Archive for November 14th, 2019

County Taps Social Media For Citizen Engagement

November 14th, 2019 Comments off

With a new countywide comprehensive plan nearing the launching pad, one county department is gearing up to make that vision of the 2020-29 decade become a reality. Ellen Russell, who joined the county as community development director in September, has harnessed the power of social media to begin sharing information and building support for the plan’s objectives. It calls for partnerships to create jobs, improve cultural attractions, support agriculture and tourism, and achieve many other objectives. An overriding mission is to reverse two troubling trends — outmigration by young people and a steady decrease in the county’s overall population.

Russell recently launched an online service through the Facebook social media platform as a common reference point for the campaign. She is working with the county commissioners on a long-term strategy — to be formalized in the comprehensive plan — with a goal of achieving some of the objectives by a target date of 2025. While less than a week old, the Facebook page has been growing. One post reached more than 2,000 people in less than 24 hours.

“Social media has become a huge part of our lives,” Russell said. “The idea was to capitalize on that and try to reach different citizens for their opinions, input and suggestions. We would like to see more public engagement and try to get residents more involved in their community. The ultimate goal is to meet mold our county’s future, and who best to help us lead and develop that path than those who will actually be affected?”

The Facebook page features information on community activities, best practices in rural community development, and other features. It will be complemented by additional content on the Community Development Department’s website at