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August 15, 2011

From Borough Hall: banning photography and video at the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meetings is "to prevent disruptions." What are disruptions?

Atlantic Yards Report

At the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting, held the morning of 7/14/11 at Borough Hall, some of us in the audience picked up cameras to take a few photos.

I did, as did Amy Clark of Prospect Heights Patch, Michael D. D. White of Noticing New York, and a couple of academics working on a project related to Atlantic Yards.

A Borough Hall staffer told us to stop taking photos.

Getting an explanation

Later, I asked, as I had done in February, for an explanation of why cameras were banned at the meetings, held bi-monthly.

Markowitz spokesman Mark Zustovich sent me a statement:

“Our office, along with Empire State Development (ESD) and Council Member Letitia James, are preparing a statement about the openness of these meetings and our expectations regarding public attendee behavior, and that statement will be included with each meeting’s agenda so there’s no confusion going forward. However, you will recall that an announcement was made at the second AYDSC earlier this year by Arana Hankin of ESD that since these meetings are non-deliberative, they are not subject to open public meetings law. [see coverage] Therefore, while we’ve allowed the public to attend and view the meetings, we have prohibited the use of film and photography in order to prevent disruptions. The public is encouraged to view, record audio, take notes and report on the proceedings of the cabinet. They are not permitted to film or photograph the meetings.”

Follow the link for Norman Oder's conjecture about the reason for the ban — which might have something to do with vanity.

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Posted by eric at August 15, 2011 10:25 AM