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Town shuts social media presence, points to supervisor’s accounts

Oyster Bay officials say the move aimed to remove duplicate efforts, but a good-government group says it was “inappropriate.”

Oyster Bay officials say Supervisor Joseph Saladino's Facebook

Oyster Bay officials say Supervisor Joseph Saladino's Facebook page will represent the town online. Photo Credit: Facebook

Oyster Bay tweets no more.

The town’s Facebook page also has been shuttered and its Instagram account closed.

Instead, its social media presence will all be through Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino’s accounts, officials said.

“The town’s Facebook page was removed, as it was a duplicative effort with the supervisor’s page,” spokeswoman Marta Kane said in an email. The town’s page was created in January, before Saladino’s appointment to replace former Supervisor John Venditto on Jan. 31, Kane said.

“Between his page and the council members’ pages, it seemed unnecessary to maintain a town page as well,” she said.

With the removal of its Facebook page, Oyster Bay joins East Hampton and Southold as the only towns or cities on Long Island without such a presence.

“The town should have a social media account . . . independent of the supervisor and the council members,” Oyster Bay Councilman Anthony Macagnone said, adding he was concerned about the page being taken down without consulting town officials.

Town officials have not said when the social media accounts were removed and links from the town’s website to Saladino’s accounts replaced them. Publicly available archives show it was after the November election. The website now links to Saladino’s social media accounts and the link to the town’s YouTube page was removed.

“We’re continuing to look for the best process to communicate with the public and we’ve gotten very good feedback on the process that we’re using in increasing transparency and communication with the public,” Saladino said Tuesday without providing further comment on the social media accounts.

“This is just a way for him to continue to promote himself,” former Democratic town board candidate Robert Freier said of Saladino.

Freier said Wednesday he has been blocked from posting on Saladino’s Facebook page. Kane did not respond to questions about blocking users from posting on Saladino’s Facebook page.

Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause NY, a government watchdog group, said replacing the town’s social media accounts with Saladino’s was “completely inappropriate.”

“The town’s social media presence is meant to promote the town, not any particular elected official,” Lerner said.

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