Friday, July 17, 2015

UPDATE: City Council limits communication with media

Posted By on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 11:48 AM

click to enlarge Council President Merv Bennett is among councilors who are limiting how reporters can contact them. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Council President Merv Bennett is among councilors who are limiting how reporters can contact them.
This just in from Council Administrator Eileen Gonzalez:

"saw your blog post from earlier today, just wanted to set the records straight - City Council is not trying to limit communication with the media. By asking the media to contact Councilmembers through their work email address or work phone—cell or office—we’re trying to make sure they’re not using private email for City-related business, which you referenced in your April 2015 article “Got the message?” Since they have access to mobile technology now, they’re often more available on mobile devices via City accounts now than they were in the past."

———ORIGINAL POST 11:48 A.M. FRI., JULY 17, 2015——-

Having been in the news business for nearly 38 years, I've found that elected officials are often more easily reached on their private emails and telephones rather than their official emails and phones.

That's especially true if the elected officials are considered part-time. Try reaching someone by office phone who's in the office only once or twice a week, or less.

So many times over the past years, I've contacted Colorado Springs City Council members on their private emails with good response.

But now, Council is cutting off that type of contact, according to the following message I received from Council's communications officer Vicki Gomes, who writes in an email this morning:

Hi, Pam, when corresponding with City Council, please use their city email address or city office phone. Council will not respond to a media request sent to their personal email address.

Merv Bennett
President, At-large
(719) 385-5469

Jill Gaebler
President Pro-tem, Dist. 5
(719) 385-5483

Don Knight
Dist. 1
(719) 385-5487

Larry Bagley
Dist. 2
(719) 385-5493

Keith King
Dist. 3
(719) 385-5470

Helen Collins
Dist. 4
(719) 385-5492

Andy Pico
Dist. 6
(719) 385-5491

Bill Murray
(719) 385-5485

Tom Strand
(719) 385-5486
It's worth noting that this message comes after we asked Councilors to comment on our story, "Full force," which examines the Colorado Springs Police Department's use of force on citizens.

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