You can't please everyone.
Part of the reason we see muddled messages from local government officials is because they don't want to upset constituents. We've all come face to face with an angry constituent, perhaps we were that constituent at one point, and I can tell you it's not pretty. But nevertheless, ask anyone who's upset and they'll tell you: it's not necessarily what the government did, but it's how they did it.
Constituents are smart people. We pay attention, we read the headlines, we know people who work in government and we talk to our friends. The average constituent is a reasonable person who can make sound decisions and accept sound logic if given enough information.
Unfortunately, local government officials rarely give us insight into how government works so we can draw our own conclusions. If you don't know the answer to something, or if a situation seems to complex to get back to a person right away, let's just admit those limitations and create a plan to move forward.
Don't beat around the bush because you will get called out.