Oregon Social Media Government Job is Axed After Complaints

Doesn’t a job that requires daily tweet updates, Facebooking and blogging sound like a dream?  Now, how about getting paid $70,000 anually to do it?  Takers?  Yes?  Well, I just read an awesome post on Mashable about this job being axed in Oregon, because it actually created a backlash from laid-off government workers. Ted Wheeler Chairman for Multnomah County announced the post on Twitter (progressive), but had to take the post down just three-days after.  According to the Oregonian,

The up to $70,000-a-year gig was a new senior public relations position that, among other things, required regular use of Facebook and Twitter shooting and editing video and deadline writing.

But just three days after posting the job, Wheeler axed it. When employees at a brown-bag lunch asked how he could create the position at a time when the county must cut the most jobs it has since 2001, Wheeler said he realized the timing wasn’t right…

The job sparked backlash from the start. News media voiced skepticism, homing in on the salary and the first line of the job post, which asked: “Do you tweet and use Facebook?” Citizens posted angry comments about government waste online.

Maybe those laid-off workers that complained could learn to use social media tools to further their careers.  Then they could connect to more job opportunities online (or not complain about the post), as they could apply for it.  Or to quote Pete Cashmore,

Multnomah County could have been known globally as a trailblazer…but trailblazing, it seems, is not rewarded in local politics: much safer to keep your head below the parapet.

Thoughts?