Staying in cyber line
WITH almost every constituent and councillor clutching a smartphone, the new WALGA chief executive says social media is one of the next big challenges for local governments.
Nick Sloan has been in the job since March and said some of the problems currently plaguing the sector had been exacerbated by social media.
It comes in the week of the Gosnells mayor having his privileges stripped from him by fellow councillors following his online conduct.
“It’s difficult to put the toothpaste back in the tube with social media, it’s allpervasive now,” Mr Sloan said.
The chief executive said social media, while enabling people to engage quickly and easily, was also providing a forum for individuals to “drive an agenda” after a particular issue with a council or councillor, and was at “its absolute worst” with attacks on council staff.
“As an elected member, as a chief executive, you accept to a certain extent you’re public property, and you take what comes with that,” he said.
“It’s a different matter when you’re talking about an officer inside an administration that’s doing their job.
“It’s very difficult for them to defend themselves.
“I’m not suggesting it’s widespread, but we’re seeing enough of (it) that it does warrant someone taking leadership.”
Mayor Glenn Dewhurst.