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Appropriate use of city and personal email accounts

From: Fergusson, Kelly J <KJFergusson_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 06:44:30 -0800



Statement Regarding Appropriate Use of City and Personal Email Accounts

Kelly Fergusson, City Councilwoman
November 15, 2010

Councilmember use of private email to send an e-newsletter to Menlo Park constituants that lists a city hall email address as the "reply-to" address is both legal and appropriate.

I use my e-newsletter to keep community members informed about such topics as police activity, new businesses in Menlo Park, regional issues (water supply, transportation, etc.), important community events, and occasionally "political" content such as candidate and ballot measure recommendations.

I list my city hall email address at the "reply-to" address because the great majority of responses I get concern city business. For example, people want to know when their street will be re-paved, or the status of public works projects like sidewalk installation or creek clean-up. Sometimes they want to report grafitti that needs to be removed or a streetlight that is out. Some people want to know when certain public hearings will take place, or provide me with input on a current city-related or political topic.

It is important for me to be able to respond promptly to these emails by connecting residents to the city staff members that can help them, if I cannot answer their questions directly. This is most effectively and appropriately achieved using my city email account rather than my personal email account. Tools unique to the city's email system like staff directories are not available on my personal email. And, given the demands of public service, family, and work life, my personal emails sometimes do languish for days, and that would not be fair to residents that need answers, assistance, or service from city hall.


The reason I am posting this statement is because of a recent string of emails initiated by Lee Duboc. She made an incorrect statement in her Monday 11/08 5:39pm email that I had sent my recent e-newsletters from my "government-funded email account." Thursday 11/11, city attorney Bill McClure emailed her to correct the record. Friday 11/12 Lee Duboc sent a further email to the city council's email log criticizing my practice of sending out my periodic e-newsletter from my personal email account, and listing my "reply-to" address as my city hall email address. My current email is in response to her assertion that this practice is "an abuse of a city-funded facility." Received on Mon Nov 15 2010 - 06:47:21 PST


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