Stay­ing in cy­ber line

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Jessica War­riner

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.