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Question of the day

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015

* SJ-R

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti’s task force on government consolidation and unfunded mandates voted Wednesday to recommend allowing local governments to opt out of publishing public notices in newspapers.

The nonbinding recommendation would allow governments to post notices on their websites instead. Local governments without websites would still be required to publish them in local papers.

It passed 20-0. The task force’s report is due by the end of the year.

The idea would probably save governments a bunch of money, but some small town papers really depend on that cash.

* React

“The task force approval of the proposal today is unfortunate,” [Josh Sharp, director of government relations for the Illinois Press Association] said. “Groups that have thoroughly studied this topic have demonstrated that local governments already disobey existing law when it comes to posting information online.”

There are about 7,000 units of local government in the state. Each one is required to print notices of public hearings in the local newspaper. State law requires other notices as well, such as with land development.

* From that study

The Citizen Advocacy Center partnered with the Illinois Press Association to survey public bodies’ compliance with website notice requirements in the Illinois Open Meetings Act. The Illinois Open Meetings Act requires all public bodies that have a full time staff member to post and maintain three key pieces of information on their websites: 1 ) Notice of upcoming meetings, 2 ) Notice of proposed agendas and, 3 ) Approved meeting minutes. A random sampling of 20% of school districts, municipalities, counties, and townships for compliance found that local government websites continue to fail at meeting the posting requirements of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

The results of the random sampling show that of the aggregate 756 public bodies that were surveyed, 385 have websites (51%). Of those 385 public bodies, 73% complied with posting notice, 57% complied with posting an agenda, and 48% complied with posting approved meeting minutes within the time constraints of the Act. Further, compliance with the Act’s website posting provisions for those with at least one known full-time staff member had a 77% compliance rate with posting notice, 64% with posting agendas, and 54% with posting approved meeting minutes

* The Question: Should Illinois’ 7,000 or so local governments be allowed to post official notices on their own websites, or should they continue paying to place those notices in newspapers? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

customer surveys

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:05 am:

    I voted to allow them to post it online. If a person is that interested in what is going on then they can go to the website. Print news is a thing of the past for most people (at least most people I know).

    ==but some small town papers really depend on that cash==

    If you are relying on that revenue to support your paper then you’ve got bigger issues. I think it might be time to re-evaluate your existence.

  2. - LizPhairTax - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    The Transparency Governor would not benefit at all from there being less media to cover his Transparent Government.

  3. - Dozer - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    why are we protecting newspapers?

  4. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:10 am:

    If Lt. Governor Sanguinetti thinks it’s a swell idea, that’s all the reason I need to oppose it.

  5. - downstate person - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    It would Counties a lot of money not publishing election notice and assessment notices.

  6. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:12 am:

    I voted to use the website, but why not use email and text alerts, they should be required to set something like that up in order to get around paying to publish in a paper.

  7. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    What Demo said x2

  8. - Anono - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    Will we see a high minded Trib oped saluting taking away print biz?

  9. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:14 am:

    Wonder if that includes notice of governmental bodies upcoming votes on making payment on personal injury settlements?

    Asking for a friend….

  10. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:14 am:

    Post on their own website, this issue isn’t about sunlight it’s about revenue for the papers. While I’m supportive of anything we can do to help papers, I don’t think forcing taxpayers of very small units of government to subsidize them is good government.

  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:15 am:

    OW, I knew you’d have a tough time with this one.


  12. - Joe M - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    I voted yes. I think people can get the hang of looking to the agency very easily. I think a lot of people already use an “agency approach” in looking for government information. And those without a computer and/or Internet access can get into the habit of going to their local library (a habit they should be doing anyway) and using their computers. I also think that a larger percentage of the population uses computers than read print newspapers.

    I am concerned though that not all agencies, especially small rural townships have Web pages.

  13. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:17 am:

    What is a newspaper?

  14. - Tommydanger - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:17 am:

    Voted for the newspaper. Setting aside the portion of the population without access to the internet at other than a public location, it seems more citizen friendly to require all units of local government to publish them in one location-the local paper. Otherwise, a citizen would have to go to each individual web site to determine if a notice has been posted.

  15. - Georg Sande - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:18 am:

    C’mon. It’s time to end the subsidizing of “small” (read, useless) newspapers. They need to justify their existence beyond money from various governmental postings.

