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Council to consider social media options for city

The city of Claremont may be delving deeper into the digital world. The Claremont City Council will evaluate social media outlets on Tuesday as it explores adopting policy regarding the city’s online activity.

Though the council was due to discuss a city social media policy last month, the item was held off after some council members voiced concern about becoming too involved in certain aspects of social media. During the city’s priorities workshop, Mayor Pro Tem Opanyi Nasiali specifically addressed his concerns with involving the city in sites like Facebook. Councilmember Joe Lyons was more supportive, pointing out the breadth of social media. Neighboring citites such as La Verne, Ontario, Pomona and ?Upland have all established Facebook pages.

Following the council’s lengthy debate, City Manager Tony Ramos proposed postponing the social media agenda item until staff could take a more extensive look at the social media options available. After further research, staff is proposing that the council adopt a weekly e-newsletter, interactive customer service system and an online discussion board, which will have specific areas of discussion instead of the open-comment forum style of discussion boards like Facebook. The staff is not proposing that the city adopt a Facebook account at this time.

The council will also evaluate a proposed moderate-income housing development to be built on the southeast corner of Base Line Road and Mountain Avenue, just north of the 210 freeway. Developer DR Horton wants to build 54 detached condominiums on the 4.21-acre property. All will be sold at regular price, with the exception of 8 to be sold as moderate-income housing.

Turning to fiscal responsibilities, the council will be tasked with approving the allocation of $151,195 from the Traffic Congestion Relief Fund to reimburse the state. The money had been initially given to the city as part of Prop 42 funds, to be used for the repair or maintenance of the roads, from 2001-2002 as well as 2007-2008. Part of the requirement is that those funds be completely expended by the end of the year. The state controller is requesting the city reimburse the funds because it failed to meet the guidelines.

The council will also take a look at the city’s current fiscal state. Mid-year budget estimates suggest that the city of Claremont will meet or slightly exceed budget estimates for 2012-2013, according to a report by Finance Director Adam Pirrie. The city originally estimated General Fund revenues at $21,389,881. By the end of December 2012, 33 percent of the full budget had been received totaling $6,983,018.

Police Chief Paul Cooper will also be on hand at Tuesday’s meeting to present 2012’s crime statistics and request that the city hire an additional part-time detective. The new position will cost the city $32,500 a year, according to the report.

The council will meet in closed session before the regular meeting to continue water discussions. The public is invited to speak on this item at 5:15 p.m. right before the closed-session begins. For a full look at Tuesday night’s agenda, visit www.ci.claremont.ca.us.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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