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The Times
  • St. Johnsville in the process of establishing social media policy

  • The village of St. Johnsville is in the process of establishing formal guidelines for employees’ personal and professional use of social media like Facebook and Twitter.

    Mayor Bernard Barnes said the policy would also extend to websites maintained by the village or by village entities, including the St. Johnsville Volunteer Fire Department.

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  • The village of St. Johnsville is in the process of establishing formal guidelines for employees’ personal and professional use of social media like Facebook and Twitter.
    Mayor Bernard Barnes said the policy would also extend to websites maintained by the village or by village entities, including the St. Johnsville Volunteer Fire Department.
    “This is not something that I personally decided to push for, but it is something that our insurance provider has suggested we do to limit our risk and save our taxpayers money,” Barnes said during Tuesday night’s meeting of the village Board of Trustees. “I understand there have been questions about the policy, but the board and myself have the best interest of the village and its taxpayers at heart. We are not doing this to be malicious, we are doing this to limit the village’s exposure to risk.”
    As an example, the mayor said members of the St. Johnsville Volunteer Fire Department have been asked to refrain from posting pictures from incidents they respond to on the department’s website at www.stjfd.com or their personal Facebook and Twitter accounts. The department has also been asked to remove any incident photos currently posted on their website.
    “If it is a benign photo like a picture of the fire house or a picture of a fire truck then post it and leave it up, but if it is a photo of a fire at a resident’s house then it should be taken down or not posted at all,” said William Van Gorder, New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal representative for the Mang Insurance Agency. “The policy should limit the village from possible legal repercussions.”
    Fire Chief Tom Malley said in the past firefighters posted pictures from fire and rescue scenes to the department’s website out of a sense of pride. “We have an in-house policy that says photos from an incident involving a fatality would not be posted and that photos that show victims would also not be posted. Most of the photos on the website show the firefighters themselves. They take pride in their work and want to share that sense of pride with the community. It’s a way to show what we do.”
    In other business Tuesday evening, Barnes said work on the village’s $195,457 Safe Routes to School project will begin in June 2014. He said the village agreed to put the work off to provide the state with additional time to engineer the project and to complete other projects around the area.
    The village received the grant money in January for curb ramps, crosswalks and signage near D.H. Robbins Elementary School and St. Johnsville Junior - Senior High School.

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