By J. R. “Randy” Stelly/Opinion
Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok, nearly everyone today is using some form of social media to share and exchange information or content. That, of course, includes our local City of Natchitoches employees and elected officials. While I no longer reside in Natchitoches, I still consider it my home and I was grateful to see updates from newly-elected Mayor Ronnie Williams after Hurricane Laura on what streets or areas were being put back on-line with electricity. Even though Mayor Williams was using his personal social media pages, this is definitely a change from the previous City of Natchitoches administration. It’s social media presence was of little impact.
Everyone should agree that social media is a great way to provide information to thousands of people in a very short amount of time, but there are drawbacks to allowing the public to have such accessibility to one’s personal digital footprint, especially if the content isn’t as appropriate. I dare say this has been a hard lesson learned for newly elected City Councilwoman Rosemary Washington who posted several Facebook LIVE stories to address rumors circulating around town about her.
The following Facebook LIVE video was posted on Ms. Washington’s personal page of an interaction between herself and former 73-year-old Councilwoman Sylvia Morrow. I am appalled at the language Ms. Washington chose to use and even more so that she thought it was okay to broadcast her behavior to the whole world. Have we really fallen so low as a society that this is what qualifies as acceptable social behavior.
WARNING – VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED
If we are to think of the City of Natchitoches as a business, then the elected officials are the face of our company. Because of that, shouldn’t they be held to a higher standard of ethical conduct and maintain themselves with professionalism? Most governmental entities have codes of conduct that their employees must adhere to when it comes to social media. Shouldn’t our elected officials be held to that same standard?
The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal. If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.