Be informed

© 2017-The Record Delta

If a post is made on Facebook and no one reacts to it, is the post still a good post?
That is exactly what happens to many of our Facebook posts of Upshur County Commission and Buckhannon City Council agendas.
After publishing an article on the county’s decision to increase the excise tax on real estate, people commented that they were not aware.
One person even suggested The Record Delta should have announced the proposed vote on our Facebook page.
We did.
In fact, The Record Delta posted the agenda for the Aug. 31 Upshur County Commission meeting on our Facebook page two days prior to the meeting, on Aug. 29. The post with the agenda received ZERO reactions. No one ‘liked’ it or commented on it or even shared it.
By comparison, a Friday morning post to announce the city approved trick-or-treat times of 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31 was shared 225 times, received multiple comments and many ‘likes” by the end of the day.
Perhaps the snazzy graphic shared by the City of Buckhannon helped boost attention to the post. Government agendas tend to be pretty plain, black text on a white background with lots of text to read.
It makes me wonder if the agendas were colorful with fun graphics to attract attention would more people look at them? The agenda posts always have the fewest engagement results — few likes, if any, no comments and no shares.
While covering municipal government meetings several years ago, I remember a citizen saying he did not read the newspaper or watch local news programs so he didn’t know when the city was considering a hot-button issue and had passed said issue until it was too late.  When this citizen found out about the issue, he came to city council to voice his opinion.
That has always stuck with me and I have learned that people are often too busy with their own lives — work, family and play time to get involved or stay informed. Please take responsibility in what is happening around you. You are always welcome at governmental meetings.
The county commission meets most Thursdays at 9 a.m. I can tell you that there are usually plenty of open seats. City council meetings usually have a few more interested citizens attend but again, the seats only fill up for hot issues or for Wesleyan students required to attend a government meeting for a class. But there are other ways to know what happens in these meetings. Our reporters cover the meetings, usually breaking the meetings and issues into two to four articles per meeting spread out over a couple weeks. Channel 3 tapes every government meeting and they are broadcast on Channel 3 and also on YouTube. Visit www.channel3ondemand.com a few days after the meeting.  The meeting minutes are also posted online at www.buckhannonwv.org or www.upshurcounty.org.
The Record Delta will continue to publish these agenda and other announcements on our Facebook page. We encourage you to read them, like the post, share the post if you think there is something on there that would interest anyone on your friend’s list, post comments and ask questions. Don’t have Facebook? The city council agenda are posted at city hall and at www.buckhannonwv.org. County commission agendas are usually posted in the glass display case in the alley near the public restrooms of the Jennings Annex. You can also find them at www.upshurcounty.org.

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