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Seneca issues internet policy list for review

Village wants to hash out online conduct

Two weeks ago, Seneca Commissioner Jeff Olson proposed the Village Board consider adopting an internet policy, one that would govern how employees use their cellphones on company time, as well as how employees use the internet and social media, both on company time and their own time when representing the village.

This week Olson said his intent was to create a social media policy.

"A lot of community governments and school boards have an internet policy in place," Olson said. "I think we should create a committee and let employees have a say in the type of policy we want to have in place."

Olson suggested a committee of members from the council, office staff, police department and streets department. The committee would meet with all employees and bring results to the Village Board for review.

"I still don't believe that employees should use cellphones or social media while on company time," Olson said, "but I do believe our employees deserve a right to have their voices heard on this subject."

Two weeks ago, the board asked Village Attorney Bob Russo to develop a list of what should be considered when adopting an internet usage policy. This week, Russo distributed a list of 14 items for their consideration.

Commissioner Rick Barla didn't necessarily think a committee had to be formed.

"We need to think about how we want to pursue this," Barla said. "I suggest we give all employees a copy of this list, let them review it. Then they can get back to us with their suggestions or opinions."

Commissioner Rich Applebee believed Barla's suggestion was a good idea.

"I think Rick has a good suggestion," Applebee said. "Perhaps one or two of us can meet with the employees and get their feedback, rather than have a big committee. Regardless, this is a very good start."

Mayor David Spicer wanted everyone to review Russo's list.

"After everyone has seen the list, let them bring their concerns to us," Spicer said. "Give employees a copy of the list and get their feedback. Just tell them to write down their concerns."

The internet/social media issue will be discussed at the next meeting, Tuesday, May 2.

The “Use of Village Computer/Internet” list includes:

• To be used for village business only, except on occasion

• Village owns all data

• No expectation of privacy

• No unlawful use

• No harassment of others

• May not visit adult, gambling or other dangerous websites

• May not download programs or install private software on village computers

• May not use for personal gain/business purposes

• All village information is confidential and should not be shared

• Must observe village security protocol

• May not share password with others or use another employee’s password to log on

When using village email:

• Should be for village business only, except on occasion

• All communications should be consistent with the highest standards of ethical behavior

• May not transmit offensive materials of any kind

When using social media:

• May not indicate speaking for village (unless it is for official village business)

• May not harass other employees or members of the public

• May not divulge confidential information of the village

• May not disclose personal information of co-workers

• Improper use is grounds for discipline, including termination of employment.

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