The Gardner council updated a social media policy that was originally adopted in 2010.
James Pruetting, city administrator, asked for and received consensus from the council at the last meeting to have the policy updated. At that time, he noted it addresses first amendment concerns, but outlines what the expectations are regarding information that goes out on personal social media.
The city’s social media policy was adopted in 2010 and revised in 2014 to include appointed members of boards and commissions, Pruetting said via e mail.  The proposed revisions before the council simply address outdated position titles and updates staff responsibilities.
There are no provisions in the policy prescribing corrective action for elected personnel or appointed members, he continued.  The governing body would be responsible for determining what, if any, action would be taken in any of of these circumstances.
As adopted, the policy will not be retroactive.
Pruetting said the policy’s goal is to set a reasonable standard of behavior for individuals who are affiliated with the city in an employment or other official capacity.
The policy reads that appointed or elected officials who are contacted by the media on a topic of official city business should feel free to refer to the public information officer for assistance.
“Feel free,” by definition, is not a mandate, Pruetting said.  “Therefore, there are no ‘repercussions’ for choosing not to contact the PIO.  Additionally, this provision is not new to this revision.”
Pruetting defined “feel free” as “ – If someone tells you to feel free to do something, they mean that you can do it if you want to.”