City Manager email volume

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 3, 2018 11:45 a.m.


During the May 1stFernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) meeting, commissioners engaged in robust discussion over the number of emails they are sending to City Manager Dale Martin. Commissioner Roy Smith threw out a figure of 600 emails a week, referencing the volume of emails that the City Manager receives. Additionally, City Attorney Tammi Bach warned commissioners about the pitfalls of email with potential for charges of Sunshine Law violation.

Following the meeting I asked City Manager Martin about his emails.  He said that last month he handled 1,700 emails.  A typical month averages about 1,800 emails.  I asked him to break down emails from commissioners for the month of April 2018.  He complied, as recorded below:

  • Smith – 3
  • Miller – 4
  • Chapman – 9
  • Ross – 55
  • Kreger – 148

Martin said that he receives about 80 emails a day Monday through Friday, although some commissioners also email on weekends.  He estimated that if he were to spend 3 minutes on each email, he would literally spend 4 hours each day responding to emails.

I wondered whether the discussion at the previous night’s meeting would change the email volume. He joked that when he opened his email the next morning, he found five emails from one commissioner.

Editor’s Note: Suanne Z. Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues that impact our city. We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.