Local government and petty squabbling often go hand in hand and Troy, New York is no different. And they’re squabbling about Facebook, of all things.
Local news website The Record reports that there is a skirmish going on within Troy’s City Council for control of the Troy, NY Facebook page. The page, which has 5,495 fans, shares everything from local traffic advisories to information about absentee ballots.
However, City Councilman Ken Zalewski, D-District 5, says the page is being used to disparage members of the Democratic Council Majority and to make the mayor look good. He claims the page administrator, city spokesman Jeff Pirro, is using it as a political tool and has banned people with opposing views from commenting. Apparently, Zalewski, councilman Kevin McGrath, D-District 1, and resident Richard Herrick have all been banned.
Zalewski proposed a resolution at last week’s Finance Committee meeting requesting that the “Troy, NY” Facebook page be turned over to an independent third party. Democrat council members said the situation was “petty” but that they had an issue with individuals being censored on the page.
Mayor Harry Tutunjian described the resolution as “laughable,” saying that the Council Majority was just upset that Pirro was reposting media reports about alleged voter fraud in Troy. “If they’re so concerned, they should stop doing things that make them look bad,” he said. He added that Pirro should be an “anonymous, faceless representative of Troy.”
City Councilman Mark McGrath, R-District 2, said the resolution was “the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard”. “With all the issues facing the city, to have a legislative body have a temper tantrum over not being able to post on Facebook, we should be focusing more on the pertinent issues that affect the residents of Troy.”
Let’s hope this skirmish is solved more quickly than the original Trojan War.