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article imageMayors praised for communicating via Twitter during blizzard

By Adeline Yuboco     Dec 30, 2010 in Internet
Newark - Mayors Cory Booker of Newark, NJ and Mark Boughton of Danbury, CT, were applauded for their use of Twitter as a means to reach out to their citizens during and after the snow blizzard that hit the northeastern region of the United States last December 26.
According to Time.com, Mayor Booker is now recognized as a social-media hero after he transformed the popular microblogging website into a tool to use for public service. In the aftermath of the snow blizzard, Mayor Booker responded to pleas made by the residents by sending plows to various doors, and even going with his staff members out on the streets to shovel out the snow, and address the needs of the residents to the best of their abilities. One resident testified that after sending the mayor a tweet that his sister is unable to buy diapers because the streets were still snowed in, the mayor himself was at his sister's doorstep, holding the much-needed diapers in one hand.
The mayor was also reported to have been among those shoveling out a New Jersey transit bus while waiting for a response coming from another resident who tweeted him that her 82-year old grandmother was trapped in her home by the deep snow.
In the city of Danbury, Connecticut, Mayor Mark Boughton received praises from the citizens by posting news updates about the snow blizzard using his Twitter account. At the same time, residents were easily able to voice out their concerns and inquiries directly to him without having to go through the different layers of bureaucracy.
With the ability of social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook to send a message to thousands--even millions--of people with just one tweet, Mayor Boughton said that these are extremely effective for communication. Mayor Booker agrees. "I hope more elected officials discover the power of Twitter. It truly is an effective way to connect with the body politic," he points out.
However, not all mayors and local government officials share their views.
Time.com reports:
Other mayors, however, either didn't have Twitter accounts or they were sadly staid. The last tweet from Boston Mayor Tom Menino was from June 22: "Download the Citizens Connect iPhone App on iTunes or the App Store for free!" wrote the "mayor," whose sanitized account reads like it's been written by a staffer.
In another article published in the Newstimes, First Selectman Pat Llodra of Newton prefers the use of e-mails over using social media networks like Twitter or Facebook.
"We still use the telephone, believe it or not," adds Rudy Marconi, First Selectman of the town of Ridgefield, who uses e-mails as well to connect with residents from time to time.
More about Snow, Blizzard, Snowstorm, Newark, Public service
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