Social media cost raises questions in Langley

Among the many items in Langley’s 2014 draft budget is a $3,000 reserve for social media training of Langley business owners.

That caused at least one city councilman to question if such an expense is legal.

“I don’t know, literally don’t know, if that’s the purview of the government to train businesses,” Councilman Hal Seligson said.

Debbie Mahler, Langley’s treasurer and clerk, said she checked with the State Auditor’s Office on offering such a service at the city’s expense.

“It’s a very fine line,” she said. “It’s considered economic development as long as it’s done right.”

McCarthy has social media training as one of his focuses for the coming year to boost business in town. If they have an online presence, he said in an election interview earlier in October, they can generate more sales and traffic.

Participation was at question, however. Councilwoman Rene Neff proposed that before money is spent on bringing in a consultant or Facebook/Twitter/Instagram expert, the city should survey businesses on their willingness to join.

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