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Collecting Citizen Feedback Online – How to Save Time and Ensure Compliance

I’ve seen a lot of discussion and tips being shared on Govloop around the ways governments are handling citizen participation online – over social media, through their website, etc. I wanted to promote a blog post one of our clients, Wendy Clock-Johnson, Citywide Records Manager for the City of Sacramento, recently contributed to Granicus’ Connecting Government Blog. She gives a great overview of how Sacramento is ensuring citizen feedback is captured and managed through an online process that’s convenient and compliant with open government regulations.

Wendy is the Citywide Records Manager for the City of Sacramento. She serves as clerk to the City’s Audit Committee, is responsible for the City’s Record Retention Schedule and for processing Public Record
Requests. Wendy also serves as media liaison for the Clerk’s office and assists with technology implementations and the Clerk’s Website.

Public participation enriches the legislative process and holds significant influence that can shape legislative action. One of the many duties of a municipal clerk is to ensure that the public has access to the legislative process. Most importantly, clerks are the steward to ensuring the process is transparent and conducted in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations. Facilitating citizen participation is an essential part of this.

With so many avenues to get in touch with government these days, the City of Sacramento, Office of the City Clerk needed a better way to collect and manage citizen input as part of the legislative process and in compliance with the Brown Act, California’s open meeting statute. This is a challenge many other government agencies are facing as well. I wanted to share our experiences, success, and lessons learned along the way to possibly help others mitigate a similar issue: a lot of citizen engagement without a streamlined way to manage it.

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