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Use of Social Media by Mayor Rob Burton: Private or Official?

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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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At council today, a member of the public asked Oakville Town Council to send an affidavit to the integrity commissioner regarding the Mayor Burton’s tweet about Stephen Harper’s decision to hire private security on top of what the Government of Canada already provides. I do not want go into any more details, since it has been spoken about at length.

Municipal governments have traditionally not been aligned to political parties. However, we see and have observed for years various town councillors and mayors across the country be aligned with a political party, and now use their Social Media Accounts to voice their opinions. Former Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto was a very loud supporter of the Conservative Party of Canada. Did all his constituents believe and support his political affiliation. The answer is obviously “no”.

During the last Ontario provincial election, many of the mayors stood together to oppose the Conservative Party. Is this something that Mayors should do, since they will always have to work with the elected government regardless of their support.

So what are your thoughts about elected municipal officials who are using their social media accounts to promote one political party or another. Please keep in mind that social media accounts, where it is clearly indicated that they are an elected official. As an example Rob Burton’s twitter handle is @OakvilleMayor.  Since the tweet which caused so much media attention, Mayor Rob Burton has recently changed his twitter description to state that it is a “Personal account: Town of Oakville operates its own official account, @TownOfOakville.”

We recently asked a question if a Mayor should support a political party. Here are the results:
Yes: 13.1%
No: 80.3%
Depends: 5.7%

So here is the question:

[yop_poll id=”6″]

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