Sarnia’s mayor has entered the world of social media, launching his own website, Twitter account and Facebook page.
“I want it to be interesting and innovative,” Mike Bradley said. “It’s not a reaction to anything else going on. I need to find my voice. What is it that I need to communicate? What does the public want to hear?”
Bradley said he’s been studying the use of social media and even enrolled in a course.
To start with, the site’s content will include his weekly column, news perspectives from outside the city, and basically anything he thinks the public will find interesting, he said.
“I’ve been kicking this around for a long time, through last year … I’ve looked at a lot of political websites from MPPs, MPs, mayors and stuff, and quite honestly, most of them wouldn’t interest anyone.”
Bradley said the new communication tools are not connected to City Hall in any way and he will manage them himself.
“Referring to some of the other social media sites I’ve seen, not just here but other places, often there’s no value to it. It’s people screaming at each other over keyboard keys,” he said.
Many city councillors have long had a presence on Facebook and Twitter and several including Cindy Scholten and Brian White are especially active online.
Last year, a slew of various websites, Facebook groups and Twitter accounts appeared – many of them anonymous and biting – after Bradley was sanctioned by council for harassing and bullying senior administrators.
In December, council added an amendment to the city’s code of conduct prohibiting any member of council from making “any negative comment or insinuation” about another councillor or staff member.
Violators can be investigated and censured by the city’s integrity commissioner.