The Morristown Select Board has moved one step closer to adopting a social media use policy for town officials.
On Sept. 3, the select board worked out a few of the final details for the new policy. Much of it follows a model policy from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, but the select board has to pick and choose certain options.
One option is whether to allow public comments on the town government’s social media posts. Board member Judy Bickford opposes public comments — they’re often a problem for social media managers — but other board members see comments as a way to gather public opinion, just like a board member receiving a phone call from a taxpayer.
Board chair Bob Beeman and vice chair Chris Towne both favored allowing public comments, as long as someone manages them — taking down vulgar or inappropriate comments.
There have been only been a few incidents like that since the town started using social media several years ago, according to Erica Allen, assistant to town administrator Dan Lindley.
Lindley agreed that he and Allen could police comments, provided his decision to remove a comment could be appealed directly to the select board.
The board decided to delay adopting the new policy until the comment section is in final form.
The board also needed to verify what social media platforms Morristown will use.
Town staff members have said several times in the last six months that Morristown operates on Facebook, Twitter, Front Porch Forum and the town website. But the town may have been on other social media platforms, albeit unofficially.
A LinkedIn profile for Morristown, Vermont — purporting to represent the town government — existed until this week. The profile, listed under the architecture and planning category, reported a staff of between 11 and 50 employees and linked back to the official town website, morristownvt.org.
When asked about the LinkedIn profile on Monday, Sept 9, Lindley said he didn’t know anything about it.
“I can’t see anyone creating a town LinkedIn,” he said, although he knows several town employees are on the platform and list the town government as their employer.
By Tuesday, Sept. 10, the account had been deleted.
• The board considered requests to accept several new town roads, but didn’t approve any of them.
One, Belanger Lane, should be considered again later this year, since residents have already made the improvements needed to bring the road up to town standards. The board will make the decision once the improvements are verified.
Three other roads, James Road, Lake Lamoille Drive and Meadow Drive, either don’t have enough completed structures to qualify as a town road, or don’t yet meet town road standards. If things change, the board will consider them.
One other, Sholan Road, requires extensive work before it could be accepted as a town highway, according to several board members.
• The board reappointed Denny DiGregorio to another five-year term as the town fire warden.
• The board also approved selling three Morristown Emergency Medical Services surplus stretchers for $7,500.