Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Huzzah! Parks Employees Can Talk To The Press Again by Garth Johnston : Gothamist

Read original...

Back in January, the Parks Department sent out a letter to its employees with the stern warning that, "No matter how short or simple the answer may seem, employees must not engage in conversation about Parks to those who identify themselves as reporters." That controversial directive, which the NYCLU argued violated worker's First Amendment rights, have now been clarified.
A new directive from the Department says that Parks employees can speak to the press as long as they do so on their own behalf, on their own time and without disclosing confidential information—good thing we took our own photos of the High Line!
According to Parks spokeswoman Vickie Karp, the change came because "It was brought to our attention that the introduction to the policy could be clearer so the introduction was clarified."
Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates, however, doesn't quite buy that excuse. "They are clearly trying to cover up a host of issues," he tells us. "Obviously a lot of employees are fed up. The policy is absurd. They know fully well these are not issues of confidentiality. They are just trying to stem the avalanche of negative publicity. Obviously its not working."
The new press policy, included below courtesy of NYC Park Advocates, is effective immediately