  16. - Tommydanger - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    Oh, I forgot to sign my 11:17 post.

    A. Dinosaur

  17. - Been There - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    I voted to continue the ads. Who ever goes onto those local gov web sites? I hardly ever read the notices in my local paper but every once in awhile something jumps out. Especially new liquor applications. There are still a lot of elderly people who don’t even have computers. They should actually be required to post it online and in the papers.

  18. - Huh? - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    Newspaper. Joe beat me to the punch.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    ===OW, I knew you’d have a tough time with this one.


    You got me, lol

  20. - Right Field - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    I always found it intriguing that investigative stories are run on all sorts of what journalists consider wasteful expenditures, but never on the cost of useless newspaper legal notices. It may not be huge dollars, but it’s waste none the less.

  21. - Doofman - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    Shouldn’t the focus be on the waste and lack of accountability created by having 7,000 units of local government in the first place, which IIRC is quite a bit higher than every other state in the country?

  22. - OneMan - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    Voted yes, because besides the money savings at this point at least my local paper covers city government with all the scrutiny of Sgt Shultz.

    If the local paper become too dependent on the local government for it’s existence via ad revenue it is going to become a bigger and bigger pal of whomever is in charge in order to keep those revenues going.

    I think you might even get some better journalism out of the deal.

  23. - Very Fed Up - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    This seems pretty easy. It’s not the governments job to prop up a dying industry especially with the challenges this state has.

  24. - OldSmoky2 - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    Tough one - I can see the day coming when this is definitely the way to go. However, we don’t have universal access to the Internet yet. In many rural areas and small towns people do still read small local newspapers and look for public notices there. It’s a close call, but I think we should wait a few years to go this route.

  25. - Concerned - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    How about making each town’s post also visible through a master site so someone interested in seeing these doesn’t have to go to 7,000 different websites?

  26. - Norseman - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    47 has a good point. However, I can’t help but think of that old saw about putting a large number of monkeys on a typewriter might result in one typing something understandable. This is that monkey. I vote yes.

  27. - alas - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    Websites too limited, but then transparency is already just a buzzword anyhow

  28. - Tournaround Agenda - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    In my own experience, most small government bodies seem to have enough difficulty keeping current agendas and minutes up (one that comes to mind is a village that hasn’t posted an agenda online since 2012). I’m not exactly confident in their ability to upload legal notices in a timely manner, if at all.

  29. - Tournaround Agenda - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    @Concerned, there is one. It’s maintained by the newspapers.

  30. - Stuff Happens - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    I like the permanence of newspapers.

    web sites go down, get updated, rebranded, or whatever. There might not be a record to refer to down the road if it’s done via web site.

  31. - PolPal56 - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    I don’t have easy access to the local print paper and would rather have things posted online. I’m sure that for every person who does not easy Internet access is one that does not have easy access to a print paper.

  32. - anon - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:32 am:

    Welfare for newspapers. But it won’t end - no legislator will vote to stop dollars going to the papers the give endorsements each election. Hmm. How about publishing only in papers that make NO political endorsements?

  33. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:32 am:

    If you want to know what government is doing, check it’s websites.

  34. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:36 am:

    Website. Welcome to the 21st Century…in 2015.

  35. - anon - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:37 am:

    11:16 I am concerned though that not all agencies, especially small rural townships have Web pages.

    If a local govt. is that small they should consolidate or terminate.

  36. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    @anon 11:37

    Re-read the info above. It says that if the gov’t entity doesn’t have a website it still goes in the paper.

  37. - Nobody - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    I publish in the paper if I don’t want anyone to see something. It is the best hiding place there is for required publising.

  38. - Bogey Golfer - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:44 am:

    =There are still a lot of elderly people who don’t even have computers.=
    Including my mother and mother-in-law. But nonetheless I voted ‘yes’. Trying to reduce costs here folks, and this is an easy way to do it.

  39. - Tournaround Agenda - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:46 am:

    Let the taxpayers decide if they want to consolidate or terminate their local government if they don’t want to pay for legal notices. As I recall, even tiny Panola (population 40) ended up voting to stay in existence when the vote to dissolve came up several years ago.

