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City of Lynnwood moves forward with plans for stronger presence online

Lynnwood, Wash., April 13, 2021 – In an emotional night, Lynnwood councilmembers offered tacit approval of the city’s plans for a stronger presence on social media.

City leaders began by offering warm words of remembrance for late LPD officer Mark Brinkman, who died this week, before pressing on to tend to the business of leading the city.

Julie Moore, the city’s Public Information Officer, and Lisa Harrison, the city’s executive assistant pitched two possible paths for the Lynnwood City Council to grow on Facebook: Launch a council-focused page, or be part of the City’s page, with Moore endorsing the latter, saying the city should make it easy on the community.

“If they come to one spot, they should get all the information that they need and want,” Moore said.

Doing the council-only page carries the pros of having a forum that’s exclusive to council activities, with the possibility of building a following that could serve as an advisory panel, Harrison said. The cons involve the fact that a council-only page requires new content daily to keep people engaged.

Making council information part of the city’s Facebook page carries the pros of already having 4,000 followers and the cons is that council-related posts might get lost among all the other posts.

Nevertheless, most cities in the region surrounding Lynnwood have taken this route, with the exception of Bellingham, Edmonds and much-larger Seattle, Harrison said.

However, both Edmonds’ and Bellingham’s respective pages devoted to their councils have meager numbers of followers when compared to their cities’ Facebook pages. The only exception is much-larger Seattle, with both council and city pages logging thousands of followers, Harrison said.

Furthermore, Harrison said that Edmonds’ council page is actually a business page, not representative of council. Bellingham’s council page is real, but it shows no new posts since Aug. 2020, Harrison said.

Councilmembers offered support for Moore’s endorsement, with councilmember Julieta Altamirano-Crosby offering her bilingual skills to post council information in Spanish, once the council’s information begins appearing on the city’s Facebook page.

“We will figure out the next steps, develop a calendar and start right away,” Harrison said.

The meeting began “with heavy hearts,’ as Mayor Nicola Smith put it, describing Brinkman as a man who served the city with professionalism and vigilance.

“I just ask that you keep his family, his friends, his colleagues and the rest of the police department in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time,” Mayor Smith said. Councilmember Jim Smith called Brinkman “absolutely one of a kind,” while council president George Hurst said that “the city will miss him.”

In other city council news:

  • Mayor Smith said the city still had not received further indication regarding the authorized use of the funds from the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan. “We anticipate knowing more in early May,’’ she said.
  • Despite a rise in COVID-19 cases, Snohomish County will remain in Phase 3 of the state reopening plan. Whitman, Cowlitz and Pierce counties got sent back to the more restrictive Phase 2, and Mayor Smith urged continued caution among the citizens of Lynnwood and Snohomish County, to keep both in Phase 3.
  • The council voted 3-2 to appoint councilmember Julieta Altamirano-Crosby as its Liaison to the Alliance for Housing Affordability Board.
  • The Lynnwood City Council approved the scheduling of two meetings for May 12 and 13 from 6-9 p.m. to interview candidates to the council post left open by Ian Cotton, who announced his resignation in March.

By Sebastian Moraga | Lynnwood Times Contributor

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