STONINGTON — The town’s new website will be ready to roll out in May, according to First Selectman Edward Haberek Jr. He discussed the new site at Wednesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting in response to a question from Selectwoman Glee McAnanly.
McAnanly said, “Obviously, communications has been in the conversation lately.” She asked Haberek if he had time to think about putting town information on a Facebook page.
Haberek had been posting town information and updates on his personal page, which was open to the public. Although some residents said they appreciated the information, others said they disliked having to sort through Haberek’s personal posts to find town information.
After receiving a complaint, he changed his page setting to private. Haberek is also on Twitter, and although the short messages that are sent from his Twitter account to his Facebook page are still public, the remainder of his posts can be seen only by those who are on his friends list. (Haberek tweets as @FirstSelectman.)
McAnaly has requested that the town have an official Facebook page, in addition to its website. When she ran against Haberek last fall, that idea was part of her platform.
“That’s all in the works,” Haberek replied. “We just had a great meeting today about the enhanced website that going to be done. Virtual Town Hall (a Massachusetts company that creates municipal websites) did a presentation to us today, all the department heads, it looks beautiful. It’s going to have a lot of citizen interaction.”
He added: “It’s going to be terrific.”
Haberek’s proposed budget for 2014-15 contains $3,000 for the new website. He has also said that he included “a couple thousand dollars” to pay for an employee to post information on Facebook, once the town has an official Facebook page. The money is necessary, he explained last week, because Town Hall employees belong to a union, and giving an additional task to a union employee would require extra pay.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Haberek also encouraged people to get their information from newspapers, and not trust everything they read on Facebook.