  40. - In a Minute - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:49 am:

    “…but some small town papers really depend on that cash”
    Lots of laid off big town and small town journalists really depended on their salaries too. The internet disrupted things. Its painful to undergo forced change, but lets all move on in a productive and constructive manner instead of using the heavy hand of the law to perpetuate outdated practices that only increase burdens on taxpayers and don’t make government any more transparent, accountable or efficient.

  41. - The Muse - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    I voted for them having to post in the newspapers, BUT there should be some sort of addendum that it must be for the next decade. I remember my grandfather (he hated computers) always looking through the legal notices section of the paper, followed by the obituaries (”Gotta see who I’ve outlived” haha). There is a clear generation gap between the technologically literate and illiterate. Ten years is a reasonable amount of time to allow that gap to close.

  42. - One of the 35 - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    Prior to retirement I was the Community Development Director for a Chicago suburb. We typically spent over $135,000 per year publishing notices in newspapers that we could have posted on our web site for little or nothing. It should not be the responsibility of local government to artificially keep newspapers in business. This has been an unfunded mandate for too long.

  43. - AC - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    The website is just more convenient, and I’m old enough to still read paper newspapers, but I’d rather it be centralized and easier to find. The hitchhikers guide provides an example of why simply having the notice posted in the village basement would be a bad idea, but with web access being readily available I think it’s time to make it electronic.

  44. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    Post on its own sites. it’s not the duty of taxpayers to provide handouts to newspapers.

    Figure out a 21st Century business model, or go the way of the town crier.

  45. - Out Here In The Middle - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    Definitely should post on the web; however, there need to be some requirements. Just because I put something on a webserver doesn’t mean that you can easily find it. The list of notices needs to be highly visible. Posting on your own website also means that it’s easy to edit the notice after the fact. (Did I say that public meeting was next Tuesday? I meant last Tuesday!) Notices should also be accessible to search engines.

  46. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    Yes. It’s 2015, while print is not yet dead its slowly on it’s way to hospice.

  47. - Judgment Day (on the road) - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    Way too familiar with this issue.

    First off, most of the laws governing publications talk about a “newspaper of general circulation”, which is a serious pain because it really limits down what you can use.

    Most of this little newspapers just change the header and much, if not all of the content in each paper is the same.

    And the dirty little secret is that most of these really tiny newspapers don’t even provide full coverage to the selected political township (that’s how assessment legal publications are done).

    I vote for the Internet. It’s easier to push data, and even if it’s just presented on a basic web page, it’s still searchable (just use Ctrl-F). Try searching a newspaper.

  48. - Exelon - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    What happens when there is a long power outage?

  49. - Jimmy CrackCorn - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    Discussion of need for tax-payer subsidies to maintain antiquated print newspaper business model is taking place in the comment section of a hybrid subscriber/blog journalism model. I’ve never been good with irony vs. coincidence.

    Let the local govs post on their own website. Require them to provide print copies if requested in person, work with library systems to get vendors and interested parties who are tech-deficient into the 21st century

  50. - L.A. - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:02 pm:

    I voted continue to print in newspapers.

    I also like The Muse’s comment at 11:51 am. I will add that a lot of people under the age of 50 who would be somewhat computer literate don’t know how to find the website for their local municipality, much less figure out how to find public/legal notice that I would presume would be buried somewhere on the website.

    Also, I love newspapers, I love to read newspapers!! Long live newspapers!!

  51. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:04 pm:

    === I will add that a lot of people under the age of 50 who would be somewhat computer literate don’t know how to find the website===

    Um, does anyone under 50 read print newspapers?

    Not taking sides, just don’t get your logic there.

  52. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:07 pm:

    Voted for newspapers. Who gets local news off the Web if you live in a small town? And who’s constantly checking local government’s web site? Too much government business slips by us anyway. This is one more way to miss something potentially important.

  53. - Judgment Day (on the road) - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:12 pm:

    “What happens when there is a long power outage?”

    IF we lose power for that amount of time, we got lots bigger problems then worrying about legal publications.

    Just saying.

  54. - How Ironic - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:12 pm:

    @ Rich Miller

    “Um, does anyone under 50 read print newspapers?”

    Yes, I’m 43 and read 2 daily. And have been doing so since HS. Aside from CapFax, I find the physical paper so much better than an electronic copy.

