The city of Kent has joined the Facebook crowd.
City administrators took the Tree City's Facebook page live last week after initially creating the page almost four years ago.
Kent City Manager Dave Ruller said city officials always look for effective, affordable means to connect residents with city government and their community, and a Facebook page offered another platform to do that.
"We're limited in what we can afford, so the fact that Facebook is free made it particularly attractive to us," Ruller said. "We recognize that not everyone is a Facebook follower, but for those that are, we're pleased to be able to add this to our information portfolio."
The move isn't the city's first venture into the digital age. Earlier this year the Kent Police Department launched a new website for the department that makes department news, statistics and police crash reports more easily available to the public. The city also maintains a Twitter account.
In joining Facebook, Kent is not the first municipality to try and capitalize on the social network. Other Ohio cities, including Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, and Dayton, maintain pages. Much larger cities, such as Los Angeles and London, Ontario, also maintain Facebook pages as a means to communicate with residents and potential tourists.
As of this story's publication, 109 people were following the Kent page. So far, city administrators have used it to post the schedule and agendas for Kent City Council, share photos from Gov. John Kasich's visit and post the Tree City Bulletin.
Ruller said they created the page four years ago but kept it offline because they weren't sure how effective it would be, and little research was available showing the value of municipal Facebook pages.
"We're not an early adopter to Facebook, but we're hoping city residents will take advantage of this new opportunity to keep track of things that are happening in Kent, Ruller said.