Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Position At City Hall

At last week's committee meeting the city manager gave an over view of the 2014 city budget.

One item, as reported in the Shawnee Dispatch is somewhat interesting: 

"In addition, staff is recommending the addition of two new city employees, a public information officer and an emergency manager, as high-priority budget issues.
According to Gonzales, Shawnee’s first public information officer is needed to get out more and accurate information to satisfy public demand and to counter bad information sometimes disseminated by bloggers and traditional media sources.

The city’s image has suffered as a result of not having anyone dedicated to the city’s public information effort full-time, Gonzales added. In addition to promoting good news stories about the city and countering inaccurate information, she said, the public information officer would be responsible for maximizing use of social media and other communications avenues."

"Bad information disseminated by bloggers and traditional media sources."  Hmmm, I thought nobody cared about what local bloggers say    Traditional media sources.....does that mean that the city is upset that they have been unable to control the local traditional media?  That they are no longer the rah rah cheerleaders for the city and now show all sides of a story?

Bad information?  Notice the choice of words......."bad information".  Well, if folks don't want "bad information"  to be disseminated, then don't do bad things.  What bad things?  Oh, things like appointing a relative of the mayor to a council position in a manner that the JoCo DA calls it a violation of the spirit of the Kansas Open Meetings Act?  Or sending eight people to a conference in Boston? 

A public information officer...............hmmmm.....will that person be objective?  Or will their function be to provide only the good, forgetting the bad and the ugly?  Will they ignore citizen inquiries, like some council members do and fail to respond to valid questions? (More on that coming soon).

How many JoCo cities have a public information officer?

An afterthought:  Waiting to hear the comments from certain councilmembers justifying the PIO position......especially those who were against spending the money to restore full minutes of council meetings.