Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wake County Rep. Avila Guts Local Bill for Guilford County

Wake County House Rep. Marilyn Avila guts the whole local bill for Guilford County in regards to Electronic Notices to amend the bill to add language that was written by the N.C. Press Association. It passed on a 62-52 vote with plenty of clueless out of touch with reality N.C. House of Representatives voting with Head Cheerleader of the N.C. Press Association Avila. What you need to understand is that this bill was a local bill only for Guilford County and now we have the head cheerleader of the N.C. Press Association gutting a local bill and she doesn't even represent any constituents in this county. As we see in the write up from Travis Fain Greensboro News and Record "Bill Changing Legal Ads Notices Falters" . not one mention of this at all which is par for the course for the local press on this issue.

Let's look at what the N.C. Press Association President Hal Tanner III had to say in their july e newsletter about the head cheerleader in the North Carolina House of Representatives for the N.C Press Association earlier in the 2013 session  where this bill came up for a vote

"This has been a great year for newspapers across the state. I wish I could express how we felt listening to Rep. Marilyn Avila’s (R-Wake) speech on the House floor supporting newspapers during debate on SB287/HB504. It was a moment I will never forget and one of the highlights."

It was a moment for the N.C. Press Association to listen to themselves and their lobbyist who gave her plenty to say on the N.C. House floor in regards to the issue of electronic notices. The taxpayers of Guilford County can thank a Wake County Representative Avila for not saving the taxpayers of Guilford County over $500,000 that could go to some other program and the funny thing is that there are cities in Wake County who in past law have been given this opportunity to use electronic notices in  here is a post I did  with a title  "Electronic Notice is Good for Cary,Apex,Garner,Knightdale,and Raleigh is Good for Every other City in this State "
 . So as you see we had a Wake County Rep.Avila completely gut a local bill for Guilford County in regards to electronic notices while in her own county we have all these cities above have been able to use electronic notices the whole time. Is that fair? NO and points like this never came up in the discussion on the house floor. Maybe a Guilford County Representative can reverse one of these local bills to make them waste more taxpayer money to appease the BLOWHARDS at the N.C. Press Association.

I wanted to leave you with a report below the fold from the now gone but not forgotten Rhino Times where William Hammer was on point in regards to Senator Trudy Wade's Senate Bill #287 which was gutted by N.C. Press Association Head Cheerleader Wake County House Representative Republican Marilyn Avila.   

Rhino Times
Wade's bill – allowing local governments in Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford, Burke, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain and Union counties to post public notices required by law on their own websites rather than buying advertisements in paid circulation newspapers – passed the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday, April 9, causing an uproar in the paid circulation newspaper industry.

Imagine what a great law that would be, regardless of what business you are in, if it required the city and county to do business with you. What if the state passed a law that Greensboro had to buy all of its coffee at a national chain of coffee shops that originated in Washington State and has a mermaid on its cups. Or what if the state had a law that all gasoline used by city vehicles had to be purchased at gas stations owned by a franchise that was started in Pennsylvania and sounds like a bad word mispronounced.

Can you imagine the outcry from the other coffee providers and gas stations? But the unbiased daily newspaper in town believes that local governments should be required by law to advertise public hearings, tax delinquencies and other such matters in the News & Record.

That is the kind of law that TECAN&R and every other major newspaper in the state has working for them. The law doesn't state that the City of Greensboro has to advertise in TECAN&R, but the way the newspaper where Greensboro has to advertise is defined, there is only one that meets all the criteria.

Wade's bill allows local governments to meet the legal requirement for advertising by placing a notice on its own website. It doesn't prevent any local government from running as many ads as it wants about anything, but local governments in Guilford the other counties will no longer be required by law to advertise in their local paid circulation newspapers.

The North Carolina Press Association is treating this bill like its First Amendment rights are being violated. But what the bill does is remove a government-sanctioned monopoly.

Since far more people have Internet access than subscribe to the daily newspapers, it seems like it is a way to reach more citizens. One of the arguments against the bill is that it is unfair to poor people because many can't afford a computer and don't have Internet access. That is true, but it is also true that not many poor people and very few homeless people subscribe to the daily newspaper.

This is a bill that will allow local governments to save hundreds of thousands of dollars. The other forms of notifying the public with signs on property to be rezoned and letters to nearby property owners remain unchanged. The bill only effects advertising in paid circulation newspapers.

The local government is free to experiment with notifying the public. In Greensboro a billboard on Battleground Avenue has attracted a lot of attention lately. Maybe that would be a good place to advertise an upcoming public hearing. Perhaps radio advertising would work, or even advertising in a free newspaper that is picked up and read by people all over Guilford County.


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