Thursday, February 6, 2003
In a symbolic "red-tape" ribbon cutting, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today opened the doors of her office to the public. Governor Granholm and Constituent Services Director Elise Lancaster officially unveiled the new Constituent Services Division of the Executive Office, showing off the newly reconfigured office space on the Romney Building's ground floor.
"Even though we've brought the office down three floors, we're elevating its level of importance among the divisions of my office," Governor Granholm said, referring to the division's previous location on the building's third level. "My goal is for government to be accessible and responsive to address the needs of citizens. We are committed to making this a place where people can get real help and answers."
The new Constituent Services Division will house eight full-time staff and many volunteers who have already received training and are working to answer thousands of letters, calls, and e-mails that flooded the office in recent weeks. Five staff specialists will be dedicated to working one-on-one with individuals who need help cutting through red tape and other problems.
"Constituent services will be a showcase not only of good government, but government that engages the public," Governor Granholm stated. "My thanks goes to Elise, her staff, and the volunteers who have worked so hard to get us up and running so quickly." Granholm noted that Constituent Services has been inundated with correspondence since she took office, including over 2,300 letters that deal specifically with issues, problems, and concerns.
Governor Granholm announced in her State of the State Address that constituents can meet with her to discuss a policy issue, idea, or problem during monthly constituent office hours. Office hours will be held on the last Thursday of each month during the evening. Those interested in constituent hours should contact Constituent Services for further information on requesting an appointment. Governor Granholm will hold office hours for the first time on February 27. Appointments for this first session will be arranged with individuals who have previously submitted written requests to meet with the Governor.
Constituents who would like to speak to a specialist for assistance should visit the Constituent Services Division during regular business hours: 9 am to 5 pm, Monday though Friday, or contact the office by calling (517) 335-7858. E-mail correspondence that does not require a response may be sent to the Executive Office through the State of Michigan Website: http://www.michigan.gov.