City of Redondo Beach drops Facebook page after concerns about open meeting

Screenshot of the City of Redondo Beach's Facebook page.
Screenshot of the City of Redondo Beach's Facebook page.

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It’s not that Redondo Beach doesn’t want to friend you — it just doesn’t want to be on Facebook any more. The city plans to drop its page this week.

The social networking site offers a great way for municipalities like Redondo Beach to stay in touch with constituents. But the etiquette for cities on Facebook is… complicated.

For one, it’s not clear if cities have to save user comments under California’s public records act — or if they have to leave the most outrageous comments alone at the risk of limiting free speech. For another, nobody’s worked out whether three or more city council members’ comments on a given post would violate open meeting laws.

Redondo Beach’s city attorney Mike Webb told the Daily Breeze newspaper that he’ll leave it to the courts to work out these and other considerations, adding, “I would just prefer that the case law not have city of Redondo Beach in the title.”

The South Bay city has maintained a Facebook page for about a year. It’ll remain on Twitter, YouTube and Nixle.

For the record, 589 people liked Redondo Beach as of Monday afternoon. Several of them — along with the city’s mayor, lamented the loss of what they call an easy way to keep current with municipal actions.