  55. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:13 pm:

    On-line only. Time to modernize this practice and allow for local governments to do what is most transparent for residents and other interested parties.

  56. - A Jack - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:13 pm:

    Website to save both the governmental unit and me money. I feel bad for the tiny newspapers, but they rarely have much more than the school lunch menu.

  57. - AJ_yooper - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:21 pm:

    This is a reasonable recommendation.

  58. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:25 pm:

    I want to disagree with Slip and Sue, but I can’t.

  59. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:26 pm:

    – What happens when there’s a long power outage?–

    Newspapers don’t get printed.

    Geez, I hope you’re not a newspaper lobster, lol.

  60. - MurMan - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    A lot of those local papers are free for readers. What about people that can’t afford a computer or Internet? Also people that are not good with technology. A lot of seniors can’t even use email. Finally, as the study shows, it’s easier to overlook the requirements of the statue when it comes to online posting. So for the poor and for increased compliance, I say continue to publish in papers

  61. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:30 pm:

    I’m generally in favor of going to the Web, but feel like meeting notices should be printed as well. Those huge print jobs like property tax appraisals need to go.

  62. - Joe M - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:34 pm:

    The newspapers of Illinois have already gone together and put up a Website of one-stop, online shopping for most public notices at:

    I’m not sure ALL public notices make it there, but it is a resource that probably could be built upon. It does contain “uploaded public notices daily from newspapers in Illinois about foreclosures, hearings, advertisements for bids, financial reports….”

  63. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:34 pm:

    News Paper Ads. It is unreasonable to expect a citizenry to check the website of every jurisdiction they live in on a regular basis for public notices.

    I could not support internet postings unless it is tied to a requirement that each posting be placed on a central, perhaps state wide website, in a uniform format, that is easy to navigate and search for specific locations.

    I think it would be pretty easy for a locality to create a website and post to it and just make it very difficult for any user to locate it.

  64. - Joe M - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:35 pm:

    Sorry, I didn’t see that Turnaround Agenda has already posted the site

  65. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    I voted NO.
    There are still businesses that follow notices in the newspapers. It can be a challenge finding the “Official” website of a municipal government. There can be confusion where my County has one, but the County Court has another and the Recorder of Deeds has another and zoning may be somewhere else.
    There was a move to have a statewide, single website that could be used and that may be a solution. There also needs to be reliable assurance that postings on websites in fact happen and that there is a permanent record.
    Good idea whose time has not yet come.

  66. - Kevin Highland - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:39 pm:

    I would vote other: How about a website for each county or state website that could be filtered down by county/city/body of gov’t and as others have suggested an archive that can be reviewed.

  67. - The Equalizer - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:39 pm:

    Internet. However there should be an archive of past notices always kept on the website.

  68. - Huh? - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:53 pm:

    When local governments, that have websites, can’t get the agendas and meeting minutes posted in a timely manner, what makes anybody think that the legal notices will get posted.

  69. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:53 pm:

    The only issue I see is if there is a violation when it comes to a town’s drinking water. Maybe certain violations should be printed. Because, I mean really, who is actually going to look online at a small town’s yearly water report?

  70. - Belle - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:56 pm:

    Voted like Dino the Dinosaur.
    Keep them in the newspapers for another 5 or so years. By then, no one will be reading paper any longer.

  71. - Digital - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:02 pm:

    Voted for the website. This has and always will be about revenue for papers, not transparency. I’m pretty sure its the paper lobby that kills this every time it comes up, not the open government folks. If it’s not about money, why not make the papers publish these notices for free?

  72. - A guy - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:07 pm:

    ==47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:10 am:

    If Lt. Governor Sanguinetti thinks it’s a swell idea, that’s all the reason I need to oppose it.===

    Do you hold equal disdain for the other 20 people who voted in favor of this? You know, since it’s entirely personal

    This is hard. It would kill a lot of local papers. Not maybe. It would. There’s a lot of local news i.e. high school news, sports, local orgs, etc. that would get absolutely no coverage if not for a local paper. These ads absolutely help subsidize those pubs.

    At the same time, it’s a taxpayer expense. What is in their greater interest? That’s the real question. They’d lose more than just notices like these if they lost their local paper.

