How to Address U.S. City & County Officials



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About the book:
HONOR & RESPECT

Abbess,
    Christian Orthodox       
Abbot,
    Christian Orthodox        
Accountant        
Acting Official       
Adjutant General     
Admiral
        

Admiral, Texas Navy   
Adventist Minister       
Alderman
        

Archbishop, Catholic        
Archbishop,
   Christian Orthodox        
Archdeacon, Episcopal        
Archimandrite        
Architect
Archpriest        
Ambassador, Goodwill
Ambassador to the U.S.
   from a foreign country      
Ambassador of the U.S.        
American Indian Chief        
Assemblyman
   U.S., State / or           

   Assemblywoman            
Associate Justice,
   U.S. Supreme Court          
Associate Justice of a
   State Supreme Court
Astronaut      
Attorney
         
Attorney General           
Attorney General,
       Assistant   
Attorney, U.S.         
Australian Officials    

Baron, Baroness           
British Officials,
   Royalty, Nobility     
Brother, Catholic
         
Brother,
   Christian Orthodox          
Bishop, Catholic            
Bishop,
   Christian Orthodox         
Bishop, Episcopal        
Board Member     
Boy        
Brigadier General       
Business Cards      

Canadian Officials    
Candidate    
Captain,
   USA, USAF, USMC     
Cardinal
             
Chairman
    Federal Reserve      
Chairwoman      
Chancellor      
Chaplain in the
    Armed Services        
Chaplain of Congress          

Chargé d’Affaires         
Chief Executive Officer 
Chief Judge          
Chief Justice,
      U.S. Supreme Court 
Chief Justice, of a State
      Supreme Court             

Chief of Police          
Chief of Staff     

Chief Operating
   Officer          
Child
           
Chiropractor     
City Manager
   
Clergy & Religious
    Officials     
Club Official          
Colonel, Kentucky      
Colonel, USA, USAF,
    or USMC     
Commandant       
Commissioner, Court     
Commissioner
         
Commodore of a         
      Yacht Club         
Congressman, U.S.               
Congresswoman, U.S.   
Consul and or
   Consul General   
 
Consultant      
Corporate Executive         
Councilman
    Councilwoman      
Counselor (Diplomat)      
Countess     
County Officials       
Couples     
    U.S. Military
    U.S. Officials
    Private Citizens  
Curator        

Dalai Lama          
Deacon         
Dean, academic            
Dean, clergy            
Deceased Persons        
Degree, honorary      
Delegate, U.S., State
            

Dentist             
Deputy Chief of Mission      
Deputy Marshal          
Designate,
Elect,
    Pro Tempore      
Diplomats      

District Attorney           
Doctor, Chiropractor     
Doctor of Dentistry
          
Doctor of Medicine              
Doctor, Military           
Doctor of
   Veterinary Medicine          
Doctor, Optometrist   
Doctor of Osteopathy            
Doctor, Other Disciplines     
Doctorate        
Doctorate, honorary      

Earl            
Elect, Designate
  
Pro Tempore      
Emeritus/emerita
     
Eminence     
Emperor    
Engineer    
Etiquette    
Excellency           

Family     
Fiancee      
Firefighter    
First, Second,
   Third, etc.        
First Lady, Spouse
   of the President of
   the United States 
First Lady, Member
    of Her   
    White House Staff      
First Lady, Spouse
   of a Governor
   or Lt. Gov.    
First Lieutenant
   
Flag Protocol     
Former Officials    
Freeholder       

Gay Couple      
Geshe

General
    USA, USAF, USMC
Girl       

Goodwill Ambassador      
Governor General         
Governor, Lieuten
ant
 
Governor, Lt., Spouse   

Governor, Tribal Council          
Governor, U.S. State       
Governor, Former    
Governor
    Spouse of     
Governor's Staff,
    Member of
     
Governors, Board of 

High Commissioner    
Honorable, The
          
Honorary Ambassador       
Honorary degrees
Honorary doctorate
   
Honourable, The
   
 
   

Indian Chief         
Inspector General    
Interim Official   
Introductions       
Invitations
  
   Writing &  
   Addressing  
Invitations
   
Military:
    Writing &
    Addressing

Judge, former     
Judge of US City or

        US Count     
Judge, US Federal            
Junior, Senior,
    I, II, III, etc.       

