Communications breakdown cited over St. John's meeting fuss
Journalists will be welcome, as always, to record what's said at a series of upcoming public meetings, despite an earlier advisory that they could not, insists a member of St. John's city council.
Coun. Dave Lane said a misunderstanding led city hall's communications staff to tell the media they could effectively not do their jobs at five public sessions next month about the development of neighbourhood parks.
Media were advised Wednesday that journalists could attend as private citizens, but not record a word that anyone said.
"Wherever the wires got crossed there, I'm not sure," he told CBC News on Thursday evening, after CBC reported on the ban.
"But what I can confirm today, with absolute certainty, is that we want as many people of all types of diverse background, including the media."
Planner suspects his request was misunderstood
Coun. Jonathan Galgay, who is chairing the sessions, said he was startled to learn of the advisory, and firmly opposed it.
Meanwhile, a planner with the Moncton-based company that was hired by city hall to help with the sessions says his comments may have inadvertently led to the supposed media ban.
Jim Scott, a landscape architect and planner with Trace Planning and Design, told CBC News that he guesses that city staff misunderstood him when he said he did not want media at a private meeting between his company, developers and the city.
"This was probably my fault," he said. "I didn't clarify exactly which meeting and I probably should do that, and will do that."
No one from the city's communications staff has said anything about the earlier statement on the media ban. Instead, calls were directed to Lane.
"I don't even know why that was in there," Lane said of the statement.
He said city council wants media coverage so that the public is informed of the neighbourhood park developments.