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Responding to the public in 5 easy steps

1. Thank Them

  • Example: “Thank you for taking the time to email us your thoughts.”
  • Example: “Thank you for your note. The City Council shares your concerns about X.”


2. Explain if and why the message was routed to you for a response.

  • Example: “The City Council received your note and asked me to provide you some information about what the City is doing to address X.”
  • Example: “I just read the email you sent to X and she asked me to respond on her behalf because one of my responsibilities is X.”


3. Be specific and acknowledge any concerns they have.

  • Example: “I’m very sorry to hear what you encountered when X. I can assure you that X.”
  • Example: “I understand your frustrations with X. Here’s what we’re doing: X”


4. Provide resources and information about their topic (websites, upcoming public meetings, etc.)

  • Example: “For more information about X visit
  • Example: “On Monday, the City Council will be discussing X. You are welcome to attend the meeting or watch online at”
  • Example: “If you have any additional questions, please contact me and we can discuss this further.”


5. Let them know what you will do with their message.

  • Example: “Your comments will be provided to the City Council for their consideration during their deliberations of X.”
  • Example: “We track new ideas and initiatives for our ongoing goals and objectives process. Thank you for submitting this topic.”
  • Example: “Thanks again for writing. I will talk to X about your concerns.”
  • Example: “I will pass along your concerns to X. To stay up-to-date on this and other city news sign-up for the City Manager’s newsletter at


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