Justice, Associate

     Federal
     Supreme Court

Justice, Associate

     State
     Supreme Court

King     
Knight      

Late, The
   (deceased persons)
       
Lawyer      
Lesbian Couple    
Lieutenant      
Lieutenant Colonel,     
   USA, USAF, USMC      
    
Lieutenant General,
   USA, USAF, USMC      

Lieutenant Governor    
     

Major
   USA, USAF, USMC  
Major General,
   USA, USAF, USMC   
Man, business
          
Man, social
         
Marquess / Marchioness
 
 
Married Women       
Marshal for a
   Judicial District, U.S. 
Mayor, U.S. City   
Mayor, Canadian City    
Mayor Pro Tempore
     
Mayor, Vice    
Medic      
Minister,
   Protestant Clergy       
Miss      
Monk,
   Christian Orthodox     
Monsignor       
Most Reverend, The        
Mother Superior
    
Mr. (Social)      
Mr. (Business)      
Mrs., Ms. (Use, Social Forms)      
Mrs. vs. Ms.     
Mr. & Mrs. / Couples   
   

Name Badges or Tags     
Nobility, British
       
Nobility, Other     
Nun, Catholic
  
Nun, Orthodox
Nurse           

Officer, Police     
Optometrist     

Pastor, Christian Clergy  
Patriarch,
   Christian Orthodox  
Patriarch,
   Ecumenical Patriarch
   of Constantinople  
People with Two Titles      
Permanent
     Representative        
Petty Officer
      
Pharmacist     
Physician
        
PhD     
Place Cards            
Police Chief
Police Officer                     
Pope, Catholic
  
Pope, Coptic
      
Postmaster General         
Post-Nominal
    Abbreviations    
Presbyter, Orthodox
   
President, corporate
President of
    College or
    University   
President of a
    Secondary
    School      
President of a
    US State Assembly 
President (current)
   of the U.S.A.          
President (former)
   of the U.S.A.     
     
President of the
    U.S.A., spouse of  
President-elect
    of the U.S.   
Priest, Catholic          
Priest,
    Christian Orthodox 
Priest, Episcopal        
Prime Minister
       
Principal      
Professionals
   & Academics         
Professor
     
Pro Tempore,
   Elect, Designate    
Psychologist      

Queen

Rabbi               
Ranger, Texas        
Representative,
   U.S., Federal           
Representative,
   U.S., State            
Reservist, Military      
Resident
    Commissioner 
Retired Military
   1. Formula For
       How to Address     
   2. Q&A / Blog On
       Use of Rank by
       Retired Military    
 

   3. Q&A / Blog on
       How to Address
       Retired Military   
Reverend, The
      
Right Reverend, The         

Same Sex Couple      
Salvation Army    
School Board Member
     
Second
Lieutenant        
Secretary,
   U.S. Department,
   Member of the Cabinet
Secretary
   of Defense, U.S.       
Secretary, Assistant       
Secretary General
   of the U.N.            
Senator, U.S., Federal       
Senator, U.S., State         
Senator, Canadian       
Senior, Junior,
     I, II, III, etc.         
Senior Judge 
      
Sergeant       
Sergeant at Arms
          
Seventh Day
     Adventist Minister       
Sheriff       
Sister, Catholic       
Solicitor General      
Speaker of the U.S.
   House of
   Representatives.           
Specialist       
Spouse of the
    President of the U.S.       
Spouse of the
    Vice President
    of the U.S.           
Spouse of an
    Elected Official            
State Attorney     
Surgeon General          

Texas Ranger        
Town Manager       
The Honorable     
Tribal Officials     
Two Titles,
    Person With

Under Secretary    
US Attorney
       
US Federal Officials
     
US State Officials     
US Municipal Officials

Venerable, The        
Veteran (not Retired)         
Veterinarian
           
Very Reverend, The         
VFW Officer/Official    
Vice Mayor       
Vice President
    of the U.S.
Spouse of the
    Vice President
   
of the U.S.
Vice President-elect
    of the U.S.      
 
Viscount and/or
   Viscountess        

Warrant Officer       
Widow
     
White House Staff    
Woman, business        
Woman, social        

Yacht Club Officer      


 

How to Address U.S. City
& County Officials

Questions & Answers, Frequently Asked Questions, and Blog


Site updated by Robert Hickey on April 23, 2014

How to Address a Letter to a Mayor?         
How to Address a Letter to a Mayor & Spouse?        

