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Chicopee Mayor’s Facebook Page Draws Controversy

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB) — Facebook is usually a place for friendly exchanges. But not always when politics get involved.

Mayor Michael Bissonnette’s Facebook page isn’t about swapping recipes or sharing vacation pictures. It’s a frank discussion about city business. Here’s part of an exchange from Tuesday where he discussed his request for new equipment purchases being held in a city council committee.

“…please stop tying up necessary city business with personal attacks and putting services like ambulance, fire protection and trash pick up at risk.”

“Time for some new blood that will check their egos at the door and put the city first.”

Shelly Valentine of Chicopee posted this to the discussion, “Attacks on Facebook allow for no direct communication or defense. In other words, no purpose unless you are 13.”

Bissonnette said he is simply reaching out to his constituents in a place they can access easily.

“It is a function of government to have debate and have issues,” said Bissonnette. “Certainly, if I take issue with something that the city council does or the state legislature or the united states congress and I put it on there, I expect a reaction.”

“I’m going to talk about them on Facebook,” he said. “I’m going to talk about them at the coffee shop. I’m going to talk about them on our public air access channel. I’m going to talk about them wherever and whenever i go.”

We asked City Councilor Timothy McLellan his opinion.

“There’s a more appropriate place for him to give updates where you don’t have to be a cyber friend to interact with,” said McLellan. “We have a great it department. We can set up a forum and it can be a question and answer thing.”

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