Thursday, February 21, 2013

News & Record : Short Stack: Keep Public Notices Public PART #2

News & Record : Short Stack: Food for thought, quick and over easy: An Example Description

Greensboro News and Record for Monday the 18th of 2013 had this in their Short Stack section of monday's paper

Keep public notices public
There’s a renewed effort to pull public legal notices out of newspapers in North Carolina. And while it concerns papers that they could be stripped of a longstanding revenue source, this involves a much bigger issue.
Sharing these notices with the taxpaying public on the printed page significantly increases the opportunity for more citizens to see them. Relegating them to government websites, as the proposed legislation suggests, reduces visibility. Not everyone has access to a computer or to affordable Internet service. North Carolina offers one of the nation’s lowest levels of broadband Internet availability.
Fewer citizens are as likely to see such notices on a government websites as in a daily newspaper. Which contradicts the notion that public notices should be public.
The Greensboro News and Record is in never never land with this load of malarkey that was given to us this past Monday. One thing we all need to understand is that it is all about the money and not one bit about notifying the public in regards to public notices. If the Greensboro News and Record was wanting to inform the general public than even with a new design for their crappy website we see that there is no place for them to place public notices on their web site, you have to pay to see a public notice in paper and if you are not a subscriber to the News and Record than hopefully you picked the right day to view the public notice section of paper.Being a subscriber to the News and Record with a facebook special will cost you $150 and we have seen that newspapers all over this country are not gaining subscribers but actually losing subscribers. Here is a report from Roch101 . We also have the Editor of the Greensboro News and Record Jeff "Grits" Gauger  say this in a blog post

"Equally important has been the digital revolution.
Time was when newspapers provided a public service by publishing news-of-record information, because your only other way to view it was to schlep to city hall or the courthouse. Now many governments publish public records at their websites."

If you are able to get to a computer either at your home and if you live in Guilford County you can go to any library and they will give you free access to the Internet if you would like to see  public notices it would be to our benefit to have this available 24 hours a day not just in a paid paper but free to all of us on each city and county municipality website. Granted it will cost money to have this available to the masses on city and county websites but i think with just this one bill below would take care of plenty of public notices for the whole year.

Triadwatch is working on getting support from the State Representatives to exempt Guilford County from the tax delinquency bill and save taxpayers close to $100,000 because the tax department provides this information to all the citizens of Guilford County 24/7 .Here is a link to a post on Triadwatch CLICKHERE

Triadwatch also did a public records request to see just how much taxpayers money it cost to place the tax delinquency bill for the citizens of Guilford County as we see from this scribd documents that the Greensboro News and Record made over $80,000 just on one insert in the Greensboro News and Record March 14, 2012 .

Hopefully we will see some local or state bills address the issue of public notices in paid papers and to do away with it all together and save taxpayers all over this state maybe millions of dollars from cities , counties and also school boards having to put public notices in paid papers.

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