How to Address a City/County Manager / Adminstrator?     
How to Address an Acting City/County Administrator?      

How to Address a County Executive?    

How to Address a Letter to a City or County Council Member?                   
How to Address a Clerk of a City or County Council?         

How to Address a Member of the School Board?             

How to Address Municipal Officials Who Are Not Elected?             
How to Address an Local Political Party Officials?          

How to List an Elected Official in a Program?       
 

Looking for Joint Forms of Address? (Two Names in the Address)
Link to Q&A just on Joint Forms of Address

How Do I Address a Former Official?
Link to Q&A /Blog just on Former Officials  (not Military)

All about The Honorable
Link to Q&A just on officials in the U.S. addressed as The Honorable

How Do I Address People Who Work for the City but Were Not Elected?
Dear Mr. Hickey:
I will be addressing envelopes to municipal officials and would like to do that correctly. Please tell me how to address the administrator of utilities or engineer for the municipality.  Thanks much.

    --- Vicki Cassidy


Dear Ms. Cassidy:
    Anyone who is appointed or simply hired for their job -- which (I am assuming) includes an engineer or administrator -- is addressed as:
  
              Mr./Ms./Dr./whatever (full name)
          
          (Title of office held)
           
       
    Address
    Only elected officials and judges are addressed as "the Honorable"
          -- Robert Hickey

How to List an Elected Official in a Program?    
   How does one list the governor or the mayor in a program for an event at which they will be speaking. I found the forms of address in you book, but just not sure if that's what I should use on a program?
           -- Susan in Honolulu

Dear Susan:
    Use this formula:
         1) list by name
         2) identify by office

(Program)
Welcome Remarks
The Honorable Linda Lingle, Governor of the State of Hawaii
The Honorable Mufi Hannemann, Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu

         -- Robert Hickey
 
Robert,
     I don't think it's necessary to list their offices. Everyone will know who they are. O.K?
           -- Susan in Honolulu

Dear Susan:
   You are right, sometimes offices are not included because those present may know who Linda Lingle and Mufi Hanneman are. But programs also serve as keepsakes and as a record of the event. Often to include / not to include offices, date, year, and location are made with posterity in mind.

How to Address the Clerk of a City Council?
    I am sending our Annual Report to the Clerks of the City Councils of the surrounding cities. How would I address the envelope and the greeting in the letter?

    -- Janine Steele

Dear Ms. Steele:
     Usually clerks are appointed.
If they are appointed ... then on the envelope they are:
  
          Mr./Ms. (full name)
   
            Clerk of (insert the name of the body here)
     
       
       (Address)
    and the salutation is:
  
          Dear Mr./Ms. (surname):
                         -- Robert Hickey

How to Address a Member of a School Board?
    When addressing a letter or writing a salutation of a letter, is a member of school board addressed as The Honorable?

           -- P. Green

Dear P. Green:
    School boards -- if elected -- are technically eligible, but whether they are or are not addressed as
The Honorable is by local tradition: Where I grew up, in Arlington, Virginia, the school board is not addressed as The Honorable ....  I now live in New York City where they are.  Call your school board's office and find out what's the tradition in your jurisdiction.
             -- Robert Hickey

How to Address Local Officials and Political Party Officers?
     We are mailing formal invitations to a local charitable event, and there is some disagreement on use of “The Honorable.” Do the following get "The Honorable":
      Local officials such as Commissioners - ?
      Local political party chairpersons - ?

           -- TEW in Nevada

Dear TEW:
      Local political party chairpersons ... no
      Local officials .... if elected ... yes
      Local officials .... if appointed ...
no
             -- Robert Hickey

How to Address a Letter to The Mayor?
Dear Mr. Hickey:
    I need to write a letter to our Mayor. How do I address the envelope? When I met him I called him Mayor Neville, which is what everyone calls him.
         --- Renee Montgomery

Dear Ms. Montgomery:
     In conversation, either Mr. Mayor or Mayor (surname)
is good. Mr. Mayor is the more formal option since using just the title of an office is always the most formal.
    Address the envelope line-for-line like this:
        The Honorable (full name)
            Mayor of (city)
                Address

        Open the letter with the salutation:
            Dear Mr. Mayor:
 
      Or as I mentioned, a slightly less formal option would be:
            Dear Mayor (surname):
       Close the letter with:
            Sincerely,
            Renee Montogomery

                      -- Robert Hickey

How to Address an Envelope to Someone
Addressed as "The Honorable" and His Wife?
   
