New city Facebook page offers easy access to information

This photo of the Charles City bridge, a copyrighted image by R. Whiteside, is the cover photo on a new Charles City City Hall Facebook page.
This photo of the Charles City bridge, a copyrighted image by R. Whiteside, is the cover photo on a new Charles City City Hall Facebook page.
By Kelly Terpstra, kterpstra@charlescitypress.com

No oceanside view or beachfront property is necessary to do a little city surfing.

All it takes is five simple numbers and a keyboard.

Charles City residents now have quick and easy access to the new City Hall Facebook page that has become active on the Internet in the past week.

Just type in Charles City and 50616 in the Facebook search window and a link should lead you right to a new site offering plenty of general information and updates about the community.

This is Charles City’s first Facebook page related to City Hall and it’s been something that City Administrator Steve Diers has been wanting to get up and running for some time now.

“The city Facebook page has been something on my to–do list since day one, since I’ve got here,” said Diers. “You really need to have that presence with the city.”

Diers, who became city administrator in Charles City in March 2014, said the site is still in its infancy and has officially been online on Facebook since May. But Diers just started posting informational updates this past week.

Diers has big plans for the page, which he said will feature a partnership with the Police Department, which already has an established and well–run Facebook page of its own.

The Police Department will be able to post messages on the city’s Facebook page and vice versa. Diers said city department heads will also have access to the city page to be able to post updates on various projects or events.

“The idea is for that to be an information spot for people within in the community interested in Charles City activities,” said Diers.

The city’s new Facebook page can also be a gateway to the city’s current website online –cityofcharlescity.org.

“We have a really great webpage and it’s put together well and has a lot of great information, but I don’t know if it gets as much usage as it could,” said Diers.

In addition to the new city Facebook page, there will also be a new city smartphone app that people can download for access to agendas, report potholes in the street or things of that nature, according to Diers.

“It’s an additional means to engage the public,” he said.

During the flooding that took place in Charles City in 2016, Facebook Live updates on the Police Department’s Facebook page were an effective tool to get the word out to the public about the status of rising waters and damage associated with the natural disaster. Diers said Charles City residents could also view live informational videos on the city’s Facebook site.

“Those were incredibly popular and great ways to get the information out,” he added. “If and when an emergency or situation like that would happen again this would be the spot to go to get that information.”

There is a picture of the pedestrian bridge at night as the feature photo for the city Facebook page and the profile pic is what the city’s new welcome signs around town are going to look like.

“The new City Facebook is getting a lot of likes, so I encourage them if they hadn’t to go out and like the page,” said Diers.

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