    There could be a public information clearinghouse site for all munis, and taxing bodies where all of the notices could be posted and indexed.

    Putting it on your own site isn’t quite meeting the responsibility fully in my opinion. It should still be done, but it’s not quite enough.

    There wasn’t an option for this kind of vote.

  73. - L.A. - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:07 pm:

    Im under the age of 50, and I read at least one if not two newspapers a day. and three on Sunday

  74. - Keyser Soze - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:07 pm:

    I go to my town’s web site every day. Yeah, right. Fair disclosure, I also like newspapers.

  75. - Tough Guy - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:08 pm:

    Publishing in newspapers needs to go the route of the Town Crier and the horse and buggy. At least give LG’s the option. It’s true that not everyone has an internet connection but it is just as true that not everyone has a newspaper subscription (especially if you’re under 50 like Rich mentioned).

  76. - Exit 59 - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:09 pm:

    The last two years our local education union filed grievances over rules not being followed. The small town free newspaper was still important in getting the word out. Social media is good but, we are in the process of evolving to social media but, the facts are found in the article in the paper. Comments are great here…not so everywhere else. Small town papers are important.

  77. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:37 pm:

    Continue placing newspaper ads.

    Some older people read the papers every day but are not comfortable with the internet.

  78. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    ===older people read the papers every day but===

    What about the older people who don’t read the papers and maybe can’t afford a subscription?

  79. - Kerfuffle - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:42 pm:

    Not as many people read newspapers as they have in the past and even fewer people pay any attention to the official notices. Why not just run a permanent little ad or public service announcement under the heading “Official Notices” in the papers directing people to the URLs for their local governmental websites. It seems to me that this should be a public service provided by the papers but I’m sure they are going to want to get paid for it.

  80. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:50 pm:

    Newspapers are better than the web because the newspapers are preserved as permanent records. Websites can be changed or taken down, but newspapers live on in library archives and cannot easily be changed or forged. Look at that Hawaii newspaper announcement of President Obama’s birth for instance. It was an invaluable item. Even an official record of his birth would have been more liable to tampering than that daily newspaper as archived in public libraries.

  81. - Elijah Lovejoy - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    I’d rather subsidize newspapers than coal companies. Or you-name-it corporation that goes whining to the state and ends up with a tax break.

    Lots of newspapers, most newspapers, suck. But look at what’s quoted in this blog every single day. With some notable examples, WUIS and WBEZ being two, virtually every news story on state government that’s worth two cents comes from newspapers. It’s not surprising that politicians would want to cut off an important source of money that helps keep newspapers afloat. The Citizens Efficiency Commission that’s quoted in the SJR is dominated by political hacks and apologists–mostly Republicans such as Karen Hasara and Larry Bomke who masquerade as good-government, neutral types while eagerly endorsing any GOP candidate who comes down the pike. You can’t have it both ways.

    You think Bruce Rauner and the lieutenant governor like newspapers? No. They’d rather communicate their world views, unquestioned, via ads and interest groups like the IPI and bet that the opposing viewpoint doesn’t have sufficient Benjamins to get a contrary viewpoint across.

    To an extent, newspapers have brought this on themselves by being lousy newspapers. If newspapers did a better job of holding feet to fires and keeping the public informed instead of running click bait, they might have more public support. But, collectively, they still do their job well enough to get under the skin of politicians and vested interests. And that’s good enough reason to keep things the way they are.

  82. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    Rather than notices only going on the local’s website, perhaps there should be a website where all notices are posted.

  83. - Just Observing - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 2:23 pm:

    I’ve pointed this out before on this matter — local governments, particularly the state, counties, and municipalities, make taxpayers publish notices in the newspaper for all sorts of issues (e.g. zoning changes, legal proceedings, etc.) If the governments won’t have to publish notices, they should not be allowed to make taxpayers publish newspaper notices.

  84. - Execitive office observer - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 2:24 pm:

    Woah. Does Bruce know she’s actually speaking off-script or was she told to have have these meetings and what to say? Hmmmm?

  85. - 13thone - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 2:28 pm:

    People! People! I’m not kiddin, this is my job Darn it, and I’m the second in command, prepared to fill in at a moments notice if something, God forbid, unfortunate should befall the Governor. So you need to start takin me seriously. Now, I mean it. Quit foolin around, or heads will roll. How are you feeling our most exalted supreme leader?

