceptions. This calls into question Ms. Hanneken’s ethics, and her lack of respect of Council, especially when the majority of Council disagrees with Ms. Hanneken’s position. As an elected official, Ms. Hanneken’s opinions should be heard, but the platform that they should be levied at is during Council meetings, and not through social media.”

That any responsible elected official or administrator, let alone a majority of an elected body, would include an elected officials  use of social media to express their opinion as a “charge” of misconduct is in itself misconduct.

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on 2017-10-23T04:08:42+00:00
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Alex Keleman

Alex Keleman - 2017-10-23T04:08:43+00:00 - "A Council person using social media to inform constituents and offer opinions results in censure..."

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Gene Hartzler
on Aug 04, 2017 - 2:00 pm

The paper considers the practicality of social networks using by local self-government bodies. It is found out like the flow of social networks to create the image and reputation of municipal authorities. Workers of website copywriting have good expertise in a social network using.