You are facilities manager at General Mills. Your firm recently constructed a new administrative building on a five-acre lot, and you've landscaped the unused four acres with lighted walkways, fountains, and ponds for employees to enjoy during their lunch hours and before and after work. Your lovely campus-like site is one of the few such locations within the city limits.

Joan Bradley, the mayor of the city, is running for reelection. She has written you asking permission to hold a campaign fund-raiser on your grounds. This event will be for "heavy" contributors; as many as 150 people, each paying $500.00, are expected.

You do not want to become involved in this event for numerous reasons. Mayor Bradley's political views are different than yours. If she loses the reelection, you don't want your company to appear to be backing a loser. You also don't want to offend anyone who might become the next mayor. Some other reasons for declining the request include: Other sites in the city offer a more suitable environment for the event; you would have to provide the same favor for every other candidate; there would be possible harm to the lawn, plants, and animals; and company policy prohibits outside use of the firm's campus.

You do not know Mayor Bradley personally, and this is the first time you've corresponded with her. Write to her and decline her request.

Below is Mayor Bradley's letter:

Dear M. Hudson:

"Wow"--that was my response when I had the opportunity last week to tour your grounds at General Mills. My colleague, Joe Monson, informs me that you were partly responsible for the design of these grounds and that you now maintain them in the pristine state they are in.

Because of your campus's unique and beautiful surroundings, it would be an honor if you allowed me permission to hold a campaign fund-raiser on your grounds on July 7, from 8 p.m. to midnight. Our invitees to the event would greatly appreciate the grounds and the opportunity to spend some time soaking up the General Mills campus ambiance.

My reelection committee will take care of all catering, security, and cleanup.

Fortunately also, your impressive grounds at General Mills would receive more exposure to the landscape design community through this visible event.

Respectfully yours,

The Honorable Joan Bradley,

Mayor of Clarksfield

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  • modified from material in Ober, Scott. Contemporary Business Communication. 5th Ed.: Houghton Mifflin Company. 2003, p. 316-325.