  86. - the Other Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 2:44 pm:

    My first instinct was that the notices should continue to be published.

    But then I thought about “shaking up Springfield,” and realized this is the perfect example of what that should mean rather than what we’ve seen out of the Governor’s office so far.

    The only reason those publication requirements are still in place is that they are a subsidy to local papers. Now, I can see a lot of reasons why the state would want to subsidize small town newspapers. But if that’s what we’re doing, we should just be transparent about it instead of playing the game with the Illinois Press Association blocking any publication reforms to keep its subsidy.

    There are a lot of reasons for why things are done the way they are done in government. Some are good reasons based on experience, others are simply the result of insiders rigging the game.

    Given that for the most part public notices in newspapers are not read by the general public, and given that the publication requirement is used today as a subsidy to papers, I would argue that this falls in the category of rigging the system.

    With all of that, I would also suggest that the state look into some financial relief that would allow small town papers to continue to publish. I would also suggest that the requirements for online notice be substantially tightened to make sure that notice is really given and that notice is preserved in the future.

  87. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 2:52 pm:

    It should be a mandated banner headline on their websites.

  88. - Nick Danger - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    Voted to keep using local papers but not for the argument of propping them up. It’s about making sure all citizens has access to what their local govs are doing. Yes, there are still citizens who don’t have or use computers to browse the web. Let’s not rush away from the “old fashion” any faster than necessary.

    A.Dinosaur II

  89. - Anonymous 88 - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 3:38 pm:

    Voted for the website approach. Unfortunately, print newspapers reach a smaller and smaller slice of the population with every decade. Also, a “notices and announcements” section of a government website is probably more easy to track down than whatever page in this week’s Local Herald & Times. Also, it’s easier for interested parties to share the announcement with other interested parties via email and social media. Plus, of course, the website route is much more cost effective.

  90. - Suburbanite - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 3:49 pm:

    I vote for newspapers. My village, county, township and other units of government may have announcements that are of interest to me, but I have no idea that they are there unless I check every website every day! Just not feasible. Newspapers at least give one central location to check.

  91. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 4:07 pm:

    Print it then it’s at every library,greasey spoon,fast food,bars,and dumpsters

  92. - Fire Chief - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 4:14 pm:

    Voted yes. I was Chief of a small volunteer department. $1,700 a year (out of a total $100,00 budget) in legal advertisement costs to post budget and appropriation notices that very few people understand. Heck, if they allowed us to post them online, I would be more than happy to mail a copy to anyone without Internet access.

  93. - Fire Chief - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 4:20 pm:

    Sorry that should be $100,000 / yr budget.

  94. - A guy - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 4:37 pm:

    Just a hunch here, but I would bet more people in most communities read newspapers than go to their municipal website. Neither number would be too impressive.

  95. - walker - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 4:47 pm:

    Must admit to never having read such a notice either in the paper or on-line. No horse in this one.

  96. - Mama - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 5:18 pm:

    You would be surprised how many older people do not have a computer or a smart phone. Some do, but they don’t know how to use it. Those people would not have access to the notices.

  97. - Mama - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 5:21 pm:

    Government would become less transparent than it is now.

  98. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 5:36 pm:

    ads on newspaper web sites!

    newspapers can have a corner on their site which details dates of government meetings and provides electronic link to info. they can/will charge less than the in print, but it will go faster and easier.

    and people will still see it and not have to search through some government site.

  99. - Steve - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 9:04 pm:

    I think forcing entities to pay for notices when they have a web site is a waste of money. The problem is that leaves each of us interested in keeping up with all the various entities searching for information. Solution would be that each entity publish their information along with linking that information to one county clearing house web page.

  100. - Mongo - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:10 pm:

    It is ridiculous to require locals to pay the newspaper to note a matter that they local notes on ts website, in every building on bulletin boards, and on signs at every building.

    Sure, find a local without a website…then go ahead and print it in the paper.

    Newspapers are not read anymore by most people. That’s my opinion. Facts someone?

  101. - Just Me - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:24 pm:

    It’s ridiculous to say that we have to look for ways to cut costs and still continue with this ancient way of disseminating information.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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