   How does one address the envelope of an invitation to the mayor of a city and his wife?
        -- Susan Hensley

   I need to address our elected sheriff and his wife. On the envelope, would it be The Honorable and Mrs. James Smith?
        -- Agnes Harrington

Dear Ms. Hensley & Ms. Harrington:
    
I cover how to every type of elected official and spouse in Chapter Nine: Joint Forms of Address.
    
You didn't tell me the names ... so depending those ... there are several options.
    If she uses "Mrs."  and uses the same last name ... then traditionally her first name does not appear:
 
       The Honorable William Stanton
   
        and Mrs. Stanton
       
   
    (Address)
    This is the form the White House would use for a married couple using the same last name. The rule is not to break up "The Honorable" from "(name)"
    What you want to avoid is:
 
       The Honorable and Mrs. William Stanton
     
       (Address)
    If she uses a different last name, then her first name does appear, e.g.:
 
       The Honorable Alan Greenspan
     
       and Ms. Andrea Mitchell
         
   
   (Address)
    If she has her own rank, courtesy title, or some special honorific, then her first name does appear:
        The Honorable William Stanton
   
        and Lieutenant Linda Stanton
       
        (Address)
 
       The Honorable William Stanton
     
       and Dr. Linda Stanton
     
           (Address)
        The Honorable William Stanton
   
        and the Reverend Linda Stanton
       
   
    (Address)
    Probably more answer than you wanted ... but I hope that is useful.

         -- Robert Hickey

How to Address the Mayor and City Council?
    What is the proper salutation when addressing a Mayor and multiple city council members in the same letter?
    Do I write?
        Honorable John Smith and Athens City Council Members
   
               OR
  
      Mayor John Smith and Athens City Council Members.
Then as a salutation:
 
       Dear Mayor Smith and Athens City Council Members?
     I have to have the letter for signature in the morning, and it's my first day on the job.

                  -- Thank you, Tonyalee in Athens


Dear Tonyalee:
     It would be best to address a letter to actual officials rather than addressing
one by name and the others by their office.  I'd prefer you address it to the Mayor (by name) and find out the names of the members of the City Council so you could use them.
    BUT trying to answer what you've asked with the info you provide .... Here's a nice option

ENVELOPE and ADDRESS BLOCK on the letter
        The Honorable John Smith, Mayor of Athens
        and Members of the Athens City Council
        Athens City Hall
        301 College Avenue
        Athens, State, ZIP
  
          Note: For symmetry, Athens mentioned in both name/titles

SALUTATION
        Dear Mayor Smith and Members of the City Council:
            Note: For symmetry, Athens mentioned in neither
                    -- Robert Hickey

Hi Robert,
      Well, I finally got the word to send out those letters with the Mayoral and City Council Members salutation. The best part of the story, is that my boss came to me to ask if I was sure I had the proper salutations? And of course, I gave her a very broad smile, and as I printed out your answer, I explained how wonderful you were to reply to my email. Of course she was delighted with me....and you! She took the printout and I assume went to her boss with the backup proof. The letters were sent on Thursday.
     Thank you!
     Tonyalee

How to Address City Manager or County Administrator?
     I was wondering if you could assist me with something?  I have a new City Manager of the City of Montgomery, coming in to visit our company this Friday.  Would he be The Honorable?  If I was to put his title on an agenda how would I format it, possibly as I have stated below?
     The Honorable Edvin Perez
     Montgomery City Manager

           -- Shelby in Aerospace

    Is our county administrator The Honorable just like a mayor?
           -- Marc in Michigan

Dear Shelby & Marc:
      City managers and administrators are NOT The Honorable ...  because because they were hired/appointed by the elected body ... the city council ... but were not themselves elected.  
    Only the elected officials get  The Honorable.
    So address them as:
        Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full Name)
        (Name of Job) (Name of Jurisdiction)

             -- Robert Hickey

How To Address an Acting or Interim County Administrator?
     What is the proper form of address in a letter to an Acting County Administrator? It is an appointed (not an elected) position. Also, should the salutation be Dear Mr./Madame Administrator, Dear Mr./Madame Acting Administrator, Dear Mr./Ms. Administrator or what?
     -- Beverly Shaw, Russell City, California


