The Mobile City Council has hired a public relations professional.
“She will be working with the council on managing communications, media, social media, and community outreach,” said Council President Gina Gregory.
Marion Steinfels will earn $3,500 a month as an independent contractor.
“I’m going to be closely working with all seven to get information and provide it to the citizens of Mobile and update them constantly about what’s going on,” said Steinfels.
The city already employs a Communications director, George Talbot. That position is appointed by, and answers to, the mayor.
“We work for the City of Mobile so our job is to communicate the activities going on in the city, which includes the city council,” said Talbot.
But the council members say they need their own person – focused on what’s happening at the grass roots level in each of the seven districts.
“Things in my district or another councilperson’s district may not be something that the mayor is focusing on,” said Gregory.
“I think the citizens out there want to know what we’re doing to help them,” added Council Vice President Fred Richardson. “It’s not the mayor’s job to do that. That’s our job. We are hiring someone to get that message out for us.”
“My office often gets calls from individuals wanting to know what’s going on with the city council,” said Council member Bess Rich. “This will be a way to link them and communicate with them.”
Council member C.J. Small referenced the need for a council social media presence.
“We’re going to have our own Twitter page, our own Facebook page,” added Council member C.J.Small. “So, the truth can go out.”
Steinfels has previously worked in public relations in Montgomery and in Washington, D.C. The Council freed up money to hire her when it made cuts earlier this year to the WAVE Transit System.