Who Will Run Washington Square, Union Square Parks? (UPDATE)


Some are now reporting that Becky Ferguson, administrator of Washington Square and Union Square Parks, is leaving her position.

As mentioned in The Villager, “Becky Ferguson has left her job as administrator of not just Washington Square Park but also Union Square Park for a plum position with the National Parks Service, we’re told. A search is ongoing for a new Washington Square administrator.”

We reached out to the Department Parks and Recreation to see what’s up, and we will def let you know what we hear.

However, there’s good reason to pay attention to this kind of development (as boringly administrative and bureaucratic as might seem), even though it’s still unconfirmed.

As we have been reporting, Parks and Rec recently has seen its fair share of scandal and shakeups.

Aside from three lawsuits on the issue of artist vendors, longtime Commish Adrian Benepe quit in June, and will be replaced by Veronica M. White.

Because she has no related experience whatsoever, White has been billed as the “Cathie Black” of parks.

In addition to heat faced by these top honchos, it’s important to point out that Ferguson has also gotten flak.

Not only are Washington and Union Square Parks largely the epicenter of the artist-vendor controversy — some have criticized Ferguson’s management for failing to protect parkgoers’ safety.

In 2011, for example, an upswing in crime in the park and surrounding environs prompted many to call a certain Union Square walking path “Methadone Alley,” as patients from the area’s many drug rehab clinics would wander around and O.D.

Again, we’re waiting for Parks and Rec to confirm or deny this report — and, if it is legit, to give us the deets about a replacement.

If true, however, it would mean yet another big management shift for the Department which, of course, brings with it questions about these parks’ future direction, as management changes tend to do.

That said, we’ll update when we hear back.

UPDATE: Department Spokesman Philip Abramson tells the Voice: “I can confirm that she’s left the agency and that we’re searching for a replacement. She let us know that she was stepping down as she accepted another job out of state.”

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 10, 2012

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