     How do I address an interim county CEO?  Is an interim county CEO addressed as "The Honorable"?
       -- PM


Dear Ms. Shaw and PM:

    I give the forms of address for this office in my book's chapter on forms of address for Municipal Officials, but here is the quick answer. This appointed official is most formally addressed:
        Mr./Ms. (Name)
    and identified by his or her position:
        Acting County Administrator
        Interim County CEO
        Interim County Executive
    Appointed officials are not addressed  as The Honorable based on being a county executive. The use of the courtesy title The Honorable is reserved for individuals elected in a general election.   E.g,, mayors of cities (which are all elected) are addressed as The Honorable.
     Acting officials don't get to use the honorifics of the office in which they temporarily serve ... they are just identified as "the acting."  E.g., an acting mayor is not addressed as Mayor (Name).
    Don't use Mr./Madame (Office)  in any context.
    I don't think I've ever encountered a County/City Administrator, CEO or Manager who used their office as their honorific.  Sometimes a Chairman of a Board or Council is addressed as Chairman (name) in the context of their duties ... but it's more situational -- for clarity -- than it is official.
    So, back to your official. On an envelope and address block write:
        Mr./Ms. (Full Name)
            Acting County Administrator or other title
                Address

    And in the salutation write:
        Dear Mr./Ms. (surname)

                     -- Robert Hickey

How to Address a County Executive?
          I wonder if you could tell me how I should address a county executive. Thank you so much.
          -- JM in Area Code 206

Dear JM,
          Some county executives are elected in a general election. So they are The Honorable (Full Name), County Executive, XYZ County, (State).
          Others are appointed / hired by the county board. So they are simply Mr./Ms. (Full Name, County Executive, XYZ County, (State).
          So – you will have to find out how your particular county executive got into office!
          In conversation, introduction, salutation both are addressed as Mr./Ms. (Full Name) or  Mr./Ms. (Surname).
          Although someone might say the County Executive will be here in five minutes, County executive is not used as an honorific with the person's name.
          -- Robert Hickey


Not Finding Your Question Answered?
Below are other topics covered in my blog and at right is a list of officials, Between the two I probably have what you are looking for.
     After hunting around a bit, if you don't see your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day (unless I am traveling.)
      If I think your question is of interest to others, I will post the question & answer – with your name and any personal specifics changed.
      -- Robert Hickey

USE OF NAMES & HONORIFICS   
Mr., Miss, Jr., III, & Names        
Married Women       
Deceased Persons         
People with Two Titles
Post-Nominal Abbreviations and Initials         
 
Couples: Private Citizens / Joint Forms of Address 
Couples: U.S. Military / Joint Forms of Address     
Couples: U.S. Officials / Joint Forms of Address      

USE OF SPECIFIC OFFICIAL TITLES        
Former Officials            
Professionals and Academics        

United States Federal Officials, Currently In Office             
United States State Officials, Currently In Office              
United States Municipal Officials, Currently In Office             
       All About The Honorable with U.S. Officials         
       Former United States Officials of all types             
United States Armed Services, Active Duty             
       Addressing Retired Personnel      
       Use of Rank by Retired Personnel      
       Use of Rank by Veterans      

Tribal Officials 
           
Clergy and Religious Officials           
Canadian Officials         
Australian Officials          
British Officials, Royalty, and Nobility        
Diplomats and International Representatives
           
Foreign National Officials and Nobility        

SPECIFIC SITUATIONS
Business Cards       
Couples        
Etiquette
            
Flags and Anthem Protocol             
Introductions
            
Invitations: Writing & Addressing
        
Invitations: Just Armed Service Personnel        
Name Badges & Tags            
Names on Programs, Signs, & Lists            
Naming a Building or Road            
Place Cards            

Plaques, Awards, Diplomas, Certificates    
Precedence: Ordering Officials 
         
Thank You Notes             


Site updated by Robert Hickey on April 23, 2014



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Robert Hickey is the author of Honor & Respect:
The Official Guide to Names, Titles, and Forms of Address
Published by The Protocol School of Washington®
Foreword by Pamela Eyring

Copyright © 2013 Robert Hickey.     All Rights Reserved.
Book Photo: Marc Goodman.




All information on www.formsofaddress.info is copyright © 2013 by Robert Hickey.
The Protocol School of Washington® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Honor & Respect is dedicated to Dorothea Johnson, Founder of The Protocol School of Washington®