Former San Jose Councilmember Maya Esparza is causing friction as she continues to maintain control of District 7’s social media accounts and associated websites, despite requests from city officials to hand over the login information. Esparza, who lost her reelection campaign in 2018, still presents herself as the district’s councilmember on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. This has affected the ability of the current Councilmember Bien Doan to effectively communicate with constituents, particularly during urgent situations like the January floods.
Councilmember Doan plans to submit a memo to the council in an effort to ensure that official councilmember social media and mailing list accounts are tied to a “.gov” email and are owned the city. He also aims to have the city purchase council district website domains to facilitate smooth transitions of account ownership between councilmembers.
Esparza’s refusal to cooperate with the transition process has raised concerns regarding the impersonation of a public representative and potential legal consequences. Moreover, Doan has been unable to create his own councilmember account on Facebook due to Esparza still claiming to be the current councilmember. The city attorney has sent a letter to Facebook requesting access to the account, but no response has been received thus far.
City Clerk Toni Taber has also faced challenges with Esparza’s non-compliance. Esparza initially refused to turn over the “SJDistrict7.com” domain, which she purchased using personal funds. Additionally, she failed to provide the official mailing list of the District 7 office, hindering communication with residents. It was only after persistent efforts that the IT department retrieved the account associated with the city’s email.
Doan’s proposed digital property policy memo is expected to spark a crucial discussion among city leaders on how to enforce such policies and ensure a smooth transition between councilmembers. The aim is to prioritize the needs and concerns of the community rather than personal agendas.
Source: San José Spotlight (no URL provided)