Tag Archives: Facebook

PO Mayor: Is Facebook the Place to Conduct City Business?

Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola met today with officials from the Kitsap Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau to talk about a renewal of cooperation between the two entities.

The meeting was the result of a testy exchange Feb. 3 between Coppola and Jean Boyle, the bureau’s tourism development director, on Coppola’s Facebook page.

Coppola said he and city council members are trying to upgrade Port Orchard’s reputation from being the “junk drawer of Kitsap County.” The “junk drawer” label, Coppola said, came out of a Kitsap Economic Development Alliance meeting on the KEDA’s “Kitsap 20/20” plan. Apparently made by someone in jest, it stung city officials and representatives of the PO Chamber of Commerce. The chamber is working on a “branding” campaign to help PO overcome its inferiority complex, and city officials are trying to move the city into up-and-coming mode, hoping to shed what City Councilman Jerry Childs has called a “poverty of spirit.”

Coppola remains the personification of Port Orchard’s mad-as-hell-and-not-going-to-take-it-anymore attitude. Referencing Port Orchard’s decision not to allocate any of its 2009 hotel-motel tax funds to the VCB, he told Boyle, “The KPVCB has a LOT to prove to Port Orchard if it ever expects to receive our future support.”

Coppola established his Facebook page “a couple of months ago” primarily to connect with people he has worked with writing car reviews for the automotive industry. He has 103 “friends” on the social networking site, including representatives of local businesses and organizations, and he has made some postings related to the city of Port Orchard.

“I probably shouldn’t have said anything to Jean up there (on Facebook),” Coppola said. “On the other hand, it led to this meeting.”

What do you think? Is Facebook a good way for public officials to promote informal discourse about local affairs? What are the risks? The potential benefits?