By Taylor Short
The Cove Herald
The Copperas Cove City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday outlining expectations for city personnel when blogging or using other types of social media.
Human Resources Director Kelli Sames said this is an area of policy that is recommended by the Texas Municipal League to be addressed by cities with the rising prominence of social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Myspace or LinkedIn and websites that allow users to maintain blogs.
The ordinance states that personal blogging during work, registering for networks with city e-mail addresses and posting photos, logos or any other material is prohibited "if such disclosure harms the city's reputation and/or goodwill."
It also establishes that the city may "monitor access, use and postings to the Internet to ensure compliance to the management of information systems."
City Manager Andrea Gardner said that information technology staff typically check to ensure that personnel are not visiting blocked or prohibited websites during work, but that it is the responsibility of department supervisors to make sure employees are doing the work they were paid to do.
"Whether we enforce this or not remains to be seen, but it gives staff tools needed in place if there is an issue," Councilman Charlie Youngs said.
Also during the meeting, the council reviewed a revision of the ordinance regarding garage sales, but decided to hold action until the council could agree on the number of sales residents could have in one year.
Changes included the definition of a garage sale to include a "porch sale, yard sale and any other similar terms commonly used to describe these types of events." It also states that retail items may not be offered for sale and yard sales held by church, charity or fraternal organizations are excluded from regulation.
"I've gotten many phone calls on this…since we're a military community, two garage sales a year sometimes doesn't fit the needs," said Councilwoman Cheryl Meredith. "They may get two and suddenly get orders and need to lighten the load and may need three garage sales."
The council also failed to take action on updating the city's ordinance regulating swimming pools to match state laws.
Chief Building Official Mike Morton said the main changes were the definition that a swimming pool is a pool that holds at least two feet of water and that the required barrier around a pool must be four feet instead of the six-foot required in the current city ordinance.
A motion to pass the ordinance failed 4-3. The council stated they would like to bring the item back with an updated copy of the ordinance at the next meeting.
Contact Taylor Short at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcove.