City of Newburyport Announces Resolution of Complaint Over Community Postings

Tuesday September 12, 2023

NEWBURYPORT – The City of Newburyport announces that it has resolved a complaint filed by Citizens for Responsible Education, Inc., regarding posting of community events on municipal bulletin boards.
As a result, the City has revised its posting policy effective immediately. The new policy may be found here.
The City will pay Citizens for Responsible Education, Inc. $10,000, which will be covered by the City’s insurance carrier.
In accordance with the resolution terms, Mayor Sean Reardon issues the following statement:
“In October 2022, I removed flyers from bulletin boards located in City Hall and the Public Library advertising an upcoming educational event being held by a community organization, Citizens for Responsible Education. Both the City’s posting policy and my actions should have better promoted the constitutionally protected free speech rights of the posting entity. The City is revising its Community Posting Policy applicable to City bulletin boards to confirm that viewpoint discrimination plays no factor in regulating any content posted. The City of Newburyport and the Mayor’s office value the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. The City acknowledges that citizens retain the right to express themselves in a public forum, within the confines of the scope of the First Amendment, as interpreted by our state and federal courts. The City may regulate postings on a municipal bulletin board which is open to the public, but acknowledges that postings may not be censored based on their content or the viewpoints expressed.”

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