I want to further this discussion and I don't want it to get lost in the shuffle as this site continues to grow. This issue needs to be addressed. We all see so many problems these days, well here is an item that I believe can and should be resolved.
In Harry Hipps earlier article Time to Change the Archaic Law about Public Meeting Notices he espouses his belief that in the internet age we should not be spending money on newspaper ads when cities and towns can communicate directly to their constituents. Newspaper readership is declining and government at all levels have a cost effective way to increase the dialogue and participation with the internet.
It was pointed out to me that the City of Hickory is one of the largest advertising accounts that The Hickory Daily Record has and the city isn't shopping around for competitive rates. Therefore in my opinion, we once again have a situation rife with the appearance, and at least the potential for, conflicts of interest.
It was pointed out by an anonymous poster that they believed that the city is required to publish notices in the publication reaching the largest number in their population. This person believes some shut-ins do not have any real access to the news other than a newspaper delivered daily to their home. As long as there are homebound citizens who do not have internet service and rarely if ever get out of their homes to access it elsewhere, a newspaper delivered to their home is the only means of getting this information.
Harry' rebuttal stated the main issue is better dialogue between government entities and citizens. There is no use to use money to disseminate information that could be sent out virtually free. There is no need to use third party intermediaries when direct communication is available.
Ant A. has a brilliant point that continues this argument in an even more logical direction. Here is what he has to say: "Hipps has a strong case for the internet; moreover, these notices could be added to the City Snippets sent out each month with the water bill alleviating Anon2's concerns about access for those without the internet."
The Hound wants to know: Someone tell me why this can't be done? Between City Snippets that are delivered to everyone in their Utility bill, The Hickory.Gov website, and having a process whereby people can apply to have e-mails sent to their personal inbox; there is no need to spend tens of thousands of dollars advertising in the local paper.
How many people that actually receive the HDR even read those public notices? I am sorry, but that argument is specious to say the least. It is time to move into the 21st century!
|Join To Get Blog Update Notices|
|Visit the Hickory Hound Group|