Retired NPS Employee Laments New 'Loyalty Oaths'
Among the challenges the National Park Service is struggling with this fall are efforts by top officials to make the agency’s mid-level managers pledge to support the Bush administration’s policies. While that likely sits wrong with a wide range of Park Service employees, it’s also likely that they won’t speak out for fear of their jobs.
However, there’s no muzzle on retired Park Service employees, and one, Catherine Spude, has spoken out quite loudly in an editorial to the Santa Fe New Mexican. Here’s what she had to say:
"According to a recent Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility press release, all new mid-level managers of the National Park Service will have to swear a fealty oath to the administration currently in power. In other words, in order to get promoted beyond a "worker bee," employees will be approved by a political appointee, promising to be a "yes person."
Already are gone the days when the upper management of this nation's parks made decisions that were best for the parks and their visitors, not for the political party currently in Washington. Now, the political creep is moving down into the working ranks.
A long-held ethic of good, science-based decisions will be over-turned for politically expedient solutions that last only until the results of the next election. The National Park Service's mandate "to preserve and protect...for future generations" has no chance to succeed if civil servants swear to say yes to every political whim."