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Plugged in: Folsom communication goes online

City Manager's Commentary
By: Kerry Miller, Folsom City Manager
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Keeping residents informed about city programs and services is a high priority, as well as a challenge, during these days of lean budgets. City leaders across the country are looking for more cost-efficient ways to communicate. One popular trend is to replace traditional communications tools, such as newsletters, with lower-cost online communication. Folsom’s City Newsletter has been a well-accepted source of information throughout its 12-year history. In my long tenure as a city manager, this is my first experience with a resident newsletter and I value the publication. There is no doubt that the newsletter is a tremendous service to the community. We will continue to publish the newsletter eight times per year. However, today’s economic challenges dictate that we must make some significant cost-cutting changes. Beginning in June, you will find the City Newsletter on our web site rather than in your mailbox, and the publication will be written, edited and designed by city staff. These changes will result in printing, postage and consultant-fee savings of approximately $100,000 per year. I encourage you to log onto the city Web site at www.folsom.ca.us to sign-up to receive an email notification and link to the newsletter. The sign-up process takes just a moment and will ensure that you have easy access to city news on a timely basis. Those who do not have Internet access at home may use public computers at the Folsom Public Library’s two locations (Stafford Street and the Vista del Lago High School campus). In addition, a limited number of printed copies of the City Newsletter will be available at some city facilities. When you visit our Web site, please note the current news posted in the City News column and on Cool Clicks. Watch live or taped streaming video of a City Council meeting. Follow the links to learn more about Stage 3 Water Warning requirements, art gallery exhibits, and summer programs for youth. You will find that the web site contains a wealth of information. City staff will continue to use other communications tools to make information readily available. We distribute news releases to all regional media outlets and respond to reporter requests for interviews. We host public meetings to solicit input, insert items of interest in utility bills, run announcements on the Auto Mall’s electronic board and send occasional postcards and letters to residents and businesses. We are committed to providing timely information so you may be informed. Please remember that the best communication is two-way. Comments and suggestions may be sent by email to me at kmiller@folsom.ca.us.