Four days into his new job as Caro City Manager, Ryan Piche’s first official order of business is creation of a direct line to citizens through establishment of the city’s first official Facebook page.
Piche, who started Feb. 1, introduced the idea during his initial manager’s report given at his first Caro City Council meeting Monday.
“One item of business, if there are no objections from council, is I would like to create a city of Caro Facebook page,” Piche said. “We can use that as a tool to get our information out there, get our messaging out there, and directly to the people.”
Piche said he managed the Facebook page in the village of Botkins, Ohio, where he previously worked as village administrator for about 2.5 years.
“I found it a great tool to reach our residents on a variety of topics,” he said.
Piche told The Advertiser on Tuesday that the city’s Facebook page could include news about water breaks, meeting notices, community events, and more, such as shared information from the Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office and Tuscola County Health Department.
Piche said he is working with the city’s legal counsel to ensure the Facebook page doesn’t cause any potential issues for Caro. He expects the page to launch within the next two weeks.
The idea that Caro needs more connectedness has been identified as an issue in recent “community conversations” being hosted by the Caro Area District Library.
The series of 10 “conversations” are aimed at pulling the community together in an effort to get the Tuscola County seat headed in the right direction.
The community conversations will continue through March.
Erin Schmandt, director, Caro Area District Library, said a wrap-up meeting will be held Apr. 6. Anyone interested in participating can contact Schmandt at email@example.com or by calling her at 989-673-4329 extension 102.
During Monday’s council meeting, Caro Mayor Joe Greene acknowledged that Facebook has become one of many ways people consume information.
“With all the new methods…it gets more complicated, not easier,” Greene said. “Some people want it in written form. Some people do it on Facebook. Some people do it by texting. Some people do it by email.
“The way I look at it, we have to address all of that,” Greene said. “Different groups of people look to take their information through different aspects.”
Piche pointed out during Monday’s meeting that it was his fourth day on the job and that he is spending most of his time getting to know the staff and community. Scheduled meetings in the next two weeks include school administrators and business leaders in Caro, as well as his counterparts in Vassar and Marlette.
“I’m just trying to get my face out there,” Piche said.
Piche, 27, was hired by Caro City Council in December.
In his role as village administrator in Botkins, Piche oversaw 40 full- and part-time employees, and a $2.5 million annual budget. His position included supervising the work performed by all village employees, and reporting to the village mayor and six-member village council.
Among his proudest accomplishments, he said, were “advances made in data-based performance measurement,” that included ways to measure water and sewer activity, and an “extensive business survey” to get a better handle on current economic indicators, such as employment trends and business needs.
Piche also implemented several technology-based initiatives, such as mapping all utility lines for use with geographic information system (GIS) software.
In his role as Caro city manager, Piche receives an annual salary of $83,000 — an increase of $18,000 from his job in Botkins.
Andrew Dietderich is editor of The Advertiser and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org