A Note from Mayor Strickland

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In the seven months since I became your mayor, I have challenged the members of our communications team to meet the demands of the times in how we communicate with you, the taxpaying public.

They have responded with new and innovative ways, including our weekly email, our constant social media presences (follow us on Facebook and Twitter), and even our renewed attention to communicating with our employees. Our administration is committed to communication and transparency more than any local government entity in recent history.

Not a week goes by -- and often, not a single day -- without you telling me you see and appreciate the difference.

I share this today to reference a few stories that were reported last night from our local TV outlets that discussed how we communicate in another field -- the legacy media. Essentially, we are asking that members of the media schedule appointments to interview city employees and be met by a staff member -- much like someone would have to schedule an appointment to visit you at your workplace. Some media outlets have taken exception to this.

My administration respects the media. If we’re available, we’re glad to do interviews. That’s been our stance since New Year’s Day, and it will continue to be our stance moving forward. That said, the employees who are paid by your tax dollars to focus on the core services of our city deserve to be able to do their jobs without interruption. We have had instances of reporters showing up in offices unannounced. This isn’t good for the work our employees are doing, and it doesn’t help our shared goal of having accurate, contextual information reported in the media. Plus, it’s not how the general public is treated at City Hall.

We’ll always evaluate our policies and fine-tune them as needed. You know that. But we’re also vigilant about pointing out inaccuracies -- you know that, too.

And you also know, as subscribers to this email, just how committed we are to communicating directly with you. We’ll continue that commitment, because we believe that being transparent, frank, open and honest about the challenges and strengths of Memphis allow all of us to understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. I look forward to continuing